Grand County Center 4 Excellence glass-blowing course will blow your mind |

Grand County Center 4 Excellence glass-blowing course will blow your mind

Katie Loobyklooby@skyhidailynews.comGrand County, Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
Sky-Hi Daily News | Sky-Hi Daily News

Middle Park High School junior Hardy Stafford is one of about 10 students who will participate in the first-ever Glass Blowing will Blow Your Mind! course. Im interested in learning how to blow glass, he said.The Grand County Center 4 Excellence offers the class, and Center Director Lawrence Norman is coordinating it. In 2008, GCC4E offered an elective credit course to students from Middle Park High School. The majority of high school students who will take the class also participated in the course last year.Stafford is interested in leaning: How you can take like a solid piece of glass and make it into something completely different, and add colors and shape.The open enrollment course is for adults and high school enthusiasts. Having a college level curriculum, challenging courses, and adult learners participate are critical to student development in the absence of a college or university in Grand County, Norman said.The class meets six weeks on Monday evenings from 5- 6:30 p.m. Four classes will take place in Granby. Students also will visit glass studios in Grand Lake and Fraser and receive instruction from local artists: April Hilton of Circle H Retreat & Glass Art Center, Jeremy Golnik and Ian Sorenson, owners of Winter Park Glass; and Fraser native Nat Havens. The six weeks course begins Monday, Jan. 26.Norman will teach the classroom section of the class. He is coordinating and writing the course and plans on turning it over to the other instructors. The students will decide which studio they want to prepare their final project at. He will then work with students on their self-evaluations. Hilton does off-hand glass blowing with pretty major equipment at her studio, she said. She uses a furnace, glory hole, and annealer.Its done with a hollow pipe, actually blowing glass youve gathered on the end of the pipe, she said. Its definitely artistic.She will do a demonstration at her studio, and students will choose what they would like to spend they day working on.The class will give the students great exposure to the art of glassmaking, she said.Its not something you just do in your basement, she said. I definitely hope that I can encourage peoples interests. In addition, her studio door is always open community members interested in watching or learning about glass blowing, she said.I will teach (students) basic skills to use the equipment and tools, she said, along with studio etiquette.Nat Havens of Fraser also offers personal glass blowing classes as at his studio and visits Fraser Elementary School students and potential artists.I really enjoy exposing younger people to art of any sort, he said. Its just great to expose kids to all kinds of art.Havens is a lamp worker, and makes glass beads, marbles, and pendants. He works with soft glass and a propane oxygen torch.I think glassblowing has become a clandestine profession making it difficult to learn or progress in this field, said Ian Sorenson of Winter Park Glass in a statement. We at Winter Park Glass want to bring back this art form to the people and preserve the legacy of American Blown Glass.Norman believes there will be another course because of the interest from people who arent able to take sign up for this class.It is open to high schoolers and adult students who have already taken at least one course in art or other creative expression. The cost of the class is $105, which includes the $30 textbook for the class, Beginning Glass Blowing by Edward T. Schmid; the $25 lab fee; and $50 course fee. Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or

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