Glass provides a resting place for wine, evening wear for Cinderellas, and a more dramatic exit from 44th-floor windows for Bruce Willises. Shatter artistic inhibitions with today's Groupon: for $40, you get a six-week basic stained-glass or glass-fusing course at Grand Central Stained Glass & Graphics in St. Petersburg (a $105 value). Today's Groupon also includes a $10 voucher to apply toward supplementary materials that can cost from $50 to $100 for either course.
Grand Central Stained Glass & Graphics infuses students with the knowledge and dexterity to safely transform pieces of glass and wire into unique works of art. The two-hour lessons touch on new techniques each week and participants can apply these design flourishes to new projects or pieces partially finished in the previous weeks. During beginning stained glass, hands will gradually learn the basic skills needed to cut glass into different shapes, solder, and hold their crush's palm without sweating. At the end of the last session, students will take home stained-glass masterpieces they designed and constructed themselves. The beginning-glass-fusing course guides neophytes as they learn how to contort and fuse glass with an array of special tools and a kiln. Participants can finish the course with a variety of fused keepsakes, including a piece of jewelry and wind chimes to alert residents of sneezes from big bad wolves.
With a limit of 10 students per session, apprentices enjoy ample one-on-one instruction from a tandem of experienced teachers and an entire custom-built worktable to themselves during morning, afternoon, or evening classes. Students have full use of Grand Central's tools and machines, and can work with supplies brought from home, purchased from the store, or popped out of derelict buses left in an impound lot.
Origin Stories: Salsa Dancing in a Glass Bat Cave
After a corporate relocation uprooted Brad and Eloyne Erickson from Denver to Tampa, they decided to jump ship from the health-care industry and opened Grand Central Glass & Graphics in 2006. The couple's shop has since moved across the street to a larger space, where it has helped countless people create custom glass art. One globetrotting cave diver stops in every autumn to craft three-dimensional replicas of bat caves and bats out of rough shards of stained glass. In their spare time, Brad and Eloyne like to wiggle their toes in beach sand and move their hips to salsa, rumba, and cha-cha.
Grand Central Stained Glass & Graphics
Bored with the staid security of corporate life, Eloyne and Bradley Erickson founded Grand Central Stained Glass & Graphics in 2006, dedicating themselves to bringing their love of fine art to the community. Focusing on decorative glass, the shop sells beautiful pieces and commissioned work, intensively collaborating with customers to create unique, colorful doors, decorative windows, or whimsical alien-observation tanks. Its regular classes teach pupils how to fuse in small workshop settings, and jewelry-making sessions teach aspiring artisans how to use wire to craft custom adornments. The shop’s giclée printing services reproduce photos and art with an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 printer, which obsessively corrects color until clients are satisfied with each piece's final balance.
2425 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, Florida 33713