Though stained glass is now popular among all walks of life, it once appeared only in the windows of cathedrals and inspirational posters for young grains of sand. Enjoy a craft once reserved for reverence with today's Groupon: for $89, you get an introductory stained-glass workshop for two at The Laurel Leaf in Franklin (a $190 value). All materials are included. Class dates vary, but classes are currently held on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Check the online schedule for up-to-date times and availability.
The Laurel Leaf owner and stained-glass instructor Bethany Laurel Reiser teaches pairs the design principles and equipment tips they need to know to create delicate glass art. During the four-hour introductory course, the studio equips groups of up to 10 students with glass, stain, and tools and sets them to work crafting their own simple, custom patterns or building one of several beginner designs. Amateur artisans cut glass with grinders, ring saws, and well-placed karate chops before arranging pieces within their frames using copper foil and lead-free solder. Each lesson includes a midday break for a 30-minute lunch, be it a brown-bag special or a meal from three nearby restaurants in the historic Leiper's Fork area. At the end of the workshop, each pupil leaves with a stunning 8"x10" stained-glass creation that he or she can show off to friends or install as a windshield to make commuting more pleasant.