This year, the Sawdust Art Festival, in collaboration with Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau, added some exciting new classes to the Sawdust Studio Art Classes’ schedule. The year-round art education program is now offering all-new special classes in glass, fused glass, jewelry, and ceramics. On Saturday, January 21st, I designed and constructed a colorful and uniquely shaped “Origami Bowl”, great for dips, salads, or display, during the Fused Glass Class at the Sawdust Arts Festival. Taught by local artisan, Maggie Spencer, I soon discovered the art of fusing glass.
Maggie Spencer was working with glass as a hobby in the 1970’s while studying Engineering Science at the University of California, Irvine. Though she abandoned the engineering, she kept the enthusiasm for glass, and in 1993 it became her career. She continually learns new glass techniques that keep her art evolving, energetic, and enthusiastic. Maggie’s glass fusion radiates with capricious colors and shapes, an infusion that reflects her own Zen philosophy of a joyful and enriched life. She has maintained a studio in Laguna Canyon for over 20 years and is a long term Sawdust Festival Exhibitor.
Over the course of the two-hour Glass Fusing workshop, I learned how to cut, shape, blend, and lay out glass in artistic patterns. The introductory, lecture, explanation period introduced the students to the various pieces of glass, the tools required for cutting and shaping the glass, and the unique possibilities in blending and laying out the glass. By using Dichroic glass, a highly luminous, multi-color material with numerous patterns and textures, I created my work of art. When the class was completed, I not only gained the skills necessary to continue creating my own glass art, but I also created my own Fused Glass Origami Bowl masterpiece!
Firing pieces takes a lot of time; the idea of adding the firing of the kiln during class times would be hard to manage so we arranged to pick up our completed art pieces at a later date. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new decorative piece!
I was simply looking for a way to spend a Saturday morning, but this creative Glass Fusing Class in Laguna Beach, CA is the perfect, unique gift as well as a special opportunity to exhibit your creative side. It was a creative, relaxed atmosphere where each student, whether it be their first time or not, learned something new and felt inspired to continue the creative process. With choices in ceramics, jewelry, glass, and other media, I’ll be sure to return to the Sawdust Arts Festival Classes.
The $95 registration fee includes all materials and your creation is double-fired in Maggie’s studio. The freshly updated Sawdust Studio Art Classes schedule is available online at http://www.sawdustartfestival.org/studio-classes.