As you head to the glass studio located within Goodman Arts Centre, you will feel the creative vibes exuding from the neighbouring buildings.
Once you’ve entered into the studio, you’ll be amazed by the vibrant glassware on display, many of which are made by the trainers themselves.
From jewellery to coasters, plates and more, the level of creativity involved is astounding; I couldn’t wait to get started on making something myself.
Each streak and spot of colour is produced by embedding individual pieces of glass, without additional dyes or paints. Even the “powdery” effect you find in many pieces is all glass-based; no other material is used, isn’t that amazing?
After a brief introduction about the types and thickness of glass materials, as well as the effects you can coax out of them, we start off with some 3mm-thick clear glass as a base and plan the finished product on paper.
We also get to use a few glass-cutting tools, which are quite easy to handle, that’s if you’re really careful! We also use these special apparatuses to make the glass break at just the right shape we needed it too.
The Beetle Bits Glass Cutter System is fitted with a ruler for easy measurement and slicing of large coloured pieces to put on top of our base. Smaller segments can be marked using the hand-cutting tool, although I think the Beetle Bits is a lot easier to control.
Accuracy is important because using too big a piece will cause the design to “overflow”, while pieces that are too small might not provide enough coverage when the glass is fired later on.
That’s right, projects at Goodman Glass Studio are kiln-fired, similar to how pottery has to be treated after it is put in the right shape. Glasswork that goes through this technique has to start out on a flat surface and objects that are far from that shape, such as glass beads, cannot be made here (these are constructed using torched glass techniques instead).
Kilns are ideal for projects that use sheets of high-quality glass like these, which Goodman Glass Studio sources from Bullseye Glass Co., based in the USA.
Starting flat doesn’t mean that you’re limited in potential crafts, though, as ornaments like vases and pencil holders can still be constructed using a kiln with a little know-how.
Look at how the colours have melded together beautifully in the stationery holder above; it looks just like kueh lapis, boy does it make me hungry!
After the glass is properly scratched with the Beetle Bits Glass Cutter or the hand-cutting tool, a pair of breaking pliers is used to snap the pieces into two along the line.
Diagonal lines are generally harder for beginners to cut as compare to vertical or horizontal lines, hence, I took the easy way out and worked with squares only — but, don’t be shy to consult your instructor on how to work on other more complex designs.
The final step is to clean each piece thoroughly before arranging it in its proper place to prevent fingerprints or dirt from contaminating the finished product. Believe me, you won’t want a permanent thumbprint imprinted in the middle of your masterpiece!
The clear glass base is actually fired above the colours so as to give the design more depth, or a deeper “feel” to it.
After the arrangement is done, the studio will fire the workpiece for you; it’ll be ready for collection in a week.
You’ll see lots of other different effects that can be achieved by firing the glass at different temperatures when you’re there. The same types of glass can be made to resemble animal fur, flowers, fruits and even cute pets.
What I experienced was a simple glass platter workshop, but you learn much more at Goodman Glass Studio. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making mandala bowls and coral plates at the Special Project Workshops.
If you’ve attended a workshop and liked it a lot, you can attend it once more without the instruction fee by enquiring about their Open Studio scheme; that way you get to make more of your favourite crafts at a lower cost.
For experienced glass craftsmen, booking of the studio (from S$36 for two hours) to use its equipment for your own independent projects is offered as well, saving you the money required for regular maintenance costs and space rental.
Excited to start your first project? Goodman Glass Studio has got a special deal just for all you HYPE & STUFF readers: Get S$40 off the total cost when you sign up with a friend for the Glass Platter Taster Workshop on Saturday, 17 June 2017 (only applicable for this session).
The usual price for two participants is S$240 in total (S$120 per pax), but use the promotion code “ILOVEHYPE” when you register Online to get this sweet deal at S$200 (S$100 per pax) instead. If there’re any booking issues or need for further information, don’t hesitate to drop the studio an enquiry.
Each of you will get to take home an exclusive handmade plate of your own creative design; to get an idea of what you’ll get to make, check out a couple of pieces made by previous participants above.
Although registrations are accepted up to 6pm the night before the workshop, you’ll want to sign up as early as possible to ensure your spot in the class. The session allows for a maximum of eight people (four pairs only!), so be quick to snap up a place!
Dates & Times: Refer to specific workshop
Prices: S$50 onwards