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Celebrating Birthdays

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Birthdays are an exciting time each year — dinner with friends and family, maybe a trip somewhere or something you’ve always wanted.

Today’s post is about two birthdays that decided to celebrate by blowing their own glass!

FullSizeRender 2FullSizeRenderGlassblowing is a great way to experience something new and challenging but also fun and exciting. Our two families today rose to the occasion and really rocked it!

First up are Sarah and Cheyene Jordan. They decided to join us for our Saturday class. This month, we are offering pulled flowers and strawberries. Both Sarah and Cheyene made flowers to celebrate Cheyene’s 25th birthday. With help from Clay, they gathered color, reheated the glass and sculpted it to its final shape!

They had lots of great questions about the process so it wasn’t a surprise when they said they were planning to return for a private lesson!

FullSizeRender 4Next up are Cheryl and Tyler Court. As FullSizeRender 3soon as they came in, you could tell they were in the right place! Cheryl mentioned that it was her son Tyler’s 19th birthday and that he wanted to become a glassblower.

Tyler’s natural ability was evident as he and his mother made multiple items during their two-hour private lesson. They made a few small items like bubble bowls and a few impressively large items like a planter and a floppy bowl! We can’t wait for them to see their final products!

Since Tyler had a natural talent and interest in glass, we recommended he sign up for our Hot 1 course beginning September 10th. Hot 1 is our in-depth course on everything glass from furnace to annealer!

Interested in celebrating your birthday with us? Click here to see our different classes!

Glass Meets Girl Scouts

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FullSizeRenderFor two hours on August 13th, the DGA studio was full of laughter, smiles and excitement. We were welcoming Juli Jameson and her 3rd grade Girl Scout Troop. Accompanied by a few parents and other troop volunteers, Clay and Simon began the class by talking about the values that Dallas Glass Art shares with Girl Scouts: namely community outreach and team work in addition to educational facts about glass as a material.

Once the girls got started, it was evident that they were fearless! The Girl Scout motto is “Be Prepared;” a great skill to have when working with glass. Even the adults were able to join in the fun, including Juli herself!

We were informed that glassblowing was the IMG_5192last stop on a very exciting day trip for the girls from East Texas. Some other stops included museums and parks!

It is safe to say the DGA team had a fantastic time working with such a renowned community service organization and we know for a fact that our studio pup, Chai, couldn’t have been happier! We hope to see them again soon!

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Do you know of a community outreach program that would like to work with DGA’s Art Reaching Out? Comment below!

Nothin’ But Business

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It’s time for that annual team building event and it’s your turn to pick —

Look no further than DGA! 6.28 Bain&Co

Glassblowing is inherently a team-oriented art form. Learn how glassblowers work in tandem with one another during a demo by Carlyn herself and then make your very own one-of-a-kind art piece to take home! DGA has a flexible schedule and our studio can accommodate catering. Contact us today or submit an inquiry to get started!

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Looking for a unique hand-made corporate gift or award?

Dallas Glass Art can help! We can assist you in designing a gift or award that suits your business’ needs and style. Fully customizable down the the plaque. Contact us today at studio@dallasglassart.com.

Let DGA be your corporation’s one-stop-shop this year!

Private Lessons for Two

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DGA is a great way to have fun with your significant other. In today’s feature, Trish Smith wanted to surprise her husband Jonathan with a private glassblowing lesson for his birthday!IMG_6953

Ready to learn all there is to know, Trish and Jonathan asked great questions throughout their lesson with Clay. For two hours, the couple traded off making pieces while learning the process. In fact, once their lesson was over, the couple decided to sign up for Clay’s Hot 1 workshop that starts this fall.

Hot 1 is an in depth introduction to techniques that familiarize you with the basic tools and equipment necessary for glassblowing. The class will focus gathering, blocking, punties, marvering, and starter bubbles. It is great for learning how to use tools efficiently and improve dexterity, IMG_6957too.

Private Lesson sign ups are found here and if you’d like to inquire about Hot 1 you can do so here.

Be sure to check out all of our class offerings to find the one that suits you best!

Conquering Fears: Kristin’s Story

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Glassblowing is an exciting and challenging art form that brings many different people in all walks of life together. Dallas Glass Art was founded in the hopes of sharing the wonderful medium with the world so we relish the opportunity to hear your stories. We’ve helped celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and even bachelorette parties! IMG_6918

Today’s story really moved the DGA staff so we asked her permission to be a feature on our blog. We would like to introduce Kristin and Mark Gaston!

When Kristin arrived at the studio, she had a wonderful and nervous smile on her face. As she began filling out her release form, she shared with us that today was a bucket list experience that she was finally crossing off! When asked why glassblowing was on her bucket list, she told us that her husband and her were in Hawaii when they saw a glassblower making sculptures for the first time. Completely enamored with the medium, she decided she wanted to try it herself, but.. there was a problem:

Kristin is afraid of heat.

She doesn’t even like to cook with stovetops or ovens, she said laughingly. As you can imagine, this came as quite the surprise but despite her aversion to heat, Kristin was able to cross glassblowing off her bucket list!

Under the guidance of Clay and the IMG_6942encouragement of her husband and the DGA staff, Kristin and Mark made a myriad of wonderful items during their private lesson.

We are very thankful to share these experiences with you and to spread our love of glass. We would like to especially thank Mark and Kristin Gaston for letting us share their story with you!

Comment below with some stories or bucket lists of your own!

Glass Corner: Interview with Clay

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Our new blog series, “Glass Corner” is all about getting to know those who make Dallas Glass Art. At DGA, we firmly believe that glass embodies teamwork so naturally, we become family!

In the spirit of family, we invite you to sit down and relax. In our first Clay-Bio“Glass Corner,” we would like to introduce you to Clay. Clay is our lead instructor for Dallas Glass Art and glassblower/assistant for Carlyn Ray Designs. As a husband and father of two, Clay is a task master who balances all. Once he found a few seconds to spare (miraculously), we asked him a few questions:

Tell us about your glass experience.

I received my BFA at West Texas A&M University in studio art glass with a minor in sculpture under the guidance of professor Chad Holiday.

12227236_1018240424894732_3669862466929200460_nWhy stay with glass as an art form?

The Challenge! Glass is one of the most difficult mediums I have ever worked with. As soon as I think I have it all figured out, the material throws me a curve ball and reminds me there is always more to learn.

What has glass taught you?

Glass has taught me the importance of making mistakes. Its never fun to shatter a piece on the floor, but if you never push your limits it is impossible to grow. Making mistakes is an opportunity to meet a challenge and wrestle with it until you understand how to overcome it. I was told in school that the true sign of a skilled glass artist is not what they can create, but what they can fix.

What style do you enjoy?

I don’t know that I have settled into one particular style IMG_6925yet. As far as coloring glass, I tend to work more with patterns of colored glass canes which stem from Italian glass. I also enjoy grinding, cutting and polishing my pieces once they are cooled. This process comes from an affinity towards Czech and Swedish glass. The forms I enjoy making are both sculptural vessels and the challenge of traditional forms.

Clay’s a busy guy so that’s all we had time for today but if you would like to meet Clay, you can work one-on-one with him during a private lesson or even take a more in-depth classes through his Hot 1 course!

Comment below with some questions you would like to ask him or any other featured DGA team member in future Glass Corners!

New Item offered in August Classes!

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Dallas Glass Art is excited to bring a new item in rotation for our August Glass Experience Class!
Now you can make a glass strawberry or a pulled flower, perfect for summertime!
Whether you’re a regular of our Saturday classes or are looking into giving it a try, we guarantee this new item is fun for everyone!

GlassStrawberries and FlowersWhen you sign-up for our Saturday class you can expect to learn how to turn the pipe, gather color onto molten glass, reheat it in a fire-y chamber and use standard glassblowing tools to shape and mold the glass!

The class is only $50 a person which includes not only the experience of working with this wonderful material but also your one-of-a-kind glass piece to take home! Each participant will choose one of the shapes offered and also choose from a wide selection of colors. Fun for the whole family!

We offer classes every Saturday of the month from 10:30-12:30 in our studio! Below is a list of the Strawberries and Flowers dates:

  • August 6th
  • August 13th
  • August 20th
  • August 27th

Sign up today!

Last Week to Sign up for Summer Camp!

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Are the kids complaining they’re bored but still need something fun and educational to do?

Check out Dallas Glass Art’s Summer Camp!

For three hours a day, August 8th through the 12th kids will learn how to make their own hand-blown three-tiered glass fountain! Enjoy a fun week full of hands-on learning labs in addition to glass art vessel blowing!

This summer camp is STEAM-powered meaning FountainPhotoaspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are all applied to this one-of-a-kind summer camp experience. Fully immerse yourself in a mentally and physically exhilarating craft!

Register online today!

  • Session 2: 8/8 – 8/12
  • Camp time: 9am – 12pm
  • Ages 11 – 17
  • $400 per student
  • Camp size: min 10 – max 20 students

Summer Internship at Dallas Glass Art

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Summer Internship at Dallas Glass Art!

My name is Olivia Sisson, and this summer I had the pleasure of interning at Dallas Glass Art. I’m a studio art and geology double major at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Last winter, I was eager to find something exciting and interesting to fill my upcoming summer. I wanted to get involved in the art world in any way possible.

First, I looked at museum and gallery internships but found that many of these positions didn’t involve direct interaction with the art. What drives my study of art is the link it requires between creativity, idea, planning, and execution. I enjoy being within the studio space, and being surrounded by the energy supplied by the individuals who inhabit the space, and the art that they make. I wanted to find a way to continue working in a studio this summer, but away from my familiar university studio. I talked to friends and family to see if they had any ideas. Very quickly I came across DGA.

After learning about DGA, I wanted to find out more about their work in the Dallas Design District. I made a few connections and was able to get in touch with Carlyn Ray, owner of DGA.  Although I didn’t have any experience with glass, Carlyn was willing to bring me on as an intern. I also heard great things about the Design District from my fellow art majors, and Texan friends. The opportunity to be around a new medium, hot glass, was intriguing to me. I booked a ticket to Dallas and was excited to check out a brand new city!

 

When I got to DGA I wasn’t sure what to expect. I quickly learned that working within a large public studio is both exciting and demanding, and requires attention to detail, and flexibility. I jumped right in and started to get familiar with the studio space and day to day activities. The goal of one of my main DGA projects was to create a way to keep track of production on blow days. I designed a system to record time spent on each project, quantity of pieces made, and color usage. With this information Carlyn is better able to assess the production costs of her installations. I was able to be more thoughtful in making this system as I learned about the way the hot shop works.

During my first week I had the chance to help run doors while Carlyn and Clay created beautiful bowls and vases for Carlyn Ray Designs. I love how glass blowing requires a great amount of communication. From watching one another’s body language to speaking concisely throughout, the process takes on a dance- like rhythm. The blow team moves about the studio, and one another, in a fast yet measured manner. In many ways, glass blowing reminds me of my lacrosse team and the way that we move with, and around, one another to score. This was a total departure from the completely independent studio work I am so used to doing at school. I enjoyed working in the hot shop at any opportunity and plan to continue learning more about the glass blowing process.

My favorite aspect of this internship was the variety of tasks I was assigned. I was challenged to integrate myself into the studio on blow days, to think managerially when designing new checklists and record sheets,  and to use my design knowledge as I worked on the website and marketing projects. I loved getting to know the amazing DGA staff and learning about their experiences in the art world and beyond. I’m sad to leave DGA and the great city of Dallas, but it was a fantastic experience all around. Thank you so much to Carlyn Ray and all of the great people who work and create at DGA!

Bachelorette Party!

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Bachelorette Party at Dallas Glass Art!

We were thrilled to host Lexie’s Bachelorette Party at DGA last Friday. A glassblowing class at DGA is a perfect way to celebrate any type of special occasion especially one that involves friends and family! With our professional glass instructors, class participants will get a tour of our amazing studio, an intro to the history of glass, guidance in mastering the basics of the glass process, and finally will get to create their very own hand blown glass pieces.

At DGA our goal is to help you get the most out of your glass experience and to have fun while doing it. Events like birthdays, anniversaries, and bachelorette/bachelor parties are made all the more special when experiencing a new art form with one another. Everyone in attendance at last week’s Bachelorette party got to spend time together, expand their creative art experiences, and walk away with a special moment of the occasion.

Congratulations on getting married Lexie. Everyone at DGA was grateful to get to know you and your friends, and we look forward to having you all pick up your beautiful pieces!

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Summer Camp at DGA!

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Come learn about glass this summer at Dallas Glass Art!!

 

Looking for one more activity to fill the void between summer and school? At DGA we have a unique, creative, and enriching summer program just for kids! DGA is a welcoming place and is perfect for all ages. We are thrilled to announce that our 2016 second session will ALSO be creating amazing glass fountains. This beautiful fountain has garnered a lot of excitement and interest and you can construct your very own!

Summer Camp will take place August 8- 12th from 9 am to noon at Dallas Glass Art. Each camper will get to learn about the science and technology that is a part of the glass blowing process. Our friendly, professional glass blowing instructors will teach your child about the glass blowing process, and help them become confident using glass blowing tools in a safe manner. With all of these new skills each camper will blow three cascading bowls for their fountain in the colors of their choosing. Campers will also will gain basic construction skills as they put together the base and frame for their fountains. DGA summer camp is a great way to allow your child to experience a new art form, get in touch with their creative side, and gain new skills.

 

You can register for camp under the “Workshops” tab above.

 

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Anniversaries at Dallas Glass Art!

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Anniversaries are one of the many special occasions that can be celebrated at Dallas Glass Art. From birthdays to bachelorette parties, engagement parties, and holidays, a private class at DGA is an excellent way to commemorate a special day, or time, in your life or the lives of loved ones.

We are thrilled that Ron and Linda chose to share the joy and happiness of their 25th Anniversary with us at DGA. They participated in our Saturday Class on July 2nd, and chose to create beautiful glass flowers and paperweights. They worked with our professional glass blowing team to master the basics of glass blowing. Then together, Ron and Linda created beautiful hand blown glass objects to commemorate their 25 years of marriage.

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Ron and Linda stopped by DGA last week to pick up their glass creations. They were thrilled with their finished pieces! Everyone at DGA was excited to meet Ron and Linda, and to assist them in celebrating their anniversary. Happy Anniversary from DGA!

 

Each anniversary is special. For each decadal anniversary there is a certain color, or metal, associated with the event. For example, a ten year anniversary is associated with the color silver, as is a 25 year anniversary. We have a myriad of glass colors to choose from at DGA so whether you might chose to work with your specific anniversary’s colors, or your own palette, we have many amazing colors to pick from.

 

Working up to your 50th Anniversary? 50th Anniversaries are normally associated with gold. Celebrate your 50th by creating glass flowers, paperweights, or globes and incorporating some gold leaf! At DGA we have silver and gold leaf that can be added to pieces like the ones Ron and Linda created. No matter what you or your family are hoping to celebrate, we would be more than happy to work with you in a Saturday class or private event. A celebratory event at DGA is guaranteed to be one of kind, enjoyable, and very memorable. Book an event today!

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June 13th- 17th at Dallas Glass Art

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This was a busy week at Dallas Glass Art! After several big classes last week we had lots of cold working to be done. Now that each piece has been grinded down and polished, the pieces are ready to be picked up. We can’t wait for our class participants to pick up their creations and be able to take them home! Below are examples of pieces that were made during several classes over the past few weeks. Dallas Glass Art has great classes and workshops coming up. Our next class is being offered on June 25th at 10:30 a.m. Come by and in two hours learn the basics of glass blowing and make your very own glass globe or pear. We also offer glass workshop sessions where you can work one on one with a professional glass blowing instructor to create bowls, vases and cups.  Sign up by following the links below!

Dallas Glass Art – Classes

Dallas Glass Art – Workshops

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Glass flowers, bowls, and cups all hand blown by DGA class and workshop participants!

While we had lots of work going on to keep our classes on track we also have lots of exciting glass installations being created. Carlyn continued to work on a glass weave, and Carlyn and Clay started work on a glass ribbon installation piece for a private home.

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This week Carlyn continued to work on a glass weave piece for a private residence. We have several of her beautiful weaves at Dallas Glass Art but always enjoy watching a new weave come to life!

Glass ribbon pieces cooling at a standard rate in the annealer

Glass ribbon pieces cooling at a standard rate in the annealer.

Stay tuned for upcoming information on our summer classes and events!

June 6th-10th at Dallas Glass Art

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New friends, classes, and pieces in the studio

This week was a busy work week at Dallas Glass Art! Christoph Hubner joined us all the way from Germany for a jam packed week of glassblowing. Christoph arrived last Friday and spent lots of time getting to know our glass studio and working with Carlyn and Clay to produce beautiful bowls and vases for the store.

Christoph is from west Germany and grew up with glass art. His father is a master glass blower and taught Christoph some of the process, but as Christoph says, “glassblowing is like riding a bike, you can only teach someone the basics, from there it’s all individual style”. After learning the basics from his father, Christoph trained for four years at a glass blowing academy in Germany. Only about 20% of students successfully complete this glass blowing program. The American glass blowing process is very similar to the German process except for a few slight differences. In Germany the glass blowing furnaces are electric rather than gas burning. Christoph enjoys the entire glass blowing process and says that he can’t designate any one piece he has created as his favorite.

This was Christoph’s first time visiting Texas and he enjoyed how vast the city of Dallas is and the array of food and activities the city has to offer. “Keep calm, it’s only glass” he says.  We hope to have him back at Dallas Glass Art very soon!

Finished products! Come by the studio or store to check these amazing pieces out!

Finished bowls by Carlyn, Clay, and Christoph! Come by the studio or store to check out these amazing pieces! With one of our classes or workshops you can learn the basics of this cool art process.

On another note, our summer classes are in full swing! Come see us any Saturday morning from 10:30 to 12:30 to learn the basics of glass blowing and create your very own hand blown glass piece. You can get involved as early as this Saturday morning with one of our Glass Globes and Pears class at 10:30 a.m. Check out the “Hot Shop Events” tab on our homepage to learn more and get registered for a class! We hope to see you soon!

Creative Project with Girls Inc.

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We are all loving the process of creating these beautiful projects with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas!  Also, we are super excited to announce that NorthPark Center will be hosting our chandelier for a few months with hopefully our mosaics, metal sign and details about the creation!

Girls Inc. is a non-profit that focuses on providing these young women with positive experiences and environments to aid goal setting, self awareness, and improve academic performances. And their mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.  They have spent several school holidays with us experiencing glass making and adding flowers to their chandelier.  

At Dallas Glass Art, they also work with other wonderful artists such as Katrina Doran and her son Taylor to create beautiful mosaics.   Here you see them working on mandalas, integrating the psychology of the mandala into our practice.

The girls visited a local metal shop, John Christian Designs and worked with John, John Sr., and Nick to create a metal sign.  They learned and experienced welding, cutting and fabricating.

What we find to be the extra exciting part is we have partnered up with CSI (Carter Science Institute) and with each activity we pair up a learning experience!

Through glass,  we taught conduction and convection. We also related the idea that glass is one of three materials to move light (along with water and plastic). They learned about light refraction and made rainbows!

Through the mosaics, Katrina has focused on geometry and patterns.  They specifically went over tessellation, polygons, measuring the area of a surface, calculating the number of tiles for the surface area, how to enlarge a drawing, and team work- lots of team work! The rabbit is 5′ x 3′ and is comprised of 3,375 tiles (tesserae)

And…. at John Christians Designs we were able to bring in circuits, measuring, electricity, currents, friction and all kinds of fun learning tools!  They cut metal and assembled this amazing sign that reflects the Girls Inc. logo!  They later masked off the letters and spray painted it back at the glass studio.

Through the hands-on experiences, the girls are also able to see what types of environments they like to be in… the glass shop has a totally different feel than the metal shop.

Each step of the way, these girls have learned something about themselves, overcome fears through sparks and fires, and learned to both trust one another and also see the beauty of working together as a team. 

Each person involved in this process has made this journey so meaningful. The glass team at Dallas Glass Art consists of our coordinator Sonja Baumgarten, glass instructor Clay Spaulding, artist Carlyn Ray, and our many helpers including Simon, Katelynn and Marta. Ashley Carter our educational coordinator who has started her own business seeing what a beautiful niche there is to coordinate instruments, lesson plans, and instructions to enhance students learning experiences- Carter Science Institute.  Our mosaic team- Katrina and her son Taylor, for beautiful projects that the girls just LOVE!  And John, John Sr, and Nick at John Christian Designs for opening up their shop and showing the girls another trade, how they can build it themselves, and they are only limited by their imagination. And of course the girls from Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas for their hard work and inspirational creations.

We are so excited to continue this project and just wanted to fill you in as we were in the creation process!  We will keep you posted!

Special thanks to Clayton Elliott for donating to this project as well as the Fritz Duda Foundation for continued support. Girls Inc. would also like to thank GE Capital for the opportunity by providing funding to Girls Inc.

You can visit our partners mentioned in this blog by going to their websites!

http://www.johnchristiandesigns.net/

http://www.carterscienceinstitute.com/

http://www.dallasglassart.com/

http://www.girlsincdallas.org/

Thank you Katelynn Rigdon for supplying us with the video.

A special thank you to Tom Maddrey, with Maddrey PLLC, who is our lawyer building a firm specifically helps artists.  He volunteered his time to take the supplied photos. Thank you!