An Insider Guide to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale with Sarah Glass

An Insider Guide to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale with Sarah Glass

Artist Sarah Glass shows us around the cool coastal city of Fort Lauderdale, sharing her favourite speakeasies, rooftop pools and museums. Consider this your ultimate handbook for a culture-filled escape

by picture-perfect Palm Beach and seriously sexy
Miami, the coastal city of Fort Lauderdale has long served predominantly
as a pit-stop destination. Recently, however, thanks to a fresh
breed of creatives setting up shop, the place has undergone
something of a renaissance. With independent galleries, boho beach
clubs, design-driven hotels and edgy art studios cropping up along
its sun-kissed coastline, this is fast becoming a go-to destination
for switched-on, sun-seeking Americans and savvy international
travellers alike.

Enter, Sarah Glass – the woman behind the city’s thriving
pottery studio Sarah Glass Ceramics and the chair of the Fort
Lauderdale Public Art Placement and Advisory Board. Specialising in
porcelain, stoneware, dinnerware and decor, Sarah uses her downtime
to recharge and seek inspiration in the city’s many art hubs. We
caught up with her to get the inside scoop on the coolest brunch
spots, the best places to dance the night away and the local
artisans and crafters that are making waves.

Cool craft stores and beautiful bistros: in conversation with
Sarah Glass

Sarah Glass making ceramics
Sarah Glass Ceramics crafting

Sarah Glass crafting, left, and a pottery wheel in

Tell us the backstory of Sarah Glass Ceramics.

I started the brand in 2016. Pottery was a hobby of mine and
something that I liked to indulge in when I worked in finance. It
wasn’t until I started to share snapshots on social media that I
found an audience of people with an appetite to try the craft
themselves. From there, I set up a listing for pottery classes in
South Florida using the Meetup app – a platform that connects
communities and allows exposure for startup brands.

Having started out in one incredibly small studio, with just a
single wheel in the kitchen, it has taken years of generosity from
mentors and empowering women to get us where we are today: an airy
studio with nine wheels. It’s been a long and, at times,
challenging journey that has required commitment and dedication,
but patience and resilience has taken us to where we are now.

What do you and your students get out of your classes?

The dream was to create a studio that I would enjoy going to,
but being able to teach people has allowed pottery to become my
career. It brings me so much joy to meet different people from all
over the world; hearing their stories and being able to provide
them with local recommendations is so rewarding. My classes allow
students to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of all
that goes into ceramics. It has brought so much positivity into my
life and I’m so grateful to be in a position where I can share that
with others.

What sets you apart from other ceramics studios?

Without sounding clichéd, it is genuinely the vibes. People who
visit the studio are often seeking a place where they can be
creative and socialise with like-minded individuals.

Pottery for me is a practice of mindfulness and meditation. And
I love that I’m able to share my enthusiasm for design with others.
Our pottery studio is located in a beautiful, Spanish-influenced
building overlooking the heart of downtown – it’s one of Fort
Lauderdale’s oldest buildings, which feels incredibly special.

Sarah Glass Ceramics

Inside Sarah Glass Ceramics studio, left, and a clay

Describe Fort Lauderdale’s vibe.

Fort Lauderdale is laid-back, beachy and eclectic. It’s a
progressive city that has a heart that beats for community and

When’s the best time to visit?

Fort Lauderdale is exceptionally stunning in the winter, when
the air is fresher and there’s a slower pace, but you can still go
and sit on a white-sand beach and essentially do everything you
would in the summertime. It’s such a blessing to host events and
workshops year-round.

Where should we stay?

. There are several excellent in-house restaurants and a
chic rooftop pool to splash around in. The rooms are a haven for
interior design lovers, with abstract prints, art deco furnishings
and floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping skyline views.

Where should we head for breakfast?

Head to DUNE
by Laurent Tourondel
. The sea-facing restaurant is known for
its brunch offering – think steak and eggs meets tuna, salmon and
hamachi poke bowls. If the blue crab benedict is on the menu, order
it – and wash it down with a bloody mary. Party people should visit
on the weekend, when local DJs spin classic tracks.

What about a long, lazy lunch?

The husband-and-wife-owned Magnolia Caffee is an unassuming
French bistro just a few blocks away from our pottery store. The
interiors are antique, vintage or handmade and all items are
purchasable – yep, seriously. It’s borderline impossible to not
spend an entire afternoon here.

Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Bar

Fort Lauderdale beach, left, and a cocktail bar.

And for an evening drink…

Swing by Rooftop @1WLO. It’s the place to go for front-row
sunset views across the city, plus impressive cocktails.
Sophisticated speakeasy Mama Hank’s is another great option.

What is the nightlife scene like?

Fort Lauderdale truly comes alive at night. Check out Rhythm &
if you feel like dancing. Locals will tell you that
Revolution Live is the place to go for live music.

Which galleries should we check out?

The NSU Art
is a must-see. It’s currently got a Keith Haring
exhibition on, which includes drawings and an iconic print series.
The permanent collection is spectacular, too. You can also find my
pottery for sale in the gift boutique.

If you fancy venturing a little further afield, grab the new
high-speed train, the Brightline, to the Norton Museum of

Do you have a favourite museum?

It’s got to be the Newfields Museum, in Indianapolis. You could
easily spend an entire day there and only just scratch the surface
of all that it has to offer. The art collection is phenomenal and
there’s an enormous garden lined with overgrown apple trees where
you can have a picnic.

Any must-visit boutiques or craft stores we should know

Two women-owned boutiques are The Wander Shop
and Montce. They’re both stocked with bright, colourful
clothes and accessories, and are just a short walk away from our

Fort Lauderdale Gardens
Craft Store Fort Lauderdale

The Japanese Gardens at the Morikami Museum, left, and a
craft boutique.

Any other artisans or crafters doing interesting things in Fort

You’ll spot artist Danny Doya’s monumental murals dotted around
the downtown area, and the Flagler Village neighbourhood is
brimming with street art. Cara Eve Designs is a great local
business that transforms wasted flowers from weddings and special
events into gorgeous utilitarian pieces such as bookends and
perfume trays.

Anything a drive away that’s worth a visit?

Miami Beach and Palm Beach. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is
well worth the drive, too.

Something to bring back as a souvenir?

Handcrafted art, of course! And a tan.

The Lowdown | @sarahglass_ceramics

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