ART 271 IS the introductory glass course and introduces students to hot glass, shop safety and to basic glassworking skills. the course culminates in a sculptural project that EMPHASIZES the programs commitment to using glass as a material for artistic expression.
In addition, as of 2016 i successfully petitioned to have glass 1 included as a course that fulfills salisbury university's general education art requirement.
The second assignment, after basic gathering, marvering and snowmen, is the birds project. designed to teach students how to work with a mass of glass, learn to control the heat, and how to use the tweezers. However, i give this assignment a twist.
birds is given as a group project where the team RECEIVES the same grade. Each student contributes 5 birds to the total, but the grades are based on the quality of all the birds together. This is designed to teach teamwork and to demonstrate that they cannot be successful in this class without the full contribution of their partners.
to help alleviate any concerns students have about their grades i give them the option to hand in their birds in a 'creative' way for extra credit. while it is optional, i've yet to have a team not work together to INCORPORATE elaborate displays for their birds.
the final project in glass 1 is the sculpture assignment where each student creates 4 finished sculptures.
keep in mind that because of the popularity of the material and that glass I fulfills the GENERAL education requirement, more than 80% of my glass i students are not art majors.
note: there are a wide range of materials and processes in this work and in some instances glass is not even present. this is intentional and encouraged. i want students to consider the properties of glass (TRANSPARENCY, mass, LUMINESCENCE, color, fragility, SHARPNESS, fluidity, etc) and find ways to INCORPORATE that into their work. sometimes glass itself does not need to be involved to get those concepts across, and many times the best way to represent the idea the student wants to talk about is not with glass. i strongly encourage students to make the best artwork they can regardless of where that path takes them.