We’re Fired Up with Seasonal Favorites, Take-Home Kits, and More
Pour your creativity into a glassmaking class at the Perry Glass Studio. Whether you want to spend some time with us in-person or design your work at home, we have safe and easy ways to get your artistic juices flowing.
Since many creatives are spending more time at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Glass Studio also offers Take-Home Fusing Projects, which include everything you need to make a unique piece of artwork at home. Once the design is complete, simply bring the object to the Studio, and we’ll fire it in the kiln. The designs change seasonally and are a fun, alternative way to play with glass from the comfort of your home.
An eight-year-old Museum Member used a Take-Home Fusing Project to create a maze coaster and invited his seven-year-old neighborhood friend to join in on the fun. The two worked on their projects outside. When the young Museum member was asked if he would recommend the Glass Studio’s Take-Home Fusing Project to a friend, he replied, “Yes, my neighbor made a suncatcher, and enjoyed it too!”
During the summer, Museum Member Charlene Carney purchased two Take-Home Fusing Projects to complete during a fun afternoon with her grandson. “I bought the beach ball for my grandson and a coaster for myself. My grandson decided immediately he was not going to make the beach ball. Instead, he creatively crafted a rounded American flag. He really enjoyed placing the different colors in piles and then placing the red, white, and blue on the form. When he saw the finished project, he was so excited,” she said. Over the years, Carney and her husband have completed many classes at the Glass Studio. Their first experience was several years ago when they each created a paperweight. She’s also enjoyed a two-day lost wax process course and several holiday ornament classes with her grandson.
After the Chrysler’s renovation in 2014, I visited the Museum, picked up a class schedule, and became a Member. I haven’t looked back. –Tom Brockenbrough
Since its opening in 2009, the Perry Glass Studio and its programming have cast the institution as a place of creativity as well as learning—adding youthful energy to the Museum. The state-of-the-art facility brings the Chrysler Museum’s internationally acclaimed collection to life with programs and classes that show visitors how the masterpieces were created. For many of our Museum Members, the impact of the Studio has been transformative. Tom Brockenbrough was inspired to become a Museum Member in 2014 after learning about the Glass Studio. “I had an interest in glassblowing ever since I was a kid and I saw the Jamestown glassblowers. I didn’t know it was something that you could learn before visiting the Perry Glass Studio. After the Chrysler’s renovation in 2014, I visited the Museum, picked up a class schedule, and became a Member. I haven’t looked back, and it’s been great,” he said.
Not only has the experience helped the avid glassmaker hone his craft, but it has also shaped the way he looks at artists and their masterpieces. He recalls times when instructors from the Studio took the classes to the galleries to see how many renowned artists created some of the most beloved glassworks on view. Because of insight from the instructors, Brockenbrough has heightened appreciation for works on view at the Chrysler and throughout the NEON District. Although the Hot Shop sparked his interest in the Glass Studio, he enjoys trying the other processes. “It’s fun! Across the board, the staff and studio assistants are just the most skilled, talented, knowledgeable people. You can walk in for the first time and they’re happy to welcome you and share what they know,” he said.
From that first class, we couldn’t get enough.–Tammi Klaco
Tammi Klaco, her husband Paul, and her son Collin stumbled upon the Perry Glass Studio in 2017 during a rainy day at the beach. When they turned to the internet for alternative plans, they found the free noon glassblowing demonstration. That day, the Studio team members were blowing a holiday ornament. She was hooked with just one ornament. “From that first class, we couldn’t get enough. Our son Collin came with us on our next class and enjoyed it as much as we did. We started using every excuse to justify more classes: Christmas, birthdays, holidays, even the ‘just-because’ days. We started venturing out to other studios in Pittsburgh, Corning, Seattle, Akron, and Maryland. Without a doubt, the Chrysler has been our favorite!” Klaco said. “Even though we live closer to the National Smithsonian museums, we find that our time is spent at the Chrysler three hours away.”
Deanna Kaye and her family also live about three hours away from Hampton Roads. They recently used a Take-Home Fusing Project to make coasters. “It went very well. The instructions were clear and we had everything that we needed in the kit. They look great.”
The Kaye family usually visits the Chrysler during weekend getaways. “We’re big fans of the Chrysler Museum and the Glass Studio. We live in Durham, North Carolina; however, we travel to Norfolk at least three or four times each year to see the new exhibitions and to take classes at the Glass Studio. The drive is a little over three hours from our house, and we’ve even done it as a day trip since the Museum reopened under COVID-19 guidelines. Previously, we’d come up for the weekend and stay at the Paige House Inn down the street and ride our bicycles around town,” Kaye said.
Director of Education Allison Taylor also got in on the Take-Home Fusing action. To unplug, she picked up the suncatcher project to enjoy with her husband. “It’s a great activity that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a screen. If you like puzzles, you’ll like the fusing projects,” she said.
For those looking for safe ways to get out of the house, we have revised the structure of all programming at the Studio. Enjoy seasonal hot glass favorites—including pumpkins, holiday ornaments, and hearts— in our new one-on-one short sessions. The current format allows for social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols at the Studio. Instead of inflating glass with your breath, we’ll use a Blow-Matic to inflate the glass with compressed air.
Museum Members enjoy discounts on classes and special events at the Glass Studio, along with many other exclusive benefits at the Museum. Aspiring and master artists alike can explore a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking, and neon.
We hope you’ll drop in for a class at the Studio or pick up a take-home fusing kit. Some classes are open to children as young as five years old. Find details about upcoming classes on the event calendar or call the Glass Studio Welcome Desk at 757-333-6299 and speak with Robert. He’ll sign you up over the phone.
See you soon at the Perry Glass Studio!
–Caitlin Blomstrom, Membership and Annual Giving Coordinator and Kathryn Murphy, Program Coordinator and Instructor, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio