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How To Glass Blow FAQs

Blackstone River Glass Center

  • Is Glassblowing difficult?
    In short- YOU BETCHA! Learning to blow glass well can take a lifetime. Some pick it up quicker than others but it still takes a lot of practice, patience and dedication. However, you do not need to know how to blow glass to take a class at BRGC. Our skilled artists will assist and guide you through the whole process. Very often holding their hands over yours or your tools while you shape and heat the glass. Our "Create Your Own" class are designed to be an experience. For those that want to really hone their skills and learn a variety of techniques and skills, we recommend our Courses, which run for 6 weeks, 3 hours a week. Prior to class you will be supplied a list of protective eyewear, clothing and footwear to bring to class.
  • What happens if you Inhale while Glassblowing?
    A common fear among new glassblowers is that they will accidentally inhale hot air or even molten glass into their mouth and lungs when using a blowpipe. We use this technique while making chili peppers. Inhaling through the blowpipe while the glass is hot will crinkle the peppers. Inhaling instead of exhaling when glassblowing really poses no danger to glassblowers.
  • How long will it take for my piece to cool?
    When your piece is complete, it is taken over to a knock-off table. It is removed from the pipe and a hand-torch is used to melt any punty marks. Last, the glass is placed in the annealing oven to cool for at least 24 hours. Your piece will be ready to pick up 24-48 hours later.
  • What should I wear to my class?
    Excellent question! Closed-toe shoes are required. If you wear open-toe shoes, you will NOT be allowed to participate. Do not wear flowing clothing, such as long skirts or shirts with bell sleeves, as these can catch on tools and equipment. Cotton clothing (or other natural fibers) are recommended; synthetic materials become quite uncomfortable due to the heat of the furnaces. Our hot shop and gallery are in a warehouse, so keep in mind that the temperature outside is reflected inside—cold in the winter, warm in the summer—dress accordingly. We suggest wearing layers, including a sweater or light jacket, to classes during the winter months. In summer, shorts are ok. Long hair should be tied back. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated before, during and after the class.
  • How many students will be in my class?
    We design all of our classes specifically with the student in mind. Each class will have between 4 and 6 students, depending on the project’s complexity. The best way to learn glassblowing is by watching and then doing it yourself. Our classes are small enough that students can watch and learn from each other, without having to wait too long for their turn. Take the opportunity to mingle with your classmates and consider trading picture-taking duties during the experience. It’s a perfect chance to make new friends! You’ll also get a tour of the studio along with a 15% discount coupon (valid on the day of your class) that you can use on anything in the gift shop. We highly suggest taking advantage of this opportunity to discover, admire, and purchase beautiful products in our gallery for gifts, special occasions, and keepsakes.
  • What are your cancellation policies?
    There are no refunds on class experiences, once purchased. If necessary, class reschedules must be requested more than 48 hours prior to the class. If you must reschedule your class with acceptable lead-time, there is a $10 rescheduling fee per order. You will receive an e-gift card in the amount of purchased classes minus the $10 fee. If, after receiving "Class Reminder Email", you are unable to attend the class, we suggest giving the class to a friend as a gift or, if it was someone in your group who could not attend, making their item for them. Arriving more than 15 minutes late will result in missing the safety demo and forfeiting your class experience. In the case of low enrollment, we reserve the right to cancel any experience up to 48 hours prior to the date of the experience. We will move you into another class without the rescheduling fee. In the case of poor weather conditions, equipment failure, power outage, or other natural disaster, we reserve the right to cancel any experience. Customers will be rescheduled at no additional cost. Please call the studio or check the website and/or our Facebook page for the most current updates. There will be a voicemail message on our phone and a post on social media if an experience has been canceled or we are closed. Anyone who appears impaired by substance or alcohol will be asked to leave the hot shop. Anyone who acts out in any way will be asked to leave. If asked to leave, you will forfeit your class. No refunds. We offer a safe and nurturing environment for all students and teachers.
  • Is your studio accessible?
    Yes! There is only one step to come up to enter our building. We are on the ground floor. It is 100% feasible to learn how to blow glass in a wheelchair with the assistance of our instructors.
  • What is minimum age for a student?
    We teach students age 8 and up. All 'Create Your Own' Classes can accommodate youngsters. Longer Courses can accommodate Ages 14 and up. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Just like every student, parents or guardians of students will need to fill out a Waiver.
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