- $49 for a weekday Tavalo Leaf glassblowing class ($100 value)
Guided by the steady hands of two inspired instructors, students in the Tavalo Leaf glass class get to design and mold molten glass into a decorative addition for the home. A variety of color patterns, shapes, and techniques help impress personal touches before the leaf is cooled off and available for 24 hours later during normal gallery hours. Because of the heat from the molten glass, open-toe shoes are not allowed, water or sports drinks are recommended, and reptilian lizard-men will feel right at home.
Since the visionary artistic husband-and-wife team of Chris Nordin and Michelle Plucinsky began Glass Academy, the state-certified glass-arts trade school has instilled glassblowing and other silica-shaping know-how into community members. The studio leads classes for all skill levels of craftsmen, ranging from introductory sessions to private lessons with a master glassblower. An on-site gallery showcases the fruits of their labors, which customers take home once they are completed. Handcrafted, custom works such as paperweights, beer mugs, and signature piece Detroit Puddle, created by pouring hot glass over a sewer cap, are available for purchase.
When not shaping delicate masterpieces, the staff shares their love of art with the outside world, leading educational tours of their 14,000-square-foot studio space. They also host gatherings including parties with demonstrations and explanations of the glass-blowing process as well as corporate training events, during which employees participate in a team-building, hands-on workshop. Glass Academy frequently hosts other fun events and fundraisers, including beer tastings, coffee nights, and drop-in workshops.