The secondary school where I work have asked me to set up a glass workshop for those students interested in the material. This is a great opportunity for them as not many people get to work with glass at this age. I did not have this luxury, and it is a perfect way to pass my knowledge on to the students so they have more of an idea about the cost, sourcing and processes of creating beautiful pieces of glass work.
The basics of the material have been learnt, such as the difference between Bullseye glass and float glass, the types of glass such as rods, stringers, powders and frits. The students have done a variety of experiments including using metals, mixtures of types, and bending stringers. I am a strong believer in process led design, and whilst it may seem a bit of a waste of time to them to just create small squares of glass to see what happens, it is all part of experimenting. Not all there samples will turn out as beautiful pieces of work, but the importance is highlighted at exploration within the material.
To revise on my words to them, the reason why we use float glass instead of clear Bullseye is that is is very expensive to buy, and due to their lack of experience it would be better to use free glass than buy it in until they are confident enough and we can see development in to unique and unusual works. I am interested in getting them to participate in The Glass Prize, and rules state you need to use Bullseye glass for this so we will be ordering some in for them if they show good progression.
Not only will this glass workshop be ongoing for year 11, 12 & 13s, I will also be teaching the Art and Design teachers so they are able to understand the basic skills and techniques to all students should they wish, as I cannot always be around in lessons to support individual students with the process.
A note for students:
WARM GLASS UK! - www.warm-glass.co.uk/
A great source of glass materials and facts & info. Should you wish to buy anything please see me or one of the teachers as you are able to get a discount when purchasing because you are part of the school! You are also welcome to have a look at The Glass Prize.