Session 6

exploration AUG 17 - 28



Materiality | Process, Perspective, Interaction

Glassblowing, Experimentation

When artists specify their chosen medium, what is the meaning of it? What is it that draws their curiosity? This class will brainstorm, investigate, and develop traditional and experimental approaches in the Hot Shop. Students will learn the fundamentals of glassblowing and expand their creative possibilities with kilns, molds, and torches. Knowing and understanding the materiality of glass will enable each student to develop a process for creating personal expressions in glass.


Aya Oki

Aya Oki is a Japanese artist based in San Bernardino, California. She focuses on the materiality of glass through its lifelike and unique properties. Oki has studied at the Aichi University of Education; California State University, San Bernardino; and Rochester Institute of Technology. Her study and research abroad was supported through a Grant for Overseas Study by Young Artists from the Pola Art Foundation and the Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan.


Hot Stuff

Glassblowing, Experimentation, Mixed Media, Science 

Glassmaking is both enabled and limited by how glass is put together, from the atoms up. The same principles apply to the way glass plays with other hot stuff, including metals and ceramics. This class will combine lectures on, and experiments in, materials science, individualized projects driven by conceptual explorations, and discussions on critical theory. By failing creatively in rigorous play informed by science, students will seek an expanded vocabulary of form, color, and texture in glass and mixed media.



Dr. Cook earned a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and worked as a researcher at Corning Inc. for sixteen years, inventing ways of manufacturing glass and other “hot stuff.” Cook is now chief scientist at the Corning Museum of Glass. Justin Ginsberg is head of the glass area and Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. His work challenges the perceived boundaries of material, relying on metaphor and gesture to express systems and structures for understanding the world.


Vitrecoustics and Beyond

Glassblowing, Flameworking, Sound, Tinkering

From noise to music, this sonic adventure will use multiple glass processes to appreciate, investigate, and elaborate on the phenomenon of sound. Artists will conduct a series of experiments in capturing, modifying, inserting, and extracting sound from glass. Sound games, field recording, audio editing tutorials, group listening and discussion, performance, and collaborative installations will provide a basis for experiencing vitrecoustics.


Mark Zirpel


Mark Zirpel’s mixed-media work and eclectic approach to glass examine the physical world and the forces that determine its behavior. Air, water, magnetism, weather, light, the oceanic, and the celestial are subjects he seeks to understand through the material of glass. Abram Deslauriers explores the human psyche and its influences through glass, sound, and video. He is part of Flock the Optic, a performative art collective that mashes glass and absurdity for public interventions.


Uncharted Territory


Embark on an exploration of the treacherous and unknown regions of flameworking. Together, students will push the limits of borosilicate glass, combining traditional glassmaking methods with unconventional logic and techniques. Navigate new ways of making form and learn to create data collection instruments for recording our experiences on the journey. Join this high-energy, information-packed expedition.


Amy Lemaire

Beccy Feather

Beccy Feather is a British-born glassmaker who lives and works in Philadelphia. She travels daily between the roles of production flameworker, artist, educator, and tea drinker. Her artwork is a mixture of fine craft, humor, and home science. Amy Lemaire’s interdisciplinary artworks explore currency, meaning, and value. She recently completed a residency at the Museum of Art and Design, New York, and teaches at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn.



Kiln Forming, Coldworking

The pull of gravity can send objects tumbling to earth or keep them orbiting in space. Explore these trajectories in the Kiln and Cold Shops via a series of experiments designed to maximize the transformative power of gravity on glass. Multistage firings will generate increasingly complex patterns that are impossible to replicate by any other means. Newcomers to glass will enjoy an accelerated introduction to the medium, while experienced glassworkers may find their worldviews permanently inverted.



Miguel Unson dreams of the day archaeologists uncover his pieces and find themselves utterly baffled. His studio practice seeks order in disorder through a mashup of glass disciplines. Unson attended Carleton College, Parsons The New School for Design, and Pratt Manhattan. He has taught at Bullseye Glass Company, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, UrbanGlass and was an artist in residence at Pilchuck and North Lands Creative Glass. He lives and works near Pilchuck.


Artist in residence


Turi McKinley is a designer of interactions, experiences, and services. She sees design as a connective practice that links makers, participants, humans, and the wider world. McKinley’s personal work explores the inner boundaries formed by past experiences and builds new experiences that take participants on a journey through changing perspectives. Her personal and design work invites participants to collaborate on shaping the narrative.

Turi Mckinley

Artist in residence


Brian Gillespie is a computer programmer and product manager for Rhino, 3-D modeling software for designers. Using Grasshopper, a visual programming language, Rhino enables generative design and digital fabrication of everything from jewelry and shoes to yachts and skyscrapers. Gillespie loves understanding complex problems and designing processes to solve them. He creates art with metal, wood, ceramics, and plastic.

Brain Gillespie