Glass can be exquisite in its myriad forms, from the ornate windows of a Gothic cathedral to the crystalline webbing of a freshly vandalized windshield. Reflect on beauty with today's Groupon: for $69, you get a 45-minute sculpted glass heart workshop for two at Uptown Glassworks in Renton (a $140 value).
The experienced glass blowers at Uptown Glassworks guide students of all skill levels through the steps of forging liquid glass into bright, one-of-a-kind sculptures. During Valentine's-themed classes, pupils choose their favorite colors—or the colors that display their hatred of magenta—from the spectrum of supplies and, with the assistance of a hot-shop staff member, blend their pigments into glass puddles dispensed from a 2,000-degree furnace. After shaping dichroic glass into hearts, students use millefiori to festoon their sculptures with flowers, stars, or the silhouettes of middle-school crushes. Finished forms cool in the confines of a 1,000-degree furnace, which ensures pieces stay crack-free while heat disperses, and artists may pick up their work about 24 hours later. Pairs exchange newly minted hearts to seal Valentine's Day plans, or symbolically break the sculptures after arguing over who loves who more. Uptown Glassworks' ambiance awakens artistry with vaulted ceilings, generous space, and rafter beams set within a building built in 1902.