We still have a long way to go before we can get in to the new building and put in our public glass studio. All the framing is almost done and the sprinklers are going in. We are currently waiting on the window frames and glass for windows.
In the meantime, there is much to be done. From coming up with a name to business plans, marketing campaigns (like this blog), grants, website design (launching soon), proper ventilation design, electrical and plumbing, working with distributors to get equipment and materials for classes, lining up artists and teachers and places to put students up, displays, etc... this project truly involves and affects the local community and the larger glass community that I am connected to.
In the end we will have a state of the art studio for people to come and learn one of the most approachable forms of working with hot glass. While we will do the standard "blow-your-own" ornament, flower, cup, etc. events that most glass studios do, our focus will be a little different. Known as lamp-working, flame-working or torch-working; in a previous blog post I discussed the type of glassblowing that we will be teaching.
I will still be traveling some and bringing glass into the schools, as I have done for many years, but now schools can come to me for students to learn and be exposed to glassblowing. Many for the first time. I remember the first time I first saw glassblowing at the Penland when I was just 13. Obviously it made an impression.
For those wishing to build a good foundation and gain a deeper understanding of glass over time, the general curriculum of the studio will be as follows:
1. Intro Classes - glass beads, marbles, animals
4. Cold working - cutting, grinding, polishing, sandblasting
I will go into more detail about our curriculum in my next blog.
5. Other glass techniques - "warm glass" fusing, enameling, jewelry making, etc.
This is where some of the invited instructors will play an important role in our studio's community. We want our students to be able to have a well rounded glass education. Let us know what you would like to learn!
We have a great lineup of teachers already committed to coming down to teach specific skills in 2018. I don't want to name any names until this reality gets closer but these classes will fill up fast.
The classes with be ever rotating and changing based on what our students want. I hope that you can come join me for a class. I look forward to sharing everything I know about the history and techniques used in creating with glass.