Discover the Best Glass Blowing Classes in NYC
People have been blowing glass since the 1st century B.C.E. The process involves heating glass in a furnace until it becomes molten, and then shaping it by blowing air into it through a tube. Glass Blowers use a variety of techniques, including molding and cutting, to create a range of different glass creations such as bowls, glasses, vases, and ornaments. Some Glass Blowers work alone, but many find that an assistant is necessary for certain parts of the process.
Why You Should Learn Glass Blowing in NYC
People learn glass blowing for a number of different reasons. For many, it is a way to make a living, for others a creative outlet, and some do it as a way to connect with a larger community of individuals. Whatever the reason, learning glass blowing can be a highly rewarding experience. Glass Blowers have a lot of creative freedom and can experiment with different shapes, colors, and textures to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that aren’t found anywhere else. In addition, glass blowing has been around for hundreds of years, and by learning it, Glass Blowers can connect with a rich cultural history.
Learning this specialized skill can lead to a variety of job opportunities including in art, design, and manufacturing. For instance, some Glass Blowers make artisan pieces in art studios or other small businesses. Others mass-produce glass items for glass factories, where they mass-produce items. Some Glass Blowers specialize in repairing original glass pieces.
In-Person Glass Blowing Classes & Schools in NYC
New York City has one of the most diverse artist communities in the United States, including many Glass Blowers, and students interested in learning this skill can do so by taking an in-person glass blowing class. UrbanGlass is one popular glass blowing school. It is located in Brooklyn, which is less than ten miles away from downtown New York. Founded in 1977, UrbanGlass strives to advance the use of glass as a creative medium by supporting and encouraging artists. It offers a variety of different glass blowing classes, and is the largest public-access glass facility in the New York metropolitan area. This organization also serves as a studio for over a hundred different artists who work with glass.
Introduction to Glass Blowing is a popular class at UrbanGlass. In this course, beginning students can learn the fundamentals of glass blowing, and develop basic hand skills. Students also work up to more complicated shapes and techniques, and learn color techniques such as wraps and overlays. This class has six three-hour sessions, and costs $855 in total. UrbanGlass also teaches Shapes & Forms: Intermediate Glass Blowing, where students focus on creating cylinders, spheres, cones, and bowls. In this course, the instructor covers smart setups, and using heat to blow glass smoothly and efficiently. There are a total of six class sessions, with each session running for three hours. Tuition is $815. Students who want to take this class need to have some previous glass blowing experience.
In addition to these two classes, UrbanGlass runs many other classes related to glass blowing, and focused on a variety of different techniques and specializations. In Getcha Glow On, students learn how to make neon signs or sculpture, from start to finish. There is a demonstration of how glass tubes are processed and filled with gas so that they produce light. There are a total of 8 sessions in this course, and tuition is $1,065. No previous experience is required.
Introduction to Boro is a weekend course made up of two sessions, with a cost of $540. It is focused on working with borosilicate glass, and includes both demonstrations and hands-on work so that students can gain the dexterity and hand-eye coordination needed in flameworking. Students learn to work with an open flame, apply color, and create a number of different objects. No previous experience is required.
New York City students who like to work with glass may also be interested in learning how to create stained glass. Valeria Divinorum offers Stained Glass Lessons, a two-hour course for $175. Students learn how to make a design, cut and smooth pieces of glass, and use copper foil to wrap the pieces. Next, they learn how to join the pieces with solder, create 2D and 3D shapes, and alter the finish if desired. Students are encouraged to take at least two classes in order to master these techniques. Valeria Divinorum is a visual artist and architect based in Queens. She specializes in stained glass sculptural objects.
Another stained glass option is Make a Stained Glass Work of Art, which is offered by Craftsman Ave. This four-hour workshop costs $255. Instructors cover the entire Tiffany stained glass process, which includes choosing and shaping each glass element, and soldering them together. Students are encouraged to come to class with design ideas that consist of eight pieces or less. Craftsman Ave is located in Brooklyn, and runs creative workshops on many different topics.
Virtual Glass Blowing Classes & Schools
Virtual classes offer more flexibility than in-person instruction because they allow students to attend from anywhere. As a result, students who are open to online training have a lot more class options. Like the in-person format, virtual classes include real-time instruction and feedback from a live instructor. However, students who take virtual classes typically need to supply their own materials, which can be difficult in the case of something like glass blowing, where expensive and specialized equipment is required. As a result, students interested in virtual glass blowing classes may find that there are limited options.
There are a number of other virtual classes that involve working with glass though. For example, CraftJam runs a class called Glass Etching, where students learn a variety of different glass etching techniques. CraftJam runs craft workshops both in person and virtually, arguing that being creative is extremely beneficial to mental health and cognition. Its glass etching workshop takes place via Zoom, and costs $27. Students must have etching solution, brushes, stencils, and four glasses to etch on.
The Chicago Botanic Garden also offers a variety of virtual glasses, concluding some that involve working with glass. A Starry Night in Glass Mosaics cost $249, and has two sessions that take place through Zoom. Students in this class learn how to create a mosaic of the famous “Starry Night” painting that was done by Vincent Van Gogh.
Students who like to work with glass may also enjoy other types of hands-on art processes. For instance, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers a class called Introduction to Weaving. In this class, which runs for eight sessions, students learn a number of different weaving techniques including basket, twill, pile, and twining. If they don’t have a loom, instructors teach them how to make one. The price of this class is $374.
Artists of any type can also benefit by learning more about color. Color Mixing is another hands-on class where instructors focus on mixing accurate and vivid colors. It runs for six sessions and costs $374. As part of the class, students create charts that they can use for permanent reference. While students use watercolor in this course, they can apply their knowledge to other mediums.
Private Group Glass Blowing Classes in NYC
Glass blowing can be fun to learn with a group, such as with friends or co-workers. CourseHorse offers glass blowing classes for private groups in New York City. It also offers a range of other group classes. For instance, Glass Etching is a popular private class, where an instructor teaches participants to etch designs on glass. The class begins with students creating stencils with an x-acto knife and cutting board. They then transfer their designs permanently to drinking classes, with etching creme. This class lasts for 2 hours, and can be attended by up to 60 people at once.
CourseHorse makes the entire process easy with no booking fees and no registration required. It also sends a class confirmation within 24 hours of a booking being made. Groups who book through CourseHorse can also make changes to their total group size up until 24 hours before the event, as long as they have met the minimum group size. Email CourseHorse to find out more about scheduling a private event for a group.