Building a miniature ship inside a bottle is impressive, but not as impressive as forging a giant glass shell around the outside of an aircraft carrier. One-up ordinary hobbyists with today's Groupon: for $29, you get one introductory glass-blowing class at Studio Royal in Henderson (a $65 value).
At Studio Royal, exhaling neophytes take their first plunge into the world of the glass craft under the personal supervision of Robert Shield, a master glass blower who has created works for the British royal family. The 90-minute class begins with a brief overview of safety precautions and procedures so that students don't end up trapping themselves behind fresh glass walls and getting attacked by mime haters. Students look on as the instructor huffs, puffs, and yodels into the torch to produce transparent trinkets. The torch and blower's seat warmed up, it's the pupils' turn to produce their very own leaf pendants. A photograph taken while participants command the torch decks a postcard that they can send to friends or attach to their molten-glass refrigerators. The studio offers classes throughout the week; call ahead for an idea of upcoming days and times.
For more than 20 years, master glass blower Robert Shield has crafted his crystalline figures for people around the world, his masterpiece being a glass carriage and horse that he gifted to the British Royal Family. Seated before the azure flame of a torch, Robert can make a swan appear out of a plain glass tube, bending and blowing the hot, translucent material until it resembles the bird's feathered body and arcing neck, before smashing the piece because he hates swans. From his academy, Robert edifies protégés in the glass-manipulating arts, guiding beginners through creating festive ornaments and tear-drop necklaces, and empowering aspiring artisans to fire up saleable spun glass.
645 Joey Ln.
Henderson, Nevada 89011