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Now's a GREAT Time to Take a Class

Updated: Apr 19

I recently had two glass students, Kim and Bill, from Salida, in for a Beginning Fused Glass with Micro-kilns class, and we had a great time. In addition to them getting to create some wonderful jewelry using a Microwave kiln (they're magic, I tell ya!), I got to turn them on to the amazing world of kiln-formed glass. No, I guess it's not as sexy as torchwork (nod here to my friend, Barry Stevens at Vulcan Art Glass here in BV), but it's still sexy all the same, and in a way that maybe torchwork is to a lesser degree.

Why do I say that? Torchworkers, after all, get to see and handle that hot ball of glass directly. Kilnwork, on the other hand, is kind of like a complicated infatuation: you don't know until the next day, or sometimes several days or weeks, even, if the TLC you've poured into your relationship with the piece actually did the trick. As glass artist Tim Carey observes, "I don't know of any other medium where you get that big reveal every day."

Kim and Bill and I talked about that some as they began the process of putting down the scoring tool onto their glass and stacking pieces together. Then there's that built-in hour-long break in the class where we have to wait until the kilns cool. If you don't run errands, I'll have to yack your head off about glass. But the class delay is about 1 hour, while working with a larger kiln can be at least 24 hours until you can look. If kilnwork teaches nothing else, it teaches patience--and that, on both ends of the process.

Learning by jewelry fabrication is a great start if you've never done any sort of glass work. The materials are economical, so a failed project isn't a big loss for either me or a student, but usually what happens is at least one piece of jewelry comes out great, and often all of them do. And when you have to punt a little, as we did the other night to save a pair of earrings, even that is satisfying in the end. But let's say nothing you create works out (which is rare)? Come back and do it again for FREE.

Kim and Bill had basically no prior experience with glass, and now they're HOOKED. Learning just a few basic principles, sprinkling in some curiosity, adding a small risk or two, and cooking all that up creates something addicting. And I'll admit it freely, as will all of my other glass-working friends: WE ARE ADDICTS.

The other wonderful thing for me was witnessing Kim's and Bill's enthusiasm, and from every student I've had the pleasure of meeting--again, sort of like a new relationship. And I'm lucky enough to help them all realize their new goals. And because enthusiasm is infectious, it's helping me get on with my long-term glass goals.

Here is just a small sample of some of the jewelry students have created over the years. (Kim's and Bill's is the first image.) The creativeness I see is endless, so that means YOU can do it, too.

And here's a special perk, if you've read this far: Mother's Day is coming up Sunday, May 12th, so moms, bring your daughters (call about age limits for younger students), and daughters, bring your moms! Mention this blog post and you'll get $15 OFF your total class tuition. Just click "Classes" on the menu to get started. and shoot me an email or call. I can't wait to see you!

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