Charleston Style and Design

SUM 2013

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knew that, in addition to making his own windows, Hines had been collecting antique glass. So they came to him to help refurbish valuable items, such as mirrors and glass cabinets. "Stained glass as a business is quite labor intensive and a diffcult way to make money. I began to envision a different way—a business that was still centered around fnely crafted objects but less labor intensive —one more directly connected to sales and less constricted by production. "The seed was planted early. I realized that old mirrors, gently decayed, will always be beautiful and sought after. We now make mirrors the old way—from scratch, starting with clear glass." Today, the original Hines Studios (now known internationally as R Squared) is an expanding custom-glass business with a silver shop, cold shop, hot shop and wood shop. Inside the studios, Hines, with "The Team" of artists Jason Petitpain and David Petitpain, works on creating fnely crafted 234 CHARLESTON STYLE & DESIGN | SUMMER 13 custom mirrors for corporate and private clients in Boston, New York, Montreal, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and Hong Kong. "And upon occasion we get to travel to some great places for installations," Hines says. "This business has grown considerably in the last 20 years," says Hines of his storefront on upper King Street. "We used to do all of our work here, in this building. Now it is the stained glass studio, showroom and offce. Our other studio is three miles away, just past Magnolia Cemetery. We've defnitely started making more mirrors these days and marketing them mostly through architects and historic conservators." Though custom mirrors account for a large portion of the business, Hines points out, "I will always be a stained glass artist. The mirror business has allowed us to be able to pick the stained glass commissions that are most interesting." Hines believes that his honest love for the art of making glass has led to the success of his business. "Most mirror companies are not glass people," he muses. "They didn't come to that point from the origins of making glass like I did. Therefore, they can't do what we do…they cannot make a mirror that looks like this." With that, he holds up a beautiful, antiqued mirror. Its surface is delicately tarnished, so it looks hundreds of years old. Hines concludes, "For us, it's not just about making glass. It's about living the life that we've chosen. It's about being part of a team with the whole being stronger than the parts. It's about counting our blessings every morning, swinging for the fences all day, and, at the end of each day, knowing that we've done our best." 2 F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N R2 Hines Studios 579 King St. 843-722-0207 Denise K. James is a freelance writer and editor based in Charleston.

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