In light of the climate emergency we all face and our responsibility to our children, grandchildren and to Life itself, Terra Studios will in January 2020 suspend creation of the Bluebirds of Happiness®. Terra Studios will continue to be a wonderful, creative and unique place, and hopes you will join in the adventure of “using art to create a better world.”
Bluebird demonstrations will proceed through this holiday season. Please visit Terra Studios and celebrate how the Bluebirds of Happiness® have brought joy to so many lives and share Bluebird of Happiness® anecdotes and stories at [email protected]. Current Bluebird of Happiness® inventory is expected to last throughout 2020. Terra Studios hopes the Bluebird of Happiness® can continue its legacy when solutions are accessible.
“Please know we are not making this decision lightly. After careful thought, consideration and countless conversations, and understanding the full financial ramifications, we believe taking action is our only option. The future is at stake!”
– James Ulick, founder and board president of Using Art to Create a Better World
“Glass blowing involves burning a lot of natural gas and electricity thereby producing a tremendous amount of greenhouse gasses that seriously threaten this marvelous earth we all share,”
“Therefore, Bluebird of Happiness® and all hot glass demonstrations will be suspended until the technology becomes available to create the Bluebirds without damaging our natural environment. Solutions already exist, yet are not being implemented. We urgently need to join together to bring about the changes necessary to cope with the global climate emergency.”
The world famous Bluebird of Happiness® has been produced at Terra Studios in Northwest Arkansas for 37 years. In 2014, Terra Studios transitioned to become a nonprofit arts organization, Using Art to Create a Better World, dedicated to promoting the arts and inspiring creativity. Plans are underway for a variety of art demonstrations in lieu of the popular hot glass demos. Interested artists should contact the gallery.
Gideon Bluebird using art to create a better world sketch by Obed Gonzalez; colored by Stephanie Yates
Frequently Asked Questions about the Suspension of Glass and Bluebird Demonstrations:
Is Terra Studios closing?
NO! We are striving to live up to our nonprofit’s mission of Using Art to Create a Better World. We will continue the glass demo through this holiday season (2019) and have plans for a variety of art demonstrations beginning in spring 2020. We’ll also have Art Lab, new art classes and new installations in the Art Park. Please visit!
Are you going to make the Bluebirds ever again?
The hope is that new, green technology will be available to continue the creation of the Bluebirds of Happiness. Terra Studios holds the registered trademark for the Bluebird of Happiness® and will continue to seek and work toward solutions.
What is the Carbon Footprint of a Bluebird of Happiness?
About 55 cf of natural gas goes into each Bluebird of Happiness. A little over a million BTU’s per year is used by the glass furnaces at Terra Studios.
Why are you being political?
We don’t believe the health of the Earth should be a political issue, and we accept the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists who predict catastrophic events if we don’t make necessary changes. Moreover, we believe we are stewards of the earth, and seeing the detrimental effects of our behaviors necessitates action. Also, many of us have grandchildren, so we feel a tremendous responsibility to equip all children with a bright future.
Wow, I respect your decision. What can I do?
Our recommendation is to take a look at your own greenhouse gas footprint and start at the top. Take actions to prioritize and limit your personal/business impact. Here’s a website that will help you identify your C02 emissions: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/consider-your-impact/carbon-calculator/
The actions with the biggest impact are:
Travel: limit air travel; take fewer trips in your car overall and do so as efficiently as possible (public transportation, carpool, planning your route)
Home: switch to green energy; insulate your home; use energy star rated heating/cooling and appliances
Food: limit high-carbon use foods; eat locally grown foods
Shopping: buy locally; reduce, reuse, and recycle
What is the value of my Bluebird of Happiness?
The value of Bluebirds of Happiness® are greater than their sticker price for they are gifts of love and friendship. The current cost for the Bluebirds can be found in our online store – terrastudios.com/store
Will the price go up?
With a limited supply, we expect to raise our prices to cover some energy saving projects at Terra Studios.
Painting of Bluebirds by B. Shelton, 1995, in the collection at Terra Studios
A bluebird story submitted by Stacy Ericson
Once upon a time, the Bluebird of Happiness® sat upon a windowsill and soaked the sweet morning sunshine into her glowing glass heart. In Maine and in Rome and in Belgrade and in San Jose, in Singapore, Oaxaca and in Pine Bluff the little azure bird gazed out at the trees and the grasses, the flowers, the fields and the clouds and listened for the songs of all the other birds. Her glowing heart held all their bright sounds wrapped in light and safely cradled to signify Happiness at home in the world.
Time went by and things began to change. When she gazed into the yellow fields she could no longer hear the meadow larks in the Ozark hills, and the Lazuli Buntings in the forest on the Puget Sound grew silent. In the mountain Meadows only two hummingbirds wrangled over the purple lupine, and in the snow in Carolina only one cardinal appeared at the feeder. The buzzing of bees grew silent and their precious honey like molten glass became rare and precious.
It was hard to hold the fleeting gift of happiness in a tiny blue fire so hungry for the sound of birdsong. Our bluebird longed for the sound of the whippoorwill at dawn, the scolding robin at noon, the bullbats at dusk and the owls whispering in the dead of night. In her own blue heart of fire, she saw their vanishing harmonies as a call to love. Born of fire and daughter of light, she held fast to that hope of happiness for every beating heart. The little bright bird made a difficult promise. She would stay guarding her light on every windowsill and every shelf, but no longer would she be reborn in fire and air until her friends around the world could find a way to build a future filled with birdsong. Now, her presence is more rare, but she reminds our human hearts that the search for happiness is not a lonely one, but carried on the flickering wings of tiny birds everywhere looking to us for their heart, home, and habitat.