- $99 for a beginners’ glass-blowing class ($250 value)
In glass-blowing classes, Saul and Gina Alcaraz introduce students to molten glass and a 2,000-degree oven, providing each participant with enough material for one piece and giving them free—though supervised—rein to create. Choosing to either meld multicolored glass or cast a spell to make it nearly invisible, students learn to roll glass and shape it into a Christmas ornament, candy dish, paperweight, small vase, or tumbler.
Santa Barbara Art Glass
Most days, Saul Alcaraz can be found toiling over his 2,000-degree glass oven, often surrounded by an enraptured crowd. A surprisingly graceful practice, his glass-blowing is often as artful as a ballet performed in a volcano as he deftly spins, rolls, blows, and cuts his pieces. Having studied the craft since 1988, today Alcaraz splits his time between making effervescently vivid pieces—such as such as custom lamps and iridescent perfume bottles—and teaching teens and adults to do the same. In classes, he trusts his students to work toward shaping their own forms, even helping them introduce color into their creations to make them more attractive bait for trapping rainbows.