Art students share their love of glass

By Wenchen Tu

Graduate student making glass paperweight

There is a small laboratory hidden in the art building with two clear glass-melting tanks and one color pot furnace. Hot flames jumping inside the furnaces, while iron sticks, iron table, different color of frit, and other equipments that used to make glasses were fitted in the small area.

Students from the UH glass casting program showed the process of making glass to visitors in the laboratory on Sunday’s mini-shop.

UH Glass Program

UH art department opened the door this year to public and offered the opportunity for people to design and create their own glass paperweight during the Christmas art sale.

“I started to think this idea to do couple things. One to involve the public and the observation of activities, the other is to raise the awareness of glass program,” said Rick Mills, a glass and mixed media sculptor and an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

UH’s glass program is a training program that provides undergraduate and graduate levels in the development of the student’s technical skill and the manipulation of glass in different states. Students graduating from the glass program have thorough understanding of history and technique on glass making and design.

The glass laboratory time opened to the public in 2003 for the Christmas art sale. After that, it usually opens once in three or four years for public visiting.

Making paperweights

Trina Kudlacek, a UH staff member, enjoyed this year's mini-workshop with her husband. “I’m really exciting. It is a great opportunity to do something with glass.”

Kudlacek did similar glass making 15 years ago. This is only her second time making glass casting. “It’s hard to find glass studio in Hawaii and they are usually very expensive here.”

Student in the program

UH’s mini-workshop cost $75, and all the proceeds go to the glass studio for specialty equipment and tools. Most of the equipment and tools were made by students. Mills said that being a student in the glass program is a hard job.

“There is just something about life and glass vitality,” said Lauren Adelman, second year graduate student in glass program in UH.

Adelman said that she is happy to be here and do glass casting. Adelman has been doing glass casting for about four years. “making glass requires several focus, and people here help you to achieve your goal,” she said.

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