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 $75, you get a two-hour glassblowing class at Leaderglass (a $150 value). Two customers may participate in the same class with separately purchased Groupons.
With more than 15 years of glassblowing experience under his trinket-studded belt, Leaderglass's eponymous instructor Alex Leader imparts a wealth of hands-on knowledge to students during an intimate introductory course intended to serve as a general overview of his trade. During the two-hour session, the studio's glass master guides one or two burgeoning blowers through the age-old art of elemental puppetry, helping them to forge solid glass medallions in honor of their newfound authority over nature.
Over the course of the lesson, students craft a mélange of glassware, sprouting elegant flowers from molten gardens or carefully crafting translucent paperweights. Knickknack and bauble parents take home all of their glassy spawn to display proudly on bookshelves or use to crush unruly paper goods into submission. A shimmering selection of glass artwork on display in the showroom attests to the studio’s prolific output, with tumblers, decorative plates, and inadvisable hand-blown suits of armor lining the walls.
Alex Leader’s namesake glass-blowing outfit aims to equip curious artists with the tools and guidance to craft their own handmade glass art pieces. Alex relies on thousand-year-old techniques and skills learned during his two decades of experience to assist students as they create their own blown vases, ornaments, and bowls. Prior to starting on a masterpiece, students can glean inspiration inside the master craftsman’s showroom, where he displays his own collection of artisanal bowls and lighting fixtures.