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Pete VanderLaan 05-09-2002 11:15 AM


Penland Glass School
P.O. Box 37 Penland N.C. 28765

I love Penlands' approach. If you are new to glass you are not made to feel subhuman, they teach you basics instead. If you are advanced, you are taught accordingly. Beautiful place and great people.

Pilchuck Glass School
315 2ns Avenue South
Suite 200 Seattle WA 98104

I only recommend Pilchuck to experienced glassblowers who have design issues and don't
mind working in a zoo where everyone is totally self concious. As a beginner, Pilchuck can tear you to shreds. Go to Penland if you are just starting. If you are very clear on what you are doing, Pilchuck can be fantastic.

Pratt Fine Arts Center
1902 S. Main Seattle WA 98144

I have heard mixed reviews on Pratt. Lately a lot of complaints about glass quality. It has certainly been around a long time and everyone has glass problems now and then

Sheridan College
1430 Trafalgar Road
Oakville Ontario
Canada L6H2L1
905-815-4043 FAX

I just sent one of my assistants to go to school here and he likes it.

Steinert Glass School
1507 Franklin Ave
Kent Ohio
330-678-8238 FAX
Beginning and Advanced Glassblowing, Sandcasting, fusing, slumping, bead making and blacksmithing

Pretty new, I am really clueless about it.

The Studio at Corning
One Corning Glass Center
Corning New York 14830
607-974-6370 FAX

Great facility, great teachers, fairly good music, great reference library, great museum,
Summer and winter programs. Be there.

Sydney College of the Arts
University of Sydney
Philip Gissing, Admissions and Courses

I think the neatest glass in the world is coming out of Austrailia right now. Learn to speak Fosters, Australian for Beer

Wanganui Polytechnic
57 Cambell Street

Certificate and diploma in Glass
Design and Production issues
Summer program.

Think Down Under. Think Kiwi

Rich Samuel 05-09-2002 07:45 PM


I haven't blown at Pratt in years, but with a friend like this I suppose the glass quality will improve considerably! :eek:

Is Dave Traub still teaching at Wanganui? Haven't heard from him in ages.

And, for this schools list, are you interested in private/commercial hotshops that offer classes? There are a bunch in Seattle, however I can't personally vouch for any of them.

Rich S.

06-20-2002 07:59 PM

Hot Glass in Los Angeles?
Are there any STUDIOS in Los Angeles that offer classes or rent shop time?

Pete VanderLaan 06-21-2002 10:30 AM

I think the best place to check would actually be at Palomar Junior College down in San Marcos in San Diego County. They have had an active glass community for decades and would best be able to direct you to an LA hotshop. :dog:

06-21-2002 11:01 AM

Studio Search
Thanks for the advice. I've looked into Palomar & met some people from there at the Palo Alto Show but I just don't understand why LA County lacks accessible hotshops. San Diego is 1 1/2 hour drive. Every studio I've contacted in LA so far is private. My business partner and I moved from Seattle where hotshops were found on just about every corner! What's the deal with LA??? Is there some industry secret I'm unaware of???


Pete VanderLaan 06-21-2002 11:29 AM

To try to give you a notion, Seattle has the most hot shops in the world with over two hundred. It is followed by Murano, San Francisco, Penland NC, Santa Fe. LA is far far behind. It is not a normal experience to find Hot shops. They aren't burger Kings. You don't get it your way..
Santa Fe has at least seventeen hot shops and none of them are public. There are no hot shops in Albuquerque which is eight times the size of Santa Fe and only sixty miles away.
San Diego used to have no hot shops with the exception of the Blogett family. Now they are all over the place but that may be temporaryt given
the vagaries of the energy situation in Southern cal.

06-21-2002 12:04 PM

I'm still very surprised that a huge city like LA doesn't have more to offer. I've been searching for about a year and travel 1 1/2 hours to San Diego and Laguna Bch as much as I can but as you might know, driving is a nightmare here! I've even taken special weekend trips back to Seattle!

It seems to me that LA needs to get with it. And because hotshops are simply not Burger Kings, my business partner and I have decided to open a public accessible studio - by the looks of things, maybe the first ever in this town!

Guess if you want something done,
Your Way --
You gotta do it yourself!
Little Burger Queen ;)

Pete VanderLaan 06-21-2002 04:10 PM

well, when I think of Murano, San Francisco, Penland and Santa Fe, they have one thing in common that LA Doesn't have. They're really beautiful. :dog:

Mike Firth 06-21-2002 08:21 PM

UrbanGlass has classes, not sure how good.
Haystack in Maine has craft classes and a few glass classes, but one of those is with Lino! (see my page )

Toledo OH has a substantial number of studios in the area.

Could it be that LA lacks studios due to a lack of commitment to quality ;-)

Pete VanderLaan 06-21-2002 09:46 PM

more like a lack of committment to reality.

While I am aware that Urban offers classes as does Haystack, I am looking for a review by someone who has gone to school there. :dog:

Eben Horton 10-22-2002 10:44 AM


Originally posted by Pete VanderLaan
more like a lack of committment to reality.

While I am aware that Urban offers classes as does Haystack, I am looking for a review by someone who has gone to school there. :dog:

Urban glass, while being a wonderful establishment in a wonderful metro area, is lacking in some major areas, like ventilation, properly engineered equipment, and experienced techs... They offer great classes, with great teachers, and great students participate, but the politics of the place kind of get in the way with a great learning experience. Also a lot of N.Y.C. Glass artists use urban glass as their own studio. Its all very confusing to try to make work there without getting in someone's way.. even if they are in the B-Team.

Mike Firth 10-22-2002 04:56 PM

The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass offers classes year round, mostly a week or two long. I attended a one week class in using wooden molds. Two other classes are held at the same time, normally one using the lampworking studio and one using the "other" room, which was reverse glass painting when I was there, but might be kiln work of various kinds or cold working.
I found the glass work environment tiring, but that was mostly me as I found I was coming down with Lyme disease. The housing is a motel across the street, two to a room, with a pool. Chits for meals are provided at various places, which broke up the group when it might have talked more.
The environment is friendly and the resources of the museum are available. Lunch was brought in, usually cold, and evening sessions discussed various topics. A complete report is on my site

I would also suggest northern Ohio, southern Michigan as an area with a lot of studios, not knowing how many are accessable. Kent State and Bowling Green State are both in the area.

01-01-2003 10:28 PM

Seattle Glassblowing School
I really liked my class at Seattle Glassblowing. Their facilities were well equipped and ventilated. They also rent studio time to ex-students for $38 an hour.

Jeff Wright 01-16-2003 09:04 AM

Toledo Museum of Art glass classes
The Toledo Museum of Art offers beginning, intermediate and advanced glassblowing classes in the fall, winter, and spring. I've attended all of these classes and they are quite good for someone just beginning. There usually is a lot of interest and only a few spots available. They also have open blow times available. Classes and blow slots are three hours once per week for 10 weeks. Since they are somewhat subsidized, prices are very reasonable. Check them out at: Toledo Museum of Art

Rich Samuel 01-16-2003 12:21 PM

Toledo Museum of Art. (Jeff, you had one too many slashes in your link.)

04-14-2003 08:01 AM

Pittsburgh Glass Center
The Pittsburgh Glass Center is a brand new facility that caters to all types of glass artists, from beginning to advanced. I don't want to describe in detail what you can do here, because it will be too long of a thread. But the general feel for the school is very comfortable. The only knowledge I have in hot glass has come from PGC so I can't compare it to other schools or studios, but I have been around some of the best artist/instructors in hot glass and have talked with many students from around the country so far and hear we are the talk of the glass community in different schools and studios. I hear there is a lot of "ego" in glass workers, but I have not experienced it yet. It's as if the staff there goes out of there way to help you. I would definitely suggest looking into there intensive programs this summer!

06-30-2003 09:49 AM

Glass Schools - Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio has three teaching glass facilities:

Glass Axis a non-profit public access studio

Columbus College of Art and Design - This is where I learned glassblowing

The Ohio State University

Check out their web sites for more information.


Brian Gingras 10-19-2003 09:42 AM

simple syrup glass studio, Brockton MA.

We took a class here in September, great experience, great instructor, awesome shop.

Warren Trefz 10-30-2003 10:02 PM

If anyone is passing through the Cincinnati area please stop by River City Works Facility of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. I tech and teach glass for the Academy and am always happy to have visitors. We are pretty much unknown. The shop is not a rental but we do offer classes to the general public through the Community Education program: otherwise, it is for Academy students only. Our address is 532 E. 12th St. The Academy has a website but not much information on the glass facility so it is better to stop in and say "HI!"



Ben Rosenfield 10-31-2003 07:18 AM

Hi Warren. I live in Cincinnati and have wanted to check out River City for some time. I also tried to get into the beginner's glassblowing class, but I guess I called in too late.

Hell, I work on the corner of 8th and Gilbert, so maybe I could stop by for a social call after work some day.

- Ben

Warren Trefz 11-03-2003 06:41 PM


The Community Ed classes fill within the first hours they are offered for registration so you have to be quick. I am not usually there in the evenings but if you call ahead I would be happy to set a time to meet and show you the facility. The RCW number is (513)421-5202 and just remind me you are from the Craftweb. Hope to hear from you and that goes for anyone else out there.



Ben Rosenfield 11-04-2003 07:47 AM

Will do, Warren. Thanks. :)

Jeff Hoover 11-09-2003 09:40 PM

I've never studied there, but the staff I met at yesterday's open house seemed skilled and friendly.

"Chicago Hot Glassí 3200 square foot facility features a complete glass working studio including:
  • furnace with 400 pounds of Spruce Pine clear crystal & 100 pounds of color
  • (4)20-pound pot electric color furnace
  • 4 glory holes
  • 7 annealers of various sizes
  • cold shop with grinding wheel and a belt sander, sandblaster
  • gallery
All facilities are available for rental to approved renters at an hourly rate.

Contact Chicago Hot Glass at 773-394-3252 for more information."

Ted Trower 11-10-2003 09:36 AM

College For Creative Studies
The College for Creative Studies in Detroit has a glass program.
I've attended their extension courses for non-matriculated students. The studio is two day tank furnaces, two glory holes and three benches. Maximum of eight student in a class, some I took were not full in summer. One blower will use the furnace for their glory. One furnace is batching at all times. Glass quality (spruce pine) was pretty good though at the time I didn't know the difference. The extension courses are split into the beginner and the intermediate but most of the students were pretty much beginners. This means that you want to arrive early and get on a bench right away, otherwise you will probably only get one turn at the bench per class. In a once a week class that isn't enough. Studio ventilation is pretty good but it does get hot in the summer. Lots of natural light as two walls are all windows. The cold shop is well equipped but poorly supervised. Definitely ask for help if you are unfamiliar with the equipment. Locker space is at a premium and goes to the enrolled students. Be prepared to haul your gear in and out with you each week if you are in the extension program.

I really cannot comment upon the program for full time students but the work they were doing was pretty impressive to me at the time.

Jerry Flanary 11-30-2003 10:44 AM

In case anyone needed to know:
Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, VA has a fledgling glass program on the roof of the Visual Arts Center in Downtown Portsmouth. 1 300# tank, 2 big holes, 2 anneallers, 1 on its way, little colorbox, pipe warmer, pipe cooler onits way. It's nice blowing glass on the roof.

01-14-2004 02:19 PM

School Listings
Firehouse Glass is located in Vancouver, WA, just outside of Portland, OR. We offer year-round classes in glassblowing, casting, kilnforming, torchworking and coldworking. We offer studio rental every day from 9:00 am - 10:00 pm.

Our facility has been praised by such people as Fritz Dreisbach as one of the nicest studios in the country. We have a complete hotshop that was designed by Fred Metz at Spiral Arts, including (2) benches, (2) 17" glory holes, a 550# day tank furnace, a garage, (2) front loading annealers, powder box, colorpot furnace and all of the tools and toys one could imagine.

We also have complete coldworking, kilnforming, and torchworking studios that are fully equiped and available for rental.

More information can be found at

Give us a call or drop if you are in the area!

Warren Trefz 03-22-2004 09:51 AM

Art Academy of Cin. glass shop
If anyone is interested the Academy has posted some photos the hot shop. Go to and click on River City Works Featured. Some of the photos were taken with a panoramic camera. And if anyone passing through or in the Cin. area, please stop by and for the grand tour at 532 E 12 St., just ask for Warren.


Warren Trefz

Tink Martin 01-26-2005 04:37 PM

Re: Toledo Museum of Art glass classes

Originally posted by Jeff Wright
The Toledo Museum of Art offers beginning, intermediate and advanced glassblowing classes in the fall, winter, and spring. I've attended all of these classes and they are quite good for someone just beginning. There usually is a lot of interest and only a few spots available. They also have open blow times available. Classes and blow slots are three hours once per week for 10 weeks. Since they are somewhat subsidized, prices are very reasonable. Check them out at: Toledo Museum of Art
Thought I'd add on to this that the Toledo Museum's new Glass Pavilion will be opening up about a year from now. I just took a hard hat tour, and I have to say I was dumbfounded. Spectacular facility, to say the least!

And yeah, the prices are very reasonable: $19.30/hr for non-members, $16.33/hr for members.

Jim Vormelker 01-27-2005 03:15 PM


Originally posted by Pete VanderLaan
I think the best place to check would actually be at Palomar Junior College down in San Marcos in San Diego County. They have had an active glass community for decades and would best be able to direct you to an LA hotshop. :dog:
See also Santa Ana College, CSU/Fullerton and Santa Monica College.

Email privately for a couple private shops that have floor time and instruction.

Barb Sanderson 08-21-2005 05:39 PM

Re: Schools

Originally posted by Pete VanderLaan

Pratt Fine Arts Center
1902 S. Main Seattle WA 98144

I have heard mixed reviews on Pratt. Lately a lot of complaints about glass quality. It has certainly been around a long time and everyone has glass problems now and then

Sheridan College
Daniel Crichton
1430 Ttafalgar Road
Oakville Ontario
Canada L6H2L1
905-815-4043 FAX

Uh Pete, the issues with glass at pratt are now years old - the glass has been great for the last couple of years and they have a great glass tech there now.

Also Dan Crichton died a few years ago - not sure who the head of glass is there now. Just thought you may want to update that info.


Jeff Hoover 10-10-2005 08:14 AM

Waterstreet Glassworks
This West Michigan glass school opened last year, but they just now got their website going:

142 Water Street, Historic Hinkley Bldg.
Benton Harbor Arts District
PO Box 161
Benton Harbor, MI 49023

Main Office Number: (269) 925-5555

I have studied under Jerry, the founder, at Ox-Bow and can recommend him completely. He has a special talent for meeting students at their own level, whether scared beginner or experienced glass student. Besides his passion for working glass himself, he has a true passion for teaching glass.

I have visited the Waterstreet facility and think it's great. It's got a very open floor plan, a catwalk for observers, two benches, and a gallery space. If I lived in West Michigan, I'd be there a lot, either renting or possibly tech'ing.

In addition to offhand, they offer torch classes - at least one of the instructors there, Jessica Bohus ( ) is a great artist.

Randy Heise 12-21-2005 06:37 PM

Eugene Glass School

Have taken a few classes there both hot and torch. The talent of the instructors is impeccable. The quality of the instruction is dependent on how good how good of an instructor that particular glass artist happens to be. There are classes for all levels. There's some big names in the instructor list. For example ... want to learn something about furnace building? Charlie Correll will be teaching a Furnace Building class this spring. The one common theme for all the classes has been "Beginners are welcome ... Beginners are treated well ... Beginners are encouraged!"


Eugene Glass School
575 Wilson Street
Eugene OR 97402
Telephone : (541) 342-2959
Fax : (541) 342-2924

email :

CATALOG REQUESTS please email your mailing address to

katiemoe 01-23-2006 01:34 PM


Boyd Sugiki 01-27-2006 08:18 AM

pratt fine arts center
Hi Pete,

Some good takes on the glass schools out there.

I enjoy teaching at Pratt because of the class size. There are only 6 students in the class and this allows for personalized instruction. The glass has been good.

Terry Craig 10-27-2006 10:21 AM

heres another for canada

sir sanford flemming college
haliburton campus
suan little
705 457 1680

this is a 15 week intensive programe that runs from jan on ward with an option of rental in the spring as well as a four one week specialist classes. this 15 week class can help you gain direct entry into the second year at sheridan college.
they also have one week summer classes in june and july.

Paul Thompson 04-28-2007 09:54 AM

More schools & links
I apologize in advance for not having first-hand knowledge of many of these programs, but I wanted to make the links available....

Third Degree Glass Factory in St Louis offers short classes (and a live webcam!. I'm sure this has been mentioned elsewhere, but this is also where you can get Jim McKelvey's book & DVD: Art of Fire: Beginning Glassblowing, which I highly recommended. Big Ed's book is great and offers a very broad perspective, but Jim really goes into the basic "hand mechanics" and that, for me, is a stumbling block.

Other locations

Paul Thompson 06-26-2007 01:28 AM

Red Deer College
I just returned from two weeks at Red Deer College's Summer Series School of the Arts classes. Here's a review ( pix ) :

RDC runs hot glass classes for 17 consecutive weeks each year from May through August. Unlike some other colleges (Sheridan, Halliburton, Center, Carbondale, etc) RDC does not have any hot glass classes during the "normal" school sessions. This makes the RDC classes more like adult "continuing education" classes. Each class is one week, and features one or two instructors. I think RDC is slanted towards Canadian instructors. Cost is C $750 to $950 (depending on instructors) + GST + housing. Figure that your total cost will be about half of what The House Of Dale will charge. Granted, Lino, Davide or Dante probably won't be teaching at RDC, but on the other hand you won't be required to submit a resume to get onto the waiting list. Popular instructors will get booked fast (I've been told as quickly as the first 15 minutes after registration starts), so be prepared.

My first week's class was "Turning Tricks with Ted"; instructor Ted Jolda. This course was tagged as an "Advanced" class. The second week was "Advanced glassblowing for beginners" with Jeff Holmwood. Eight or nine students is considered a "full" class. Ted's class had the minimum five students, so we all got LOTS of bench time (I got spoiled!). There were eight students (four groups of two) in Jeff's class which meant cooperation & scheduling bench time.

I would strongly recommend RDC classes, especially if either of these guys was teaching. Ted is a wild & crazy guy, and demoed stuff that I haven't seen or read about. Jeff demoed some murrini work, his vortex vessel technique, and a big piece. He also challenged the class to do a team piece on the last day, which would involve leadership, organization, and glassblowing skills.

The RDC hotshop is glommed onto the outside of one of the arts buildings, and is shielded by a tin roof and sliding glass doors. The first class day we had rain AND hail - as if the glories weren't noisy enough - yelling became a requirement. RDC has a large (200 lbs??) gas fired crucible furnace, 3 glories (2 small, one medium) and 3 benches, 2 top-loader annealers and 1 front-loader. Floor space is cramped and requires loud "coming behind you" warnings and an increased level of responsibility and alertness on the part of anyone on the floor. The marvers and glories were about 4 to 8 inches lower than what I'm used to. I'm 6-4 and my perspective was all messed up. I tagged the top of the glory door several times. The marvers were truely munchkin height. RDC recently switched to Spectrum System 96, which is about the only glass I've ever used. Everyone else was talking about the unusual qualities of the glass, but quite frankly, I didn't notice. After some severe compatability problems on Ted's first demo (cane), Katrina (one of the shop techs) stayed late (all blowing stops at 8 pm) to manually empty the furnace and recharge with a new lot of glass. Things went much better after that.

RDC will sell you Gaffer color -- bar or frit (#2 or 3 ?) and maintains a good inventory, barring the occasional psychotic Canadian customs agent incidents. Powder (they have a booth) was used by both instructors and the shop techs, but is not available to students due to health concerns.

Speaking of the techs, Ben Kikkert and Kat Brodie are both super techs; wonderful, caring people and great artists. They were also performing as instructor assistants during the demos, and would help out (time & other duties permitting) as TAs or offer suggestions during student blowing time. A school like RDC couldn't survive without great, and highly over-worked, help like this.

Tools were all pretty good. I brought my own diamond shears, and many students had brought their own hand tools. For one of his demo pieces, Jeff Holmwood had a brand new Steinart pipe & punty (label still attached) that must have been 2" dia - a true whopper. The selection of optic molds (all were AL) was limited. Pipes were Spirals and some others. I think all the student pipes were "standard" size with tapered ends. There were a few tubular stepdown punties, but most were solid SS rod.

Cold working equipment (I hope I get these terms right - I know even less about cold equipment than I do about hot glass) includes a dual-wheel lathe, a wet belt grinder, metal wheel polisher with a primative bucket & grit feed, and a wet tile saw that the techs refuse to use during normal hours because it's so noisy. RDC summer series classes include torchwork, pottery, slumping and fusing, so this kind of equipment is there, but I don't know if it's available to hot glass students.

Classes generally start with a demo at 9 am until 10 or 11, followed by student blowing time. There was usually another demo at 1 pm followed by student time. The techs take over one of the benches at 5 pm for their own work. Shop shuts down at 8 pm Mon - Thur. On Friday, shop shuts down at 4 pm for an extensive cleanup. During the week, all students are expected to clean up their bench area (sweep & put away tools) at the end of the day. Shop time is available to students or local artists for $100 (per person) on Saturdays. When's the last time you got 11 hours of shop rental time for $100?? Shop is cold on Sundays.

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