Glass can be exquisite in its myriad forms, from the ornate windows of a Gothic cathedral to the crystalline webbing of a freshly vandalized windshield. Reflect on beauty with today's Groupon: for $49, you get a glass-blowing, glass-slumping, or glass-fusing class at Studio 1688 (up to a $100 value).
Studio 1688's instructor Teresa White, lauded by The Commercial Appeal for her expertise, draws on 14 years of experience to teach beginner-friendly glass-working classes. During the three-hour glass-fusing workshop, students use specialized tools or carefully hurled baseballs to separate segments of glass and then glue the chosen pieces together in a colorful design. These creations melt flat during a trip through the fires of a 1,400-degree kiln and cool into finished products such as jewelry, coasters, or light-switch covers.
Participants in three-hour glass-slumping workshops expand this methodology by pulling their molten glass from the fire and shaping it into three-dimensional objects such as vases or copies of Michelangelo's favorite coffee mug before returning it to the kiln to set. Those who opt for a glass-blowing workshop spend two hours at Studio 1688 and fashion glass into cork jars or tree ornaments. White limits workshops to six participants, so students can receive individual help and guidance. Participants can pick up finished pieces at Studio 1688 the day after their workshop.
Teresa White, AKA "Blown Fuse," zooms around the track, knocking into her roller-derby opponents while fans cheer. She's clearly not afraid of breaking a nail. During the day, however, White gives her alias a second meaning and demonstrates her delicate side—she's an artist and a teacher, and her choice medium is glass.
It wasn't always easy for White to work in glass, however. Even though she earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from Memphis College of Art, she had to rely on friends, books, and videos to teach her the more specialized techniques of glass fusing and blowing, as reported by the Commercial Appeal. Wishing to share her new knowledge and give others access to the glasswork instruction that she couldn't easily find, she opened Studio 1688 and began teaching.
Today, backed by 14 years of teaching experience, White leads beginner to advanced classes in glass blowing, fusing, slumping, and flame work, teaching students the fine arts of shaping glass pendants, coasters, and ornaments of their own. In her studio, she also fills clients' orders for custom pieces, such as tailor-made sink basins, sushi sets, and oil lamps.
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