A new glass studio in an unusual venue invites you to take up the hottest hobby around.
Glassblowing has been around for over 2,000 years. Historians believe that it started in the Middle East. In March 2019, glassblowing came to the Ark-La-Tex in a place where you might not expect. Inside Red River Brewing Company (1200 Marshall Street in Shreveport) next to the stainless steels brewing vessels sits Sanctuary Glass Studio. One might think that having a 2100º furnace next to beer and beer making equipment might be dangerous but the professionals at Sanctuary Glass Studio know what they are doing and everything is done with safety in mind. You can sit and watch the artisans manipulate liquid glass into stunning pieces or take classes and learn glassblowing.
Why open in a brewery?
Co-founders and owners Michelle Pennington and Eric Hess discovered that no glass works existed between Dallas and New Orleans. They decided to open a studio where you can learn glassblowing and create your own masterpieces. Through their meetings with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, they met glass lovers that owned Red River Brewing Company. The atmosphere was perfect, the space was the right size. It’s been a great fit to start up in the brewery. Eventually, Sanctuary Glass Studio will move into their own space downtown.
Glass for sale
You can find many sculptures, bowls, glasses and more available for sale as you walk in the doors. They also accept commissions.
Create your own art
You will work with a Sanctuary artist to create your own piece of glass art. Depending on the item, you will add color to the glass, melt it, and manipulate it into a finished piece. Currently you can create your own cup, bowl or paperweight. Other future ideas include pumpkins, Christmas ornaments or paperweights. During hummingbird season, blow your own hummingbird feeder! For June 2020, the create your own classes are Friday and Saturday afternoons. (Check their website for COVID-19 protocols)
If you’re interested in learning more about glass work and taking up this hobby, Michelle offers several levels of classes. She taught at the University of Texas-Arlington for several years and really enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. You can participate in an introductory two hour course for the basics. Then move on to a three hour course to learn more tricks of the craft. For those of you who really want to dive into glassblowing, try the Eight Week Course which will be very similar to the classes Michelle taught at UTA.
Each class not only rewards you with new skills but you will get to take home what you make. Find their hours of operation and sign up for classes on their website.
(Check their website or Facebook for Holiday scheduling)
For more fun things to do in the Ark-La-Tex, click here.