Hot Glass Class

Picture from Starved Rock Hot Glass facebook page.

Have you ever tuned into a TV show or documentary about artists working in hot glass, and immediately become deeply enthralled? Yeah, me too.

Last weekend I finally got to do one of those things I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I can remember… work with hot glass.


My best friend Erica and our friend Donna and I signed up for a hot glass class through our local community college. Since we don’t have a local hot glass lab or studio, the class was offered in Ottawa, IL, about an hour away.

hot glass class3

The class was taught by Laura Johnson, owner of Starved Rock Hot Glass. The class was a fast paced, crash course in making our very own glass paper weights.

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The working hot glass is thousands of degrees (2100°F, if I remember correctly). Laura demonstrated with confidence and experience, helping us along so we didn’t have to worry about being burned or destroying anything along the way.

hot glass class

I brought goggles, but Laura explained that because the glass is so hot and bright it might just be easier to wear sunglasses if we have them. This picture cracks me up though, like I think I’m some rockstar diva working the hot glass.


I kind of wish the shop was closer and that I could take a several week long class to keep experimenting. I learned so much in such a short afternoon.

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The whole process moves SOO fast because the glass has to stay hot, and we really only got to implement a couple of techniques each. I’d love to have more free reign and time to work, like when taking classes in college.

10.31 glass class
The glass takes 24 hours to cool, so the paperweights were mailed to us and mine arrived today. Above is a picture of my second paperweight.

We all enjoyed the class so much we already plan on taking the next class which includes glass blowing, Fun!

Above, Square pictures with the border are by Donna, and  rectangular ones are by me.

One last thing I wanted to add. Because the class was in Ottawa we had a fun day of exploring which included some shopping/thrifting, dining and then shoe tree throwing. Erica and I are big fans of Roadside America and she even has an app on her smart phone to locate fun stops. We knew we were going to hit up this tree on the way down there so I brought a pair of cheap tennis shoes. I covered one shoe in stripes and the other shoe we signed our names to and then threw the pair up into the tree. You can see them in the top left corner.


Hi, I'm Robyn and I was Hatched from a Kinder Surprise Egg. Graphic Designer by day, Maker of things by night. I have worked as a graphic artist professionally since I was 16 years old. Went on to get my Bachelors of Art from NIU. I like to share my Artwork online at and on my own personal website I also have an online shop where you can find more of my "crafty" sorts of things, as well as a random piece of artwork here and there. Oh, and I'm also an occasional contributor to Artomat (

5 thoughts on “Hot Glass Class

  1. Wow, what an amazing experience. It really looks and sounds like a lot of fun. I really like your paper weight.

    I am a HUGE fan of Roadside America too and I love to go exploring. :) I’ve seen pictures of trees with shoes in them but never in person. You must have had a blast.

  2. Wow, your paperweight is gorgeous. When I was teaching in an Art Foundation program, I would show the Chihuly Short Takes video (#1) and that usually caused a couple kids to enter the crafts program with a glass focus, each semester. It’s magic, liquid glass, amazing. We have a big Chihuly exhibit at our Fine Art museum right now. And our Visual Art center is having an exhibit of the man who started the studio glass movement in the U.S. Harvey K Littleton. Glass is where it’s at these days.

  3. I love that you are constantly learning new things. I always aspire to taking classes of all sorts but if I manage to do it once a year it’s a good year. I have a hard time making time. I am inspired by you to do better with that goal of mine. Thanks for the tip on Roadside America. I road trip all the time and just downloaded the app.

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