After visiting the Dale Chihuly exhibit (Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass) at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, it dawned on me that glass blowing is one of the few fine arts I never experimented with while at RISD (one of Chihuly’s alma maters, too). If you’ve been to the MFA show or seen Chihuly’s work elsewhere, you can’t help but be impressed by the scale, color, and free-form shapes he creates with blown glass. If you’re unable to attend the show (or even if you're able), you might want to watch the engaging PBS documentary Chihuly: Fire & Light about his work and unique multi-disciplinary process.
Interestingly, Chihuly studied interior design early on. It’s not hard to imagine his work inspiring decorative lighting fixtures, architectural glass panels/walls/windows/enclosures, even architectural facades/massing/roofs, etc… I fully expect a future Chihuly exhibit in which visitors inhabit Chihuly's glass.
RISD Continuing Education
Now’s your chance to discover your own multi-disciplinary inspiration by taking an introductory glass-blowing class. Of course, I can’t say enough to recommend my alma mater. In fact, my first exposure to RISD was as a continuing education student. I was considering making the leap from magazine publishing to architecture and thought it best to sample an architectural class first. It was an architectural model-making workshop that bridged the gap for me. What about you? Might glass-blowing offer the catalyst you crave? In any case, it sure looks fun.
Instructor: Bill Riker
Tuesdays 06/14/11 - 07/19/11, 6-9pm or
Wednesdays 06/15/11 - 07/20/11, 6-9pm
Tuition [Non Credit]: $445.00
Lab Fee: $45.00
Course total: $490.00
“The art of glass blowing is enjoying a lively revival in specialized facilities throughout the country. Join us at a professional glassblower's studio to learn the basics of working molten glass, and see how this transparent medium both accommodates and challenges the imagination. Through demonstrations and hands-on experience, students explore contemporary glass-working techniques under the guidance of a skilled artisan, with historic and modern examples of glass works providing inspiration and perspective. As the course progresses, students are encouraged to experiment as far as their newly acquired skills take them. Note: Space is limited in this course, which meets at an off-campus studio, so early registration is encouraged. Directions are sent to registered participants.”
Class and schedule are subject to change so check program websites for updates.
Take a look at my continuing-education posts from previous seasons to get a sense of the many quality continuing education programs operating in the region. Enroll in a workshop, demonstration, or presentation on a lark, and get your creative juices flowing. Experience continuing-education bliss.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast