We are just beginning to recognize the role toxins play in our country’s high rates of hormone related dysfunctions including: infertility, birth defects, breast cancer, PCOD (polycystic ovary disease) PMS, precocious puberty, endometriosis and obesity.

We love to blame illnesses on our genes, but in reality our genes are only partially to blame. Many of us are born with healthy genes, but over time, as a result of our exposure to toxins–especially when coupled with poor nutrition, our genes & how they express themselves decrease our resilience – making us more prone to illnesses.

What are hormone (endocrine) disrupting chemicals?  Turns out certain chemicals found in plastic products such as (BPA), PCBs, phthalates and agricultural pesticides are similar in structure to our own natural sex hormones such as estrogen.  When these hormone mimicking substances attach themselves to the cell wall (instead of the body’s own natural hormones) a whole host of dysfunctions take place. According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG): “There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.”

How did these wind up in products we use every day? During the last 100 years, in the name of progress, convenience and profit, we created over 87,000 chemicals – & few have ever been tested for their effects on our health (either singularly or in combination).  Due to the lack of laws governing manufactures of these chemicals, companies are not held accountable for their safety. It is the public who bears the burden of proving these substances harmful. Additionally, as a result of the lobbying power  the chemical industry has in Washington,  the damaging impact of many of these chemicals has been hidden from us by both industry and the government.  A recent example: in Feb 2016 documents were submitted in a court case showing that for four decades, Johnson and Johnson was aware that “talc” in  their BABY POWDER was linked to ovarian cancer! It took the lawyers of a deceased woman’s family (who was awarded 72 million dollars by J & J) for this important fact to be revealed. 1

As we wake up to these facts, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, angry or want to isolate ourselves in a glass bubble.   Armed with solutions and a short list of problematic chemicals that specifically target and disrupt our hormones, we can all make better choices:

Plastics & Bisphenol-A: BPA is a chemical added to plastics to increase its fluidity. BPA was first developed as an estrogen receptor medication, but it is found in some baby’s: bottles & sleepwear.  It can also be found in furniture, dental sealants, the lining of canned foods, and paper receipts.  Besides disrupting our hormones, BPA can cause thyroid dysfunction, neurodevelopmental problems in children, and increase a woman’s risk for miscarriage and breast cancer.   The alternative non BPA products do not appear to be any less of a health concern

              Solutions:  Ditch plastic water bottles & use glass or stainless steel.  Limit your contact with cash register receipts. Use your own glass container for take-out food.   Avoid microwaving in plastic or having plastic wrap coming in direct contact with food.  Replace the plastic PVC shower curtain with a fabric one.  Toss the Teflon & avoid purchasing plastic children’s toys (especially ones they put in their mouth). Avoid Urea formaldehyde (a known carcinogen)  used in particle board and plywood & Polyurethane foam used in furniture and pillows which can has been linked to lung cancer.

Pesticides: According to the EPA, 3 billion pounds of chemical pesticides are sprayed on our US crops each year. Pesticides come from a family of chemicals called organochlorines and organophosphates.     In addition to causing hormonal dysregulation, studies indicate that the risk of a child developing autism appeared to be highest for women who lived near farms, golf courses etc.during the last three months of their pregnancies.(2) Another health concern-in our body’s attempt to protect our vital organs, pesticides are stored in our fat cells making them difficult to get rid of.

Solutions: For a few more dollars added to your grocery budget, buy organic produce, dairy products, free range organic meat etc.  If that’s not feasible, check EWG.org & at least avoid the most heavily sprayed food. Join an organic co-op, CSA and purchase from local farmers.  Since cotton is heavily sprayed, use organic feminine hygiene products.

Flame Retardants: In addition to increasing the risk for infertility, birth defects, reduced IQ and neuro and developmental problems in children, these have been identified by EWG as one of the 17 “high priority” group of chemicals that should be avoided to reduce breast cancer.  They are present in furniture cushions, carpeting, mattresses, electronics and children’s sleepwear & bedding.

Solutions: Since, manufacturers are not required to disclose which chemicals they use to comply with fire safety regulations, opt for organic or green alternatives for bedding, kids toys, sleepwear etc. furniture made from leather, wool & cotton are less likely to contain fire retardants.

Parabens: are a group of chemicals used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus & they raise a woman’s risk for developing cancer, especially breast cancer.   In a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, minute amounts of parabens where found in breast tumors from twenty patients. Exposure to these chemicals from an early age may be a factor in why we are seeing a rise in childhood cancers (one of the most rapidly increasing rates of cancer is for children under the age of 13).

Solutions: Since Parabens are found in cosmetics, moisturizers, toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners, nail creams, foundations, antiperspirants and baby lotions & women absorb approximately 5 pounds of chemicals a year from their daily makeup, purchase green & clean, paraben-free products.

Phthalates:  These chemicals used as solvents & to make plastics more flexible can induce birth defects & low sperm count. More recent studies indicate they may associated with precocious puberty & impaired testicular function in boys.

Solutions: Phthalates are in vinyl flooring, packaging materials, furniture, deodorants, hair spray, upholstery, mattresses, air fresheners, plastic shower curtains, dryer sheets, shampoo, nail polish, shower gels,& cosmetics.  Use alternative flooring & products that are free of these toxic industrial chemicals.

The list of hormone disrupting chemicals could go on to include: Perchlorate (in rocket fuel & explosives that interferes with thyroid function), Mercury (in dental fillings, vaccines & large fish) & many others.  However, the solution to reducing our exposure to these toxic substances remains  basically the same:

  • Eat organic produce or at least food that was grown without any pesticides. Beef & poultry should be raised with healthy feed and free of hormones & antibiotics. Purchase food in glass rather than cans.
  • Choose clean & green personal care products: Our skin is our largest & most permeable organ.  The FDA reports substances applied to our skin can be found in our cells within 26 seconds!  Mineral oil, a cheap filler found in many lotions & cosmetics inhibits our skins ability to release toxins. Products should clearly state they are free of mineral oil, as  as well as formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, talc, triclosan (toothpaste & anti-bacterial soap), BPA.  It helps if they are also vegan-certified, organic or non GMO, free of artificial fragrances (one perfume can have up to 200 chemicals) & free of artificial colors.
  • Detox and Boost your nutrition: In today’s toxic world, in addition to optimizing your nutrition to enhance the effectiveness of your detox pathways, you also need to exercise, sweat, drink plenty of filtered water, have good bowel movements and do periodic, safe and effective cleanses or detoxification programs.
  • Improve Indoor Air Quality: The EPA reports that indoor air contains 2-5 times more contaminants than the air outside.   One study from 2009 identified 586 different chemicals in the air of 52 ordinary homes. (3) Open the windows, leave shoes at the entrance, get some house plants (NASA has shown house plants can reduce up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours.),use only essential oils for scents, paint with VOC paint and use safe & green cleaning & laundry products  com & EWG natural cleaning guide provide helpful resources & recipes for homemade laundry & cleaning solutions
  • Natural Progesterone: John Lee, MD wrote many books before his death in 2003 discussing  “estrogen dominance” caused by hormone disrupting chemicals.  His recommendation, in  addition to eating healthy & limiting exposure to toxic substances, was to use natural Progesterone creams.  To find out more read Dr. John Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple or Dr. Deanna Osborn, DO Bioidentical Hormone Handbook

The World Health Organization coproduced a report with the United Nations Environment Program: “State of the Science of Endocrine Disruption Chemicals” suggesting that outright banning of endocrine disrupting chemicals may actually be needed to protect the health of future generations.  I don’t think we should wait for government or industry to enact laws that will restrict the production of chemicals that are wreaking havoc on our hormones and our health.  As usual, we must do our own research, & demand via our collective purchasing power cleaner, safer products.  Our hormones, our health, our future and our kids all depend on the choices we make now!


  1. http://dandell.com/defective-drug/johnson-johnson-to-pay-72m-in-talcum-powder-related-cancer-case
  2. Roberts, et al. Maternal residence near agricultural pesticide application and autism spectrum disorder among  children in CA central valley.  Environmental Health Perspective Oct 2007; 115(20) 1482-1489
  3. Gale RW et al, Semivolatile organic compounds in residential air along the Arizona – Mexico border.Environmental Science and Technology doi: 10.1021/es803482u.






This Friday and Saturday from 10-5 each day we will be offering a special sale of “seconds”, color tests, and older Glass artwork at huge discounts, and large variety. Help us “clean house” as we gear up for our busy production season in the hot glass shop! We are at 60 Clarks Chapel road- 1min from downtown,at Crucible Glassworks!!

Come and enjoy a beautiful morning walk through Weaverville. Displayed here a a few pictures for you viewing pleasure. Weather is great and our enchanting safe small town is a joy. So, come stay with us, dine with us and rest with us.



The fact that eyeglasses say so much about one’s personality, including the fact that people wear them all day and rely on them to see clearly makes comfort and function equally important characteristics of the entire eyeglass experience. It can also make choosing the right pair of eyeglasses seem overwhelming and impossible.  A thoughtful and trained optician will greatly simplify the many daunting choices of different styles of eyeglasses and even make the process fun. 

A great optician listens to their client while styling and giving honest feedback. Shopping for eyeglasses is not a situation where you want a “sales person” that just says ‘yes’ to make the sale. It is the optician’s job to guide you into a pair that fits comfortably with the correct size and shape of frame to maximize your vision.  No two faces are the same, and each individual has different optical needs and aesthetic preferences. With all of this in mind a properly fitted frame can greatly reduce lens weight and thickness, which in turn can save you money and increase comfort.

Our conscience can also create some distress when trying to make such an investment in eyeglasses. As discerning consumers we also want to know that our choices have a positive and sustainable impact on our community. Independent eyewear is the alternative to the large conglomerates that currently overwhelm the optical world. Monopolies disguised as hundreds of individual brands have sacrificed eyewear quality. These eyeglasses are mass produced “designer brands,” thus they are materially wasteful and have unfair profit margins. They remove the integrity from the design and sell empty logos when what we really want is craftsmanship and a collection that has passion behind it.

Optix is a curated space for eyeglasses designed to provide the client with diverse design options and quality hand-crafted independent eyewear. The independent collections we support allow our optician to provide you with lasting glasses you can be proud to wear. It is crucial that your optician is concerned with the big picture so you can feel confident about the value of what you purchase.


By Summer Cooley

Optician at Optix Eye Care

Well, its the end of the day on Wednesday, and for some reason Mike and I took the day to finish up what we started yesterday..moving and rearranging many of the big displays of glass around the shop. We also planned some fun demos for the weekend, and got confirmation that Cakes by Jane in Weaverville will be doing a cake sampling during the day Saturday…YUM!

Had a nice visit from two of our favorite customers, the Schwartzes, who bought a pretty bowl to send to a friend in Colorado for a housewarming…and Mike worked in the studio garden, planting more beans and peas and lots of sunflowers…a beautiful day in “the country” at the end of Main St in Weaverville..(:

Our Colors are all ablaze. Come and enjoy a getaway and relax here at the Dry Ridge Inn in our warm, welcoming, safe small town of Weaverville. Come and Enjoy!2016-12016-52016-42016-32016-2

Spring is here. Come and enjoy a getaway at our Inn. Experience our cozy, safe, small town Weaverville, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and minutes from the Biltmore.

Dry Ridge Inn B&B

WOW… 53 artists will be participating in the Weaverville Art Safari Spring Tour on May 7 & 8.  We have Painters, Potters and Photographers  :  Glass workers, Metal workers and Wood workers  :  Paper sculptors, Metal sculptors, Wood sculptors and Clay sculptors  :  Weavers and Sewers  :  Candle makers and Lamp builders:  Fine art and Figurative art and much much more!

May 7 & 8 you can enjoy Art in the Heart of the Blue Ridge as you visit a vast array of artists’ studios.     –Mark your calendar.    More details at WeavervilleArtSafari.com

As part of our re-branding effort, the Weaverville Art Safari Studio Tour will have an all new multi-page booklet brochure.  This new format gives us the opportunity to offer local businesses some exciting choices for advertising!   With a distribution of approximately 15,000 brochures per tour throughout Western North Carolina and the Southeastern U.S., our brochure offers great exposure for your advertising dollars.

Contact Phil Atwood at [email protected] or (828) 273-8646 for more information on ad sizes and rates.  You’ll want to hurry because the Studio Tour weekend is May 7th and 8th, and the deadline for ads is March 31.      CONTACT PHIL TODAY!

We are excited and proud to announce that the Weaverville Art Safari Studio Tour has a new logo. Well…really, two. One in Spring colors and the other one in Fall Colors.

Be on the lookout for this bold new signature, which is just a part of our new branding campaign.

All of this comes to you from Art in the Heart of the Blue Ridge!