Tucked into the busy Harbor Walk Village in Destin, FL, you’ll find an independent, self-trained artist patiently creating unique works of art every evening from 5 pm on. But this artist doesn’t work with paints or pencils, instead, Dave Magee has honed his talent with the use of a blow torch, molten hot glass, and a pair of protective glasses.
Dave Magee’s Glassblowing is a whimsical and inspiring stop for anyone enjoying a casual stroll through Destin’s busy beachside Harbor Walk Village. Opened in 2017, Magee completely built out his humble kiosk location to include glassblowing equipment, as well as ample counter space to display a range of finished pieces of art for sale. Magee offers beautiful, fascinating art for sale at every price point, making his handmade pieces easy to collect and share with friends and family as a memento from the Gulf Coast.
Magee’s work is clearly inspired by the beautiful Florida coastline where he grew up. His pieces include intricately twisted octopus arms and jellyfish tendrils, plus dolphins and turtles that are downright adorable. On a recent visit, we were captivated by a series of pieces featuring sea turtles with delicate jellyfish embedded inside of them. Part of the magic here is that you can watch Dave create these pieces right in front of your eyes, and yet there’s still a kind of invisible alchemy that seems to happen to turn a blast from a blowtorch into a delicate, shining piece of art!
What’s cooler still is that Magee is a totally self-trained artist who has let his curiosity with this art form fuel his career. He started working with glass as a child after watching and learning from his father, who used the technique to make scientific equipment, including glass beakers for lab work. Magee continued to learn and experiment, eventually starting to sell his creations throughout Destin as a teenager. As a self-made artist and now business owner, Magee takes pride in passing on this legacy to his children, who you may spot blowing glass right along with their father one night at the kiosk!
Dave Magee’s Glassblowing is a great place to pick up some really cool, reasonably priced souvenirs, but it’s also a fun spot to get inspired and learn about the art of glassblowing. You can find his kiosk towards the western end of Harbor Walk Village; look for the bright, cheerful coral and blue painted kiosk, and the bright flares from Magee’s blowtorch! Enjoy the experience, and feel awesome about supporting a local, independent Destin artist.
– Want to get a sneak peek at the artist’s process and preview some of his current pieces? Magee occasionally posts images and videos on Instagram at @dmageeglass. Browsing his archives might give you a great idea for a custom made, totally unique piece of art to make the perfect Destin inspired gift for yourself or a loved one!