Hermit crabs carry their homes on their backs, often retreating into their shell for protection. But now people can see what nature normally covers up.
"It's sort of thinking out of the box," said Robert DuGrenier. DuGrenier is trying to improve on mother nature, making hand blown glass shells for hermit crabs -- he calls them hermit crab mobile homes.
"They have to have the exact weight, the right spiral," he said. "And if they don't want to move in they're not going to move in, which is really kind of amazing." The glass shells are often lighter than nature's version.
Hermit crabs shed their shells and need to find bigger ones all the time. DuGrenier is a glass sculptor in Townshend with 30 years experience. He was working on merging trees with glass, when someone showed him a hermit crab living in a glass bottle. Something clicked and DuGrenier was inspired. "We get orders from all of the world," he said. From aquariums to museums to hermit crab owners, DuGrenier's made over $10,000 shells.
DuGrenier is busy with much more than shells. He fell in love with blown glass when he was 13 -- went to college and grad school to perfect his craft. His first big break was when he was living in New York City and helped restore the Statue of Liberty flame. Next thing he knew, MTV was calling. "They wanted something in glass. They found me through the American Crafts Council and I've been working with them now for 30 years doing the MTV Music Awards and the Movie Awards," he said.
His name then got out to the perfume industry and he started designing and making bottles. "Paul Picasso, Calvin Klein, Nautica -- over the years a ton of different things," he said.
He's a top go-to glass designer. Ninety percent of his business comes from commissions -- working on pieces for high end homes, hotels and restaurants all over the world. He installs everything himself.
As for the crabs, DuGrenier is working with national pet store Petco -- hoping to be on store shelves soon.
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>