Those who live in glass houses should never throw stones, shower, or let the neighbor borrow the glasscutter. Fashion glass to work in your favor with today's Groupon: for $49, you get one glass-ornament-and-bead-making class at Glass Academy in Dearborn (a $100 value). The 3.5-hour classes are held on varying Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from mid-December through February. Check the class page for available dates and times.
Founded by a husband-and-wife artist team, the Glass Academy is a state-certified glass-arts trade school that offers instruction in glassblowing, stained glass, and other silica-shaping skills. Guided by the steady hands of two inspired instructors, students design and mold molten glass into an icicle-shaped adornment for Christmas trees or pet igloos, bolstered by a sturdy glass loop affixed by one of the artisans. Next, classes approach the torch work area to twirl a bubble of glowing silica around a steel rod, forging a basic bead suffused with one-of-a-kind style. A variety of color patterns and techniques help impress personal touches before each piece is cooled off and available for pickup one week later. 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.
The Glass Academy's sweeping 14,000-square-foot warehouse space is a clean and relaxed working environment crowded with 65 potted ferns, which simulate glass’s natural wooded habitat. After class is over, students can pay a visit to the studio's attached gallery to peruse professionally crafted ornaments, vases, mugs, and bowls, as well as commissioned works.
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.
West Downtown Dearborn
25331 Trowbridge St.
Dearborn, Michigan 48124