Thanks to “Blown Away,” the Canadian reality show about glass artists currently showing on Netflix, glassblowing has become really hot. Where to go to try your hand at this delicate art? Amateurs can learn the basics on a weekend getaway at these studios in the West.
The Pacific Northwest
Start a romance with glass in Tacoma, Wash., the birthplace of Dale Chihuly, the world’s most famous and prolific contemporary glass artist. At the Museum of Glass, visitors can take a blow-your-own workshop ($60, plus $17 museum admission), then stroll across the 500-foot Bridge of Glass showcasing thousands of Chihuly’s works. Nearby, Tacoma Glassblowing Studio offers private classes ($75) and weekend workshops on how to make glass pumpkins, Christmas ornaments and even a bee, which requires two glassblowers ($125).
Chihuly co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in 1971 in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, 50 miles north of Seattle. The bucolic residential campus in Stanwood, Wash., offers intensive one- to three-week glass art courses for potential pros ($1,700 to $1,900).
Maybe it’s the vibrant desert sunsets that inspired glass artists to set up hot shops here.
In Sedona, Ariz., the Melting Point offers one-hour classes for beginners to create a blow-your-own project ($80 to $200). Stay in one of the Airbnb rooms above the studio and get a 20% discount ($70 to $75 a night).
Tucson’s Sonoran Glass School has three levels of classes, including a furnace glassblowing session for $35 to $50. It’s a short walk from the historic Hotel Congress, where rooms in August start at $89.
In Albuquerque, Aurora Borealis Glassworks offers classes in how to make everything from paperweights to glass yard-art flowers, starting at $250. Glass artist Elodie Holmes in Santa Fe offers classes in her private studio, Liquid Light Glass, by appointment only. A paperweight-making class costs $76.
Blowing glass also is a popular après-ski activity at Red Flower Studios in Park City, Utah. You can work with glassblowers on objects such as ornaments ($25) and bowls ($50).
Going wine tasting in Paso Robles? Stop first for a taste of glassblowing at Harmony Glass Works, which costs $190 for a one-hour blowing class. In Escondido, award-winning glass artist James Stone welcomes students at Stone & Glass, where an introductory class costs $149. A tip: Don’t drink and blow glass.
Here’s an opportunity to see the Northern Lights and then try to re-create those swirling green hues at Lumel Studios in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Walk-in classes start at $45.
Info: Lumel Studios