Art classes use new furnace


THROUGH THE GLASS: Miles McQueen ’16 and Mady Schapiro ’16 talk about the featured glass sculptures displayed in the Feldman-Horn Gallery. The visual arts department recently bought a glass-blowing furnace that the students have been using. Credit: Sophie Cohen/Chronicle

Sophie Cohen

The arts department recently purchased a glassblowing furnace.

Using the new furnace, students have the capability to shape and blow molten glass more quickly and with more ease. Previously, artists in the glass course and in Three-Dimensional Art III were forming pieces of glass and putting them in a kiln, where the glass would slump and melt. They also practiced sandblasting glass and cutting glass. With the furnace, students can manipulate hot glass and blow glass.

“None of the universities, including Cal Arts, UCLA and other top-ranked art schools have a glass-blowing furnace,” visual arts teacher Dylan Palmer said.

Palmer, a glassblowing artist in his own right for the past 20 years, said he has wanted the kiln for six years and recently drew up a proposal to purchase one.

“There’s no other material that is so malleable and gives you such immediate results,” Lola Clark ’17 said. “The entire process is mesmerizing, and the end products are even more incredible.”

Students are exhibiting their glass creations in their own show called “Fluid,” which opened Monday.

“Drawings were done using the glass furnace, so essentially it’s a crucible filled with glass, and what the students did was they scooped some glass out of it and used the heat from the glass to do the drawings on the illustration board,” Palmer said.

While some of the art displays were made using the kiln, the pieces on display that are clear and wrapped in wire are all blown glass, Palmer said.

“Fluid” will remain on display in the Feldman-Horn Gallery until March 24.