Candice Norcross started her career as an artist, inspired to create objects of beauty. Her vision, her imagination, and her skills created beautiful containers for fine wine and changed philanthropy on the Central Coast. Candice’s etched bottles helped to raise millions of dollars for charities in San Luis Obispo County. They preserve the history of our finest Central Coast wines. She has also provided the music and movie industries with commissioned bottles to publicize new films and great musicians.
Candice learned the art of etching from a glass artist in Lompoc. Candice was able to create her own designs in his studio. She has a special gift for working on glass. Her works are considered “fine arts” and have been exhibited at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Her Christmas ornaments on the Christmas tree in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, D. C. have been seen by thousands of visitors.
In 1994 Candice set up her own studio behind her home on the Nipomo Mesa. Candice had developed a philosophy that anything can be reproduced on glass. She started marketing to potential etching clients in the fast-growing wine industry on the Central Coast. Candice’s first order came from Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez.
Her etchings recreated the labels of wine and champagne bottles on the front and back of bottles of all sizes. She soon had seven employees who worked as a team to learn each step in the process of etching.
Philanthropy on the Central Coast and Candice’s life changed dramatically when she met the late Archie McLaren, Executive Director of the Central Coast Wine Classic. For years Archie had commissioned local artists to make the wine awards presented at the Central Coast Wine Classic. Archie was inspired by Candice’s work. He asked her to participate as an artist, designing the bottles of wines to be auctioned for charity at the annual event. Candice’s career and her fame grew as she learned to recreate wine labels in meticulous detail for generous donors and to design new artworks for Classic Cuvees, the blended wines, on large bottles. Candice etched each of the annual Wine Classic Commemorative wine bottles filled with local wine; they were auctioned at the KCBX and Central Coast Wine Classics to raise money for the radio station and over one hundred local charities.
Business continued to grow as local wineries realized their vintage wines could be commemorated in beautiful bottles, presented as works of art. Many of these bottles can be seen in the collection of the Wine History Project and some were included in the exhibit the Dallidet Adobe in May and June 2018 and were also included in the Wine Becomes Art at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in April 2019. An ongoing display of bottles can be found in San Luis Obispo at the offices of the Wine History Project and the Paso Robles Historical Society.
In addition to this work, Candice’s specialty became the hand-painted reproductions of original and master paintings. The Wine History Project’s collection includes The Boating Party by Renoir, The Kiss by Gustave Klimt, and a beautiful Tiffany window. These reproductions appear on magnums, jeroboams, and imperials, the larger sizes of wine bottles. Candice has etched very special bottles for her own collection celebrating her son’s birth and her father’s favorite western hero, Davy Crockett.
Candice is married to her high school sweetheart and retired in 2018 to Paradise, California. Her new home and studio escaped destruction in the Camp Fire, the single most destructive fire in California which occurred during August of 2018.