A New Kind of Oven: An Experiment in Glass Blowing


glassshellI really hope you are fairly local today, because you are in for a treat…an amazing idea, right here in our own backyard.  Stafford Art Glass, run by glass artisan Parker Stafford, is located in scenic Newport, Virginia.  I had no idea it existed until I was playing around on Facebook one day, and saw his page.  I was smitten!  I had always wanted to try my hand at making something out of glass, but the course wasn’t offered in my University days, even though I was in the Art Department.  So, I got in touch with Parker and we set up a date.

I was immediately greeted by his gorgeous collection upon entering his working studio, as he has set up a nice shop (might as well be a museum!) at the entrance, before making your way back into the furnace room.  I was of course drawn to one of my favorite things to collect: handblown glass balls.  Some people call them Friendship Balls, some call the Witch’s Balls, some call them Suncatchers.  I call them Glass Balls.  I was so excited that I was going to get to make my own, but his are just beautiful, so I knew if I had to buy one I’d be okay!


Parker was a real charmer.  He made me feel so comfortable, that even though I had no clue what I was supposed to do, he gave me the confidence to do it.  And I did!  He dealt with the scary stuff – the pulling of the hot glob of glass out of the furnace, for one.  But once it was out, he instructed me on how to apply the color, how to blow air into it, and how to form it into a ball.  There were lots of steps, of course, but each one became easier and easier to me.  In the end, I was able to make 2 balls (the picture below is one of them, cool, right??), a gorgeous glass ornament for the garden, and a bowl that looks like the undulating Caribbean Sea.  I’m so proud!   glassball  

Jon and I have decided that we want to go back together as a couple and make lots more, to give as Christmas Gifts. (I don’t mind if you steal this idea, it’s okay. I share.)  Picture it – ornaments for the tree in the recipients favorite colors, or – team colors?  An ornament for a passionate gardener to place among their prized roses?   There are so many possibilities!

Lucky for you, lovely reader, that Parker has generously offered a huge discount to you, just for mentioning that you are a reader of mine.  In case you want to try your hand at it, here’s the offer:

  • Daylong class for One Person is $150.00,  but mention DoughMessTic and get it for $120.00. 
  • Paperweight class, normally $75.00, is $65.00 with mention of site. 
  • BYOB (blow your ornament ball) is $27 mention site and get it for $24.00. 
  • Also, everyone who signs up for a class gets 15% off all merchandise in the gallery.  If a sale is going on then the 15% is added to whatever is being offered. Similar discounts for people bringing friends or other groups, so just ask Parker!
    I hope many of you will consider this very unique opportunity. It’s a great price, and a wonderful experience.  If you have questions about what each class entails, check out the official site at www.staffordartglass.com.
        Here’s the proof I did it myself!
        Have a great week!!

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