• A three hour glass making workshop
• Introduction to equipment and basic techniques
• Applying techniques learned to make a glass paperweight
• A full day glassblowing experience
• Learn glass making and blowing techniques
• Make a glass paperweight and a colourful blown piece such as a vase
• Experiences last around seven hours with breaks
What Can I Expect
Take part in a fascinating glass making workshop in Buckinghamshire! These half and full day introductory courses offer a compelling eye-opener to the role of glassmakers and gives you a rare insight into the different methods used to create glass artefacts. Classes take place in a spacious glass making studio in Aylesbury and are hosted by a team of highly-skilled glass makers including Derek Bransfield, a professional glassmaker who designs and creates beautiful contemporary works of art.
You’ll be using traditional vessel production techniques passed down from the Roman times at this glass studio near Aylesbury. You’ll learn that the main ingredients used in glass making are sand or silica, sodium carbonate and lime or calcium oxide (different chemicals create different colours). For example, iron oxide is used for creating the green in beer bottles, whilst a very small amount of cobalt results in a wonderful shade of blue.
There’s so much to learn and with a maximum of eight participants on the course, lots of individual attention and help is assured. After your welcome and safety briefing, you will be shown around the workspace and will be expertly guided through the basic techniques and methods of handling and manipulating hot glass and what all the tools and equipment are used for. The furnace you will practise the techniques on fires at temperatures of around 1100 degrees centigrade.
One of the most exhilarating parts is gathering glass from the crucible, as the intense heat and brightness will amaze you. Initially when you collect the molten liquid, your paperweight will resemble a colourless blob, but not for long...our favourite part is adding individual designs and colours with crushed coloured glass. Using a variety of methods, you will be able to form bubbles and swirls and apply shaping to produce your bespoke paperweight.
Those on the full day course will continue their fascinating journey into the art of glass, with a glass blowing workshop in the afternoon. As you learn this different way of manipulating molten glass, you’ll be creating your very own unique piece of blown glass, usually a small vase.
We think these glass making and blowing courses in Buckinghamshire are enjoyably expressive and artistic. And what’s more, you will get to make your very own glass art to be proud of, as you made it all by yourself using everything from furnaces and forming rods, to rollers and moulding points.
• Saturdays and Sundays from January to May and September to December
• Morning and afternoon sessions are generally available, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm
• Generally classes run on one or two weekends per month
• Day courses start at 10am finishing around 5pm
• There are usually one or two dates available per month
• Minimum age is 18
• Basic level of fitness is required as you will be on your feet
• This experience is not suitable for spectators
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Any items made on the day will need to be finished before they can be sent to participants, there is an additional charge of £20 for this, payable on the day
• Participants of the full day should bring a packed lunch
• Glass making studio in Westcott, Buckinghamshire near the town of Aylesbury