Glass, like a birdhouse-of-cards or the emotions of a teenage senator, is fragile. Celebrate delicacy with today's Groupon to Hot Sand Glass Studio, located on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get to create your own large clear blown-glass bubble (a $30 value).
- For $15, you get a medium QuickCast to preserve a handprint or footprint in molten glass (a $30 value).
Hot Sand Glass Studio promotes the art of glass by allowing students to make their own molten-sand creations. Blowers in training—all of whom must be at least 9 years old—can peruse the gallery of works by professional glassblowers for artistic inspiration. After selecting a suitable hue, glassblowers-in-training hunker down on the gaffer’s bench with an experienced glass-smith to huff and puff a large clear bubble into existence. Instructors will demonstrate how to gather molten glass from the furnace, blow air into it at the end of a pipe, and use jacks and water to break off the fully inflated bubble. After the orb cools, studio artisans will process each finished piece to remove any sharp edges and irksome personality traits before bubble blowers pick up their masterpieces after 3 p.m. on the Friday following the session.
A QuickCast allows budding artisans to make either a handprint or footprint in a small box of sand before a team of extremity preservationists pours molten glass into it, eternally protecting the print. The cast is slowly cooled overnight, and by the 3 p.m. the following Friday it's ready to be picked up, taken home, and shown off to appliance repairpeople. Whether making a QuickCast or bubble, it only takes about 20 minutes to give a creation life, but the satisfaction it will bring and the terror it will strike into the hearts of villagers will last a lifetime. For an additional charge, colors, design elements, and engravings may be added to either creation ($6–$12 each).
Hot Sand’s studio buzzes with activity as instructors dip pipes into molten glass and then demonstrate how to blow the globs into recognizable shapes. Nearby, other students work on finishing their pieces, refining contours atop wooden blocks and polishing surfaces on a diamond wheel. Hot Sand's glass-blowing artists impart these techniques through basic walk-in experiences and immersive workshops, showing guests how to craft objects such as candy dishes, pumpkin-shaped ornaments, or one-time-use dodgeballs. Welcoming visitors of all ages, Hot Sand earned the distinction as a top kids' destination in New Jersey Monthly's 2012 Jersey Choice awards. The studio also expands the aesthetic tastes of the community through a gallery that showcases original works for sale.