Sometimes it helps to have a common set of terms to use. We feel this is important to differentiate between the various types of glass opportunities that we offer. We have five basic terms that we use in our reservations: Experiences, Events, Watch & Learn, Classes, and Projects. Each one reflects a different level of observation or hands-on activity.
There is nothing more exciting for us than having someone see glassblowing for the first time up close and personal. Typically there is this massive smile on the participant’s face and sparkle in their eye. Their heart is pounding so hard, and you can almost hear it. That is why we call our first-time adventures with glass Experiences.
We offer a variety of Experiences that someone can do once or twenty times. The customer uses our online booking system to decide what to make and when to make it. There are a couple of individual experiences, but we have two people involved most of the time, and we make two pieces, so each person gets a choice. After all, glassblowing is naturally a team effort, and sometimes it takes two or an entire village! For our Experiences, we work with up to four people. After that, we call them Events! There is always the ability to reserve adjacent time slots so more than four people can participate. If those are available, it is a great way to have fun together. If you need help finding them or you need more than three slots, give us a call.
In an Experience, you get to pick out your forms and make any decisions for that form. We have over 100 colors, so you get to pick two of these for your piece. Sometimes this is the most challenging part and can take the most extended amount of time. You will get to help apply the color and then assist in blowing and shaping the piece as much as health protocols allow.
Your experienced guide, known in glass terms as the gaffer, will share exciting factoids with you. So enjoy the learning too!
Glass must cool slowly in the annealer, a specialty kiln that will keep them warm till the end of the day (set at about 940 degrees F). After that, they will be taken down slowly to their strain point, about another 100 degrees lower until they equilibrate and then down 40 degrees /hour until ambient. So your piece won’t be ready to take home until about noon on our next business day.
An Event in the hot shop is when you have more than about four people. For Events, there are lots of options. You can bring your favorite club, church group, work colleagues, or family to a narrated glassblowing demonstration and be “Blown Away” right here in our studio. Or, you can choose what forms the group will make, and then, everyone will get to choose their individualized colors. Each person can make a piece of Glass. Another option is to make the pieces ahead of time, and then the group could watch the creation of a medium-large piece of art live. If you choose to purchase it, the glass art could belong to the group or an individual. Another option is to have everyone participate in making one piece that will go to one individual. The possibilities are pretty limitless. Call us, and we will help make your event meet your needs!
Watch & Learn
Developed and available for the covid pandemic. We modified our format and added additional health protocols to keep both you and our glassmakers safe! Basically, this is a narrated demo for your “quarantine group”. The difference is you get to select the forms and the colors, and we make them for you while you watch. Because our glassmakers will be blowing glass, they will not be wearing facial coverings. The pipes, benches, and equipment are being sanitized regularly, and we ask that you wear facial coverings and honor social distancing! Because this is not a hands-on experience, no safety waivers are required.
We use the term classes when you are taking a session that is hands-on teaching where you learn to do something yourself. Your piece is not “saved” by the instructor, it will show you what you are doing right and what needs to be improved upon.
Learn to Blow
Want to learn to blow glass? Want to start back after a lengthy hiatus? Then take one of our Six-Week Glassblowing Class Sessions.
We love teaching, sharing our knowledge, and enthusiasm for Glass as the material of choice. We use a systemic approach to teach glassblowing in a series of three progressive six-week classes.
Classes in our six-week sessions meet one time a week for three hours for six weeks. If you miss a class, it is best to make it up before the next one so that you can stay on track (we allow one free make-up per six-week session). Each class and course builds on the previous one.
The six-week sessions require a minimum of two students. Four students are the maximum per instructor. So, there is plenty of one-on-one time.
If you have limited experience, you begin with the foundation course, Introduction to Beginning Glassblowing. If you are uncertain of your placement, we provide a skills test, and the results determine the appropriate level. After you complete the first six-week session, if you feel ready (and we agree), you can begin renting time in the studio to practice and build on what you have learned. Our glassblowing instruction series is a systematic approach, with each session building on the previous learnings.
We have developed a progressive series of kiln-forming classes that are available once a month. They are all about working with glass in the Warm Studio (temperatures are normally less than 1700 degrees F). The classes are held on the 2nd weekend of the month and progress from the Fundamentals of Kiln-Forming to Creating Visual & Tactile Textures in Kiln-Formed Glass to Letting your Creativity Flow and Putting it all Together. Please bring a sketchbook and writing utensil along with any needed sustenance. An open and creative mind will add more to the fun! All supplies included. Classes are limited to six participants.
We have at least twelve different types of projects to work on. These pieces can be designed and set up for the kiln in about two and a half hours. All kiln firing is done post-class. The goal is to make something, learn something, and have a fun time. Classes are held on Thursday nights and are limited to 6 participants.