Celebrating Three Years Of Operating My Glass Fusing Studio In Lakewood
After spending three decades teaching high school art, the last twenty-one at North Olmsted High School, I decided it was time to pursue my dream and open a glass-fusing studio. As I looked for the right location for my studio, Lakewood was at the top of my list.
Lakewood is an ideal location for a number of reasons. First, the community supports the arts through excellent venues such as the Beck Center and the Lakewood Fine Arts Festival, recently completing its 36-year this month. There are small galleries and interesting shops to visit run by entrepreneurs like myself. The library has a lively series of family-oriented events including their summer Friday evening Front Porch Concert Series.
Finally there is The Templar Industrial Complex that houses the Screw Factory with 30-plus resident artists located near Historic Birdtown on the east side of town on Athens Ave. The Screw Factory is rapidly becoming the “go to place” to acquire fine art and quality crafts. You can attend three Open Studio Events each year in an industrial building that is also the home of the 1930’s Templar automobile and has an interesting Lakewood history of it’s own.
I have lived in Lakewood for many years, raised my family here and now I can travel each day to my Westside studio in ten minutes. This is an exciting time for me because during the Month of August I am celebrating my Third Year Anniversary at my glass-fusing studio here in Lakewood!
So now let’s talk about one of my favorite topics, fused glass. Fused glass is commonly referred to as “warm glass work” and involves the use of a glass-fusing kiln. Stained glass, or cold worked glass, is generally created without the use of heat. Stained glass church windows are a familiar example. Blown or hot glasswork incorporates the use of a furnace to keep the glass in a molten state to create a vessel. It involves blowing the breath of life into a viscous ball of molten glass taken from the furnace, wrapped around a long narrow hollow metal tube called a "Punte."
Creating in warm glass involves layering or stacking sheets of cut and designed colored glasses that are then placed in the glass-fusing kiln. The artist controls the fusing time and temperature and the heated and fused glass changes into a beautiful pendant, glass vase, dessert plate or trivet. Designs and project are endless. The magic of glass is what happens in the kiln when your creation is literally transformed by heat and time into a beautiful and satisfying work of art.
I currently have a fused glass production studio and teaching studio and a corridor connecting the two that serves as a gallery for my fused glass works. I am still teaching, something I love doing, and now after all those years focusing on teens I can offer my services to adults and children in fused glass classes and workshops such as my popular “Ladies Friday Nite Out” Pendant workshops.
Other options include eight-week classes through the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Continuing Education and Community Outreach Program, taught here in Lakewood at my studio. I am CIA’s Westside connection for those looking for classes in glass fusing or Graduate Teacher Professional Development courses.
I find it very rewarding working with the many interesting adults who come to the studio wanting to try a class or workshop in fused glass. Some have very accopmlished careers, while others are folks simply wanting to try something different such as an interesting workshop. My teaching is family oriented and frequently I may have three generations of participants in a Pendant workshop - parents, their grown children and a grandparent.
My CIA Fusing I class and several Mini Glass Frit workshops will start in September. Perhaps I will have the opportunity of meeting some more Lakewood residents who want to try something new or expand their present creative skills as they help us celebrate our Third Anniversary!
Daniel Pruitt is an experienced teacher, longtime artist, Lakewood Business owner and supporter of the arts. For more information visit his website at danielpruittstudio.com or my.cia.edu/ceco
I am a glass fusing artist, teacher and entrepreneur with my business located at the Lake Erie Screw Factory in Lakewood. I teach classes and workshops offered by the Cleveland Institute of Arts Continuing Education and Community Outreach Program in my Lakewood Studio. I also exhibit in local Art Festivals including Cain Park art Festival, Lakewood Fine Arts Festival, Rocky River Art Festival, Shaker Arts Festival and the Ohio Designer Craftsman Show. at the IX Center.