[PA-NJ Glassblowers] The New Hot Glass Studio at the Banana Factory

Tony Patti gaffer at glassblower.info
Tue Jun 20 21:19:37 EDT 2006

There is a new public-access hot shop scheduled to open in September in 
Bethlehem, PA
(which for those who do not know where that is, approx 6 miles east of 
Allentown PA).
I've *bolded* (below) their intention to rent.

Tony Patti
gaffer at glassblower.info

The New Hot Glass Studio at the Banana Factory *

This fall, the exciting world of glass art is coming the Lehigh Valley, 
as the Banana Factory opens the area's first hot glass studio. The 
facility, which will be available to professional artists and also serve 
as an educational facility for youth and adults, will add a new and 
vital dimension to the Banana Factory's programs and to the overall 
artistic capacity of the region.

The studio will feature a state-of-the-art furnace, gloryholes of 
various sizes for reheating, annealers to gradually cool the glass, 
pipes for blowing ladles for casting and pouring glass, diamond grinding 
equipment and a variety of tools used to fashion and finish the glass, 
both hot and at cold. In addition, educational facilities for 
flameworking - involving the use of specially designed torches to 
manipulate glass art and functional objects - will also be instituted.

Artistic advisor for the space is internationally-known glass artist, 
sculptor and painter *Steve Tobin* <http://www.stevetobin.com>, who 
first rose to prominence with his monumental "water glass" sculptures, 
and the *creative director* 
<http://www.bananafactory.org/06glassstudioartist.asp> is distinguished 
glass artist and professor *James Harmon* <http://www.jamesharmon.com>.


Images Courtesy of James Harmon

A primary focus of the glass studio will be educating people young and 
old about the art of blown glass and the glass making process. Beginning 
and advanced classes for children and adults, afterschool initiatives 
for area students and *programs benefiting at-risk youth* 
<http://www.bananafactory.org/06glassstudioB-Smart.asp> will all be part 
of the curriculum.

On the higher education level, Lehigh University's Chemical Engineering 
Department has expressed an interest in the studio, and the Banana 
Factory is also in discussion with other colleges that see the 
opportunity to expand their visual arts education offerings.

_*When not used for classes, the studio will be rented to area artists 
to produce glass art.*_

At the present time, the Lehigh Valley does not have a glass facility 
available to artists, and recent survey work has shown that there will 
likely be considerable demand for the space.

A final component of the glass studio will be the visiting glass artist 
in residence program, attracting artists from around the nation. The 
public will have excellent opportunities to meet the artists, watch them 
work and experience first-hand their magnificent works of art.

Through its state of the art glass center, comprehensive educational 
curriculum and unique visiting glass artist program, the Banana Factory 
is hoping to share the world of glass art with people from throughout 
the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

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