First practiced by ancient gods of the underworld who forged vases in the fiery depths of volcanoes, glass-blowing is now the second most popular air-filled art form after inflatable architecture. Acquire a piece of molten magnificence with today's Groupon: for $52, you get an introductory glassblowing or lampworking class at The Crefeld Glass Studio (a $104 value).
With an MFA in Glass from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Crefeld Glass director Josh Cole heads a staff that leads six- to eight-person molding sessions on a flame-wielding adventure. Glassblowing students gather their molten media from a 2,100-degree furnace, using lungpower to morph glass globs into delicate structures with a selection of glassblowing tools or cross-training bagpipes. In the lampworking class, students meld glass with a combination of torches, tools, and skill, bending and fusing sand particles into small sculptures during the two-hour session.
The Crefeld Glass Studio
Like the quadruple-digit fire inside The Crefeld Glass Studio's furnace, the instructors' enthusiasm for glassworking helps budding artists create things they could not have attempted on their own. Classes are kept at four to ten students so that everyone gets a clear view of classmates as they work the furnace, and during the day, the studio is a part of Crefeld School's art program. Regular pop-ins from visiting artists imbue The Crefeld Glass Studio with a collaborative vibe, and an online gallery gives students a place to proudly show off the exquisitely rounded rims of their amber-streaked vases or the short-sightedness of their delicate glass sledgehammers.
8836 Crefeld St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118