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Program 815

1. Hawksview Gallery
2. woodturner Ron Thomas
3. the wild side of Mammoth Cave
Season 8 Menu

Bullitt County

For more information:
• Hawksview Gallery and Café, 170 Carter Avenue, Louisville, KY 40229, (502) 955-1010

Producer: David Brinkley


Hawksview Gallery

In the Bullitt County town of Brooks, just outside Louisville, you’ll find a small shop that residents consider one of the area’s best-kept secrets: the Hawksview glassblowing studio and store. Here, Michael and Bernie North and fellow artists turn out colorful, glittering creations in full view of visitors who stop by for the free tours.

Though they make a wide variety of finished works, the Hawksview trademark (and the shop’s biggest seller) is vibrantly colored glass angelfish in various sizes. During our tour, we see molten glass become one of these fish in a process that’s both exhilaratingly fast-moving—since the glass is workable for only a few minutes at a time—and artistically inspired.

Hawksview also now offers a café, open for weekday lunches and Saturday brunch, where patrons can watch the artists at work through a large observation window or dine among finished works in the gallery.

Jefferson County

For more information:
• Ron Thomas Designs, 6820 Vandre, Louisville, KY 40228, (502) 968-7360

Producer, editor: Connie Offutt
Videographer: Mike Blackburn

Turn, Turn, Turn

Woodturner Ron Thomas

Our next artist for the day is woodturner Ron Thomas of Louisville, who is known particularly for his beautiful bowls. Since his first show appearance in 1991, Ron has won numerous awards for his work. The secret, he says, is to find and enhance the beauty that is already inside the wood.

“Every piece of wood holds within it a unique pattern and exquisiteness given to it by nature,” he explains. “The challenge is then mine: to find it, enhance it, and ultimately to create a harmony between its intrinsic beauty and my human efforts and my willingness to push a medium past its known artistic limits.”

Edmonson County

For more information:
Mammoth Cave National Park, P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259, (270) 758-2180

Producer, editor: David Brinkley
Videographers: David Brinkley, Cheryl Beckley

Going Wild

Mammoth Cave’s wild cave tour

More than a million people visit Mammoth Cave each year, and the vast majority of them are content to see some of its sights while strolling along wide, smooth, well-lit, guardrail-protected passages. But every once in a while, groups of these visitors are startled to see, squirming their way up out of mysterious holes, muddied but determined representatives of another breed of tourist—the “wild cave tour” ticketholder.

Mammoth’s wild cave tour gives a few hardy souls a day the chance to experience a decidedly different view of the world’s longest cave system. Led by experienced rangers—some of whom spend a lot of their free time adding to the map of Mammoth’s passages on their own—wild cavers crawl through low tunnels on their hands and knees (and sometimes their elbows and stomachs), straddle fissures, and squeeze through tiny openings to get a taste of the less tamed parts of the cave.

And for this report, Kentucky Life does it all while carrying a video camera!

(This segment previously aired as part of Program 511.)

SEASON 8 PROGRAMS: 801802803804805806807808
809: Simple Pleasures and Hidden Treasures810811812813

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