Home TravelDomestic Glassblowing Lesson at Harmony Glassworks, Harmony

Glassblowing Lesson at Harmony Glassworks, Harmony

by TerriAnn

When we started to plan our trip to the central California coast, glassblowing was not originally on our list. Yet, a friend of ours mentioned a neat shop in the small town of nearby Harmony called Harmony Glassworks. Since it was only about 10 minutes away, we decided to check it out. We are so happy that we did!

It was amazing to see how the owner and resident artisan, Eric, could turn this into this:

Glassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in CaliforniaGlassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in California

With a little bit of that and that:

Glassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in CaliforniaGlassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in California

Inside the unassuming warehouse at the end of an even more unassuming tiny town of Harmony, CA is a full collection of glass-blown products. In addition to the huge selection, individual glassblowing lessons are available as well. For only $125, you receive 1-1/2 hour of instruction, the two pieces you make during the lesson, and a memory that will last a lifetime. Not only that but it’s just such a cool experience!

During my session I learned to work with two main tools (the jack and taglio), blow into and shape the glass, and how to add color (in the first photo I rolled it in purple crushed glass). Children must be at least 12 years old to take a lesson so, though she could not participate, my daughter was still able to get a very close look at the process.

Glassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in CaliforniaGlassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in California

At the beginning I was a bit hesitant to be working with burning hot molten glass. It turns out that it wasn’t that bad. I happened to be wearing cotton which helped me stay cool and the glove I was given provided even more protection. The scariest part was when I only had some wet newspaper between my hand and the glowing glass right out of the furnace. Fortunately, Eric was very good about communicating with me and was mindful of if it got too hot for me or not. The fact that he’s used to dealing with his own young children meant he was very patient with my awkwardness of being a total beginner.

The glass takes about 12 hours to cool properly so we picked up my final pieces the next day. For those not staying nearby, they do ship your items for a small fee.

Glassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in CaliforniaGlassblowing lesson at Harmony Glassworks in California

All-in-all, I had a great time and would recommend anyone visiting to take a class here. If you have family or friends with you, I would suggest to have them go off and do something then return about 45 minutes later. The first part of the instruction is mostly for you to see how things works and get a feel for what you will be doing later. By the time I was making the second piece, of which I did most of it myself, my husband and daughter had gotten kind of bored sitting on the side and watching. So, save your photo memory cards for the last portion of the lesson when you’re fully involved.

Still not convinced this is something for you? Well, I have no artistic ability and it was my first time to even see glassblowing done yet watch how my lesson went:

So give Eric an email and schedule a lesson today! Oh, and when you sign his log book after the lesson, look for my entry there!

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Sonia Gomez February 27, 2012 - 10:00 am

Pretty cool!!! I want to do that!

Cookies & Clogs February 27, 2012 - 11:28 am

You’d love it! The pieces in the shop were pretty expensive so $125 for 1-1/2 hour lesson and taking home the two items you make was a good deal, I thought. I’ll have to show you the vases I made!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 27, 2012 - 11:15 am

You do the coolest stuff! I would have been incredibly nervous too, and what? Just wet newspaper? Yikes!

Cookies & Clogs February 27, 2012 - 11:30 am

Well, I try 🙂 It was pretty cool how the guy was just swinging that blazing hot melted glass around on the pipes… Yes, it was a bit scary but I kept soaking the newspaper with tons of water. At one point he told me to pat it down since it was too wet and would cool the glass too quickly 😛 So I came home with two vases and NO burns!

Danielle @Royalegacy February 27, 2012 - 11:37 am

I have been there. It is the most incredible place to visit. Harmony is such a cute little little town. The history of the town is so interesting in how the town’s name became Harmony. I guess the hubby and I really love that little part of the California coastline.

Cookies & Clogs February 27, 2012 - 11:49 am

We’ll have to get more tips from you then because we had such a nice vacay and may want to return soon 🙂 Have you taken a lesson here? It was such a fun experience and I just put some tulips in each of the two vases I made! Such a neat memory!

Danielle @Royalegacy February 27, 2012 - 12:52 pm

No, I did not take a lesson. I thought the price was just too much for it. We travel on a budget, and our budget included some very nice dinners. The best dinner that we had was at the Cavalier Resort (Best Western). The steak dinner we had there (which the beef was from the Hearst Ranch) was exquisite.

Cookies & Clogs February 27, 2012 - 1:20 pm

Ah, I see. We didn’t focus much on the restaurants on this trip as our timing always lead us to funny dining times. I’ll have to keep that restaurant in mind. We did try the Hearst beef – the food at the Hearst Castle itself was pretty tasty!

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