Taking a glass making or glass blowing class has been on my crafty bucket list for some time now. Recently a friend saw some classes offered at Akron Glass Works and a couple of us signed up!
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Akron Glass Works offers a variety of workshops that include glass molding, glass blowing, and glass fusing. The pumpkins we signed up to make are molded glass. Class sizes are currently limited to eight participants in order to maintain COVID safety guidelines. Temperature checks and masks are also required.
Girl’s Day Glassmaking
After a short safety briefing and demonstration by the instructors, we were taken into the hot room in groups of two so that we could make two pumpkins apiece.
The instructors load the rod/tube with molten glass for you and then assist with the rest of the steps. After adding some color and melting that into the glass base, I learned to tap the glass into a fluted mold, giving the pumpkin it slightly ridged shape.
At the bench, I was able to use a variety of tools (with help from Neil) to create a divot in the bottom of the pumpkin (as they grow in nature) and to pre-score an area where the glass will break off cleanly when gently tapped on the work table.
Next we got to work on the stem, repeating those same steps. Because we were such newbies, Neil did the decorative curling of our stems! From there, they went into an oven where they could cool gradually for a day before we headed back to pick them up.
It was so much fun! Below is my finished product. I chose to make two different variations, one with the color on the outside of the glass (the green pumpkin) and one with the color inside and topped with another layer of clear glass (the cream pumpkin).
Coming Up Next
Be sure to sign up for their email list to hear about all of the latest offerings. For the holidays, they found an ingenious idea that makes glass blowing ornaments COVID-friendly. They’ll be using a pump (akin to a blood pressure pump) to do the blowing. Their holiday plate glass fusing classes are also very popular.
About Akron Glass Works
Akron Glass Works is housed in a fantastic 1930’s era stone church. The studio and gallery/gift shop now occupy what was once the social hall of the church while the sanctuary serves as a unique event space lined with stunning, stained-glass windows.
When I returned to pick up our cooled pumpkins, resident artist Russ O’Brien (shown below) was in the hot shop creating glass angels for the holiday season. As a former fundraising committee volunteer for Akron Children’s Hospital, I was thrilled to discover that a portion of the sale of these angels benefits the hospital’s Burn Unit!
- Akron Glass Works is located at 421 Spicer Street in Akron, Ohio, and can be contacted at 330-253-5888 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hours are Tuesday – Friday; 10 AM – 6 PM and Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM.
- Check out their beautiful posts on both Instagram and Facebook.
- Akron Glass Works is available for both private and group classes. Check out current offerings here.
Looking for a different holiday craft project? Check out this post on painting your own pottery!
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