Handmade Holiday: Glass Blowing

This year, create your own ornament

Featured Studio: Hudson Beach Glass 26 South Strawberry St.

A combination of science and art, glass blowing may seem like an unattainable and exotic skill. The technique, which involves inflating molten glass into a bubble using a blowpipe or tube, can be a bit intimidating. But, at Hudson Beach Glass, the magic of playing with hot glass is within reach. Opened last October by Sean Gilvey, a third generation glass blower, and his wife Emily, the shop not only produces beautiful glass products but hosts demonstrations and instruction.

Hudson Beach Glass offers a variety of glass blowing classes suitable for children and adults. Their 15 Minute Experiences allow visitors to design their own Christmas ornament ($35), pint glass ($40) or pull their own glass flower ($35). For those interested in delving deeper, there are more extensive introductory classes and opportunities to learn through apprenticeships and private lessons.

“When you watch a professional blow glass they make it look easy,” Emily Gilvey explains. “It almost looks like magic. Part of the thrill of trying it yourself is realizing how difficult it really is, and then moving through the heat and the strangeness to make something out of glass.”

By the end of Hudson Beach’s two-hour lessons, students know how to gather molten hot glass onto the end of a pipe and form it into a ball. “That is a big accomplishment and gives the student not only a great experience in the lesson but also confidence after,” says Gilvey. “I think giving knowledge and confidence as a gift is pretty powerful.”

For more information on scheduling a class, visit hudsonbeachglasspa.com.