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Glass blowers fire up the torches for Denver firefighters

Tomorrow, some of the country's top glass artists will be getting together at Illuzion Glass Studios on South Broadway to benefit the Friends of the Denver Fire Department. And while it might seem a bit self-serving for a bunch of guys who play with fire and molten glass all day to hold a benefit for firefighters, Illuzion glass employee Mike Peralta says their goals are entirely selfless.

"I have family and friends who have been firefighters," Peralta said. "Budget cuts have given them less and less to work with and they live at this firehouse for three to four days a week. It's good to be able to do anything we can do to make them more comfortable and safe."

The event is organized by The Colorado Project, a collection of local glass artists who get together two or three times a year to show off their skill at creating glass art and pipes, all while raising money for local charities with ticket sales and art auctions.

Colorado glass artists (and a few from outside the Centennial State), including Buck, Cowboy, Ubatuba, Smiley and Eusheen, will be doing live glassblowing demonstrations in the shop, as well as a glass-pulling demonstration on the back patio. This method of stretching and pulling molten hot glass like saltwater taffy is wildly dangerous and incredibly cool to watch.

Entry is $20, but that gets you all you can handle: beverages, food from Moe's Barbecue, music from Sub.mission and the Whomp Truck, plus glassblowing demos -- and again, the money goes to safety and health programs for Denver firefighters.

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I've also been informed that Illuzion Glass has a nice, well-ventilated, secluded rear patio for those of you needing some *ahem* fresh air.

The fun gets underway at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 24, at Illuzion Glass, 238 Broadway. Look below to check out a Double Rainbow piece from a 2010 Colorado Project event, plus this year's flier.

More from our Mile Highs and Lows archive: "Marijuana product review: Heady Glass production oil rig/bubbler combo."

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