This post is a long time coming. I took this insanely incredible class a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it…or looking up torches on Amazon. Artisan Collective is a cool studio packed full of locally made goods and a calendar full of amazing classes where you can brush up on your pottery, painting, silversmithing and yes, glassblowing skills.
My teacher, Mike Hurst, was as hilarious as he was informative, which was lots if you were wondering. The glassblowing classroom is an open space that anyone can stop by and check out while browsing wares in the store. At first, this made me nervous, but as I got more comfortable blowing the glass, I started to feel like a badass. Hey, random customer, I made this glass thing with fire!
First step in our class was to talk about safety. Not going to lie, I got caught up taking photos and had to have my friends debrief me. Don’t be like me, pay attention! Next, we picked out our glass colors and sat down to fire it up. Mike clamped the glass down and turned our torches on. The trick is to roll the glass and move it back and forth until it gets all nice and melty like taffy and then go to town twisting it. There’s no wrong way to do this really, as long as you don’t set your hair on fire you are good to go.
Once our glass was melty and twisty, we were ready to form it into the shape we wanted. I chose the easiest form I could think of, lumpy and lopsided, and I nailed it! My favorite part was watching the colors change and melt together. Once the shape is to your liking, it’s time to make a hole in the pendant with a metal clamp. Beware, this makes a noise like nails on a chalkboard. After that, your piece goes in the kiln to cure overnight. I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be taking home a treasure right away and because the colors aren’t fully formed until then, I nearly died from the anticipation. It was worth it, though, the pieces turned out so beautiful!
I can’t get enough of Artisan collective. The classes are easy, informative, fun and not too long. You leave with a cool treasure and a ton of new knowledge. The prices are very affordable, and best of all, you are supporting a local business. Check it out and get your crafty on!