Burlington’s South End already has a glass-blowing studio — AO Glass Works — but come September it will also have a studio for fusing and forming glass.
The folks at Davis Studio are launching South End Glass, a co-op for students who have completed a six-week class in the medium and want to keep working on their own. “They’ve progressed really quickly, and they really want to do their own projects,” says Alyssa Oxley, who teaches fused-glass classes at Davis Studio. “They’re dreaming it up right away.”
What exactly is fused glass?
It’s kind of like quilting, but instead of fabric and thread, artists fuse together cut fragments of colorful glass. Toss it into a kiln, and the heat transforms the color and texture combinations, resulting in patterned bowls, earrings, plates or other objects with the smooth, bright surface similar to Fimo.
And it’s addictive; students tend to want to move on quickly, Oxley says. “That’s kind of the nature of the beast; once you get your hands on it, they start flying.”
Co-op members will pay for monthly access to the studio. They’ll also get discounts on other Davis Studio classes.
The big draw? Oxley is moving her own cold-working equipment into the new studio — $10,000 worth of tools that have been crammed in her Vergennes garage. The move will allow co-op members to cold-work their own pieces. “When the work comes out of the kiln, you can take it to power tools, put beautiful edges on it, sandblast edges. It completely changes the game,” says Oxley.
South End Glass will occupy a space adjacent to Davis Studio that was most recently used by a mattress dealer. “[Director] Teresa [Davis] was really interested in separating the glass from the other classrooms just for safety issues,” Oxley says.
The studio will open in time for the South End Art Hop, September 6 through 8. Oxley and another fused-glass teacher, Micaela Wallace, will have work on display, and visitors can pay $5 to make their own glass projects.
Oxley says she’s looking forward to sharing the space with artists of all levels. “Since my equipment is coming up, I now will be working on my stuff, which is another great learning tool,” she says. “For [students] to see that in practice, it’s going to be huge, learning wise.”