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Glassblowing

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Our complete state-of-the-art hot shop for glass blowing offers classes for the beginner to the advanced glass artist. Classes are perfect for adults and teens looking for the excitement of learning a new skill or perfecting the craft.  For safety, please wear 100% cotton clothing, long pants and closed-toe shoes.  Located in Southwest Michigan, West Michigan Glass Art Center is the hotspot of fun things to do in Kalamazoo! Classes include all glass, supplies and tools.


Classes offered

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Note: If you are interested in a class that won't work with your schedule or is full, many classes can be booked to meet your needs if we have scheduling and instructor availability.  

West Michigan Glass Art Center is located in the heart of beautiful downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan.  We are walking distance from the Radisson hotel and many shops and restaurants in the downtown Kalamazoo area.  Many of our classes are family oriented, perfect for adults, teens and youth.  Come and see the many fun things to do in Kalamazoo!




An Evening with Hot Glass

1 DAY

$85 (Members)
$105 (Non-members)

Enjoy an exciting special evening out and learn the basics of glassblowing at the furnace. Learn to gather glass, add color frit, use traditional glassblowing tools and to blow out a hot-glass bubble to make a vase or a drinking glass.

  • Friday, December 19, 6 - 9 PM (HS1464) FULL!
  • Wednesday, February 11, 6 - 9 PM (HS1502)
  • Friday, February 20, 6 - 9 PM  (HS1503)
  • Wednesday, March 4, 6 - 9 PM  (HS1504)
  • Friday, March 20, 6 - 9 PM (HS1505)
  • Wednesday, April 8, 6 - 9 PM  (HS1506)
  • Friday, April 17, 6 - 9 PM  (HS1507)
  • Wednesday, May 6, 6 - 9 PM (HS1508)
  • Friday, May 15, 6 - 9 PM (HS1509) 

Instructor: Staff
Prerequisite: Age 14 and up, no experience necessary.
Maximum: 4 students 

 
Non-Member/Member Pricing: December - March
Non-Member/Member Pricing: April - May



Glassblowing I

8 WEEKS

$480 (Members)
$525 (Non-members)

Designed for the beginning glassblower. This class will offer students instruction in the fundamentals of working and forming molten glass into basic shapes such as cups, bowls and vases. Students will become familiar with traditional glassblowing equipment and movement in the hot shop. You will be working with clear glass, color frit and solid color. The fall seasonal project will be a pumpkin.

  • Mondays, January 12 - March 2, 10 AM-1 PM (HS1510)

Instructor: Michael Fortin
Prerequisite: Age 14 and up, no experience necessary.
Maximum: 4 students 

 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Beginning Glassblowing - Condensed

3 DAYS

$180 (Members)
$230 (Non-members)

Learn the basics of hot glass in this closely supervised, team-driven 3-day course. Study the effects of heat, cooling and gravity. Learn the basic techniques to make solid and blown glass. Class will introduce studio safety, hand tools, equipment and hot working. Class covers gathering, shaping, tool and material usage. Each session will build upon beginning techniques of cold working and the generation of a small vessel like a drinking glass and bowl. You will work in clear glass and be introduced to colored frit the last session.
  • March 27 – 29: Friday 6 - 9 PM, Sat. & Sun., March 28 & 29, 10 AM - 1 PM (HS1513)

Instructor: Tory Hollister
Prerequisite: Age 14 and up, no experience necessary.
Maximum: 4 students

 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Glassblowing II

8 WEEKS

$480 (Members)
$525 (Non-Members)

Continue to practice and refine your glassblowing skills. Students will learn how to make two different styles of handles for mugs and pitchers. Footed vessels and bowls with lip wraps will be explored.

Instructor: Judith Konesni
  • Mondays, January 12 - March 2, 6 - 9 PM (HS1511)
Instructor: Michael Fortin
  • Mondays, 8 weeks, March 16 - May 4, 10 AM - 1 PM (HS1512)

Prerequisite: Age 14 and up, Glassblowing I and II
Maximum: 4 students

 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Continuing Glassblowing - Condensed

3 DAYS

$180 (Members)
$230 (Non-Members)

Did you get the glass bug?  Take the next step to further your skills. Students will learn more about the optic mold, color application and working as a team to create their own vessels.
  • April 10 – 12, Fri. 2 -  5 PM, Sat. & Sun. 10 AM - 1 PM (HS1514)
Instructor: Tory Hollister
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up. No experience necessary.
Maximum: 4 students
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Independent Study in Glassblowing

8 WEEKS

$480 (Members)
$525 (Non-Members)


This advanced level class for continuing glassblowing students will focus on one or two designs. Learn to design and work in a series. Students pick a project, (i.e. bowls or sculpture) to repeat and refine their shapes and color techniques. Sculptural techniques using hot glass, bit work and use of the cold shop equipment are included in this class. Bring a sketchbook with your ideas to the first class.
  • Mondays, March 16 - May 4, 6 - 9 PM (HS1515)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up, Glassblowing I, Continuing Glassblowing or equivalent
Maximum: 4 students 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Venetian Twist Cup

5 WEEKS

$360 (Members)
$415 (Non-members)

In this advanced-level workshop, students will learn to work in teams, use optic molds, work thinner and faster, and practice traditional  Venetian glassblowing techniques to make beautiful twist cups.
  • Saturdays, February 7 - March 14, 9 AM -1 PM (No Class 2/21) (HS1516)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up, Glassblowing I & II or equivalent  
Maximum: 4 students
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Venetian Beginning Goblet 

5 WEEKS

$360 (Members)
$415 (Non-Members)     


In this advanced-level workshop, students will learn to work in teams to create avolios, cups and blown feet. You will practice stems, marias and how to use glue bits to build your goblet. Then you’ll use your skills to create components and build your Venetian goblets. 
  • Saturdays, March 7, 14 & 28, April 11 & 18, 2 - 6 PM (HS1517)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up, Glassblowing I & II & III or equivalent
Maximum: 4 students 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Cameo and Graal Glass Techniques (New!)

5 WEEKS

$290 (Members)
$330 (Non-Members)


This exciting new class combines glassblowing and deep carving sandblast techniques. You will blow 1 - 2 simple vessels in the hot shop. Then cover the surface of 2 vessels (we’ll provide an extra if needed) with a resist material, cut a design then deeply sandblast the surface of the glass. The resulting “cameo” technique will be a high contrast color with a raised sculptural surface. Your second cameo piece will be subjected again to the heat of the furnace to smooth the sharp edges, gathering clear glass to encase it, thus the Graal technique.
  • Wednesdays, February 4 - March 4, 10 AM - 1 PM (HS1518)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up, Evening with Hot Glass or equivalent
Maximum: 4 students 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Make Your Own Beer Mugs (NEW!)

1 DAY

$85 (Members)
$105 (Non-members)

If you or someone you know loves beer as much as I do, then you’re ready to take your appreciation to the next level by making your own beer mugs! Come learn the basics of cup-making and get creative with hot colors and cool handles. Students can expect to make at least 1 mug in this 3-hour workshop. Mugs will be ready for pick up 7 days after your class. No experience required—great for beginners!
  • Wednesday, January 14, 6 - 9 PM (HS1501)
  • Friday, March 13, 6 - 9 PM (HS1520)
  • Wednesday, April 22, 6 - 9 PM (HS1521)

Instructor: Tory Hollister
Prerequisite: Age 18 and up, no experience necessary. 
Maximum: 4 students

 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Heart Paperweight 

1 DAY

$85 (Members)
$105 (Non-Members)


Warm someone’s heart with a handmade gift. You’ll learn the basics of gathering glass from the furnace and applying colors of your own choice. You’ll create a beautiful solid hot glass heart paperweight.
  • Thursday, January. 29, 1 - 4 PM (HS1522) FULL!
  • Friday, January. 30, 6 - 9 PM (HS1523)
  • Thursday, February 5, 1 - 4 PM (HS1524)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up. No experience necessary. 
Maximum: 4 students
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Wild Bird Eggs

1 DAY

$85 (Members)
$105 (Non-Members)

Experience hot glass sculpture by creating a solid egg shape. You’ll use glass frit, powder and cane to decorate 1 to 2 wild bird eggs or make a colorful egg for Easter.
  • Thursday, March 19, 6 - 9 PM (HS1525)
  • Friday, March 27, 2 - 5 PM (HS1526)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up. No experience necessary.
Maximum: 4 students 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Prepare for Battle! - Goblet Open Studio 

1 DAY

$75 (Members)
$120 (Non-Members)


This day will give us opportunities to prepare for assisting and competing in the Battle of the Glassblowers in May. Come together to practice working as a team to make better bits and parts. This open studio will let us share our favorite tips and tricks. Bring your own color or practice in clear.
  • Saturday, April 25, 10 AM - 5 PM (HS1527)
Prerequisite: Age 14 and up. Glassblowing I and II or equivalent required.
Maximum: 8 students
 
Member/Non-Member Pricing



Garden Flames!

1 DAY

$90 (Members)
$120 (Non-Members)

Add a beautiful pop of color to your garden with a glass ornament that you make yourself. These can be left outside year-round. Students will be assisted with gathering from the furnace, adding color, blowing and shaping the glass “flames.”  Expect to make 2 pieces. Keep one for yourself and give one as a gift. Simply unique!
  • Monday, March 9, 6 - 9 PM (HS1528)
  • Wednesday, April 15, 6 - 9 PM (HS1529)
Instructor: Tory Hollister
Prerequisite: Age 18 & up. No experience necessary. 
Maximum: 4 students 
 
Member/Non-Member Pricing



Garden Art

1 DAY

$165 (Members)
$200 (Non-Members)


Fill your garden with glass art. Make a colorful hanging garden globe, a hot glass sculpted “guardian” on a pole and a garden jewel in this all-day workshop. We will supply the copper pipe for the “guardian” sculpture so it’s garden ready when you take it home.
  • Friday, April 24, 10 AM - 5 PM (HS1530)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up, Evening with Hot Glass, Teen Glassblowing Camp or equivalent 
Maximum: 4 students 
 
Member/Non-Member Pricing



Butterfly Feeder

1 DAY

$85 (Members)
$105 (Non-Members)

Attract butterflies to your yard with a colorful hand-blown feeder. We will work with solid colors and lip wraps to create a beautiful “spun out” bowl shape.  We will attach the bowl to a copper piece that will stand in your yard. You will be the talk of the neighborhood!
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2 - 5 PM (HS1531)
Instructor: Tory Hollister
Prerequisite: Age 18 & up. Glassblowing I or equivalent   
Maximum: 4 students

 
Member/Non-Member Pricing



Garden Globes 

1 DAY
$85 (Members)
$105 (Non-Members)


Using traditional glassblower’s tools and techniques, learn to gather at the furnace and blow a bubble. You will make a hanging hollow glass gazing globe for your garden or to hang on your porch.
  • Thursday, May 7, 2 - 5 PM  (HS1532)
  • Friday, May 8, 6 -  9 PM  (HS1533)
  • Friday, May 29, 2 - 5 PM  (HS1534)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite:  Age 14 & up. No experience necessary. 
Maximum: 4 students

 
 
Non-Member/Member Pricing



Millefiori Paperweight and Vessel

4 WEEKS

$288 (Members)
$345 (Non-Members)    

In the first 2 classes you will learn to build, shape and pull millefiori cane using hot color, optic molds and hot bits of color as you sculpt your pattern cane. The third class you will lay out a pattern using your millefiori and create a paperweight. The last class you will blow a vessel and roll-up your millefiori cane onto the surface.
  • Wednesdays,  April 22 - May 13, 10 AM - 1 PM (HS1535)
Instructor: Judith Konesni
Prerequisite: Age 14 & up, Evening with Hot Glass or equivalent 
Maximum: 4 students

 
Non-Member/Member Pricing
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