Atlanta Hot Glass democratizes art

Jeremy+Alford+molds+the+glass+into+a+sphere.

Jeremy Alford molds the glass into a sphere.

With its numerous steps, the art of glassblowing may seem like a complex process. However, a new studio named Atlanta Hot Glass is demystifying the experience.

Glassblowing is an ancient practice, which is still producing great works of art today. Atlanta Hot Glass aims to open glassblowing to the masses. Brian Wong Shui co-owns the small studio, and disagrees with the “mass produced” style of today’s industrial art.

“We felt that there was a need for people to get hands on glass as a material and create something. It is too easy to look at something today and devalue the amount of work and effort that it took to produce,” Wong Shui said.

Wong Shui says the community is full of “Makers.”

“These are people who want to further their knowledge about the world about them free from the constraint of formal classes,” Shui said.

With an open studio, exhibitions, and instruction, Atlanta Hot Glass wishes to help people realize that they can create art too.

Through cycles of rolling, molding, and reheating, glassblowing artists can achieve something that might seem impossible at first. This is precisely what Atlanta Hot Glass wishes to teach, among other things.

Students can use glass blowing to learn about chemistry (color – metal oxides, batch), physics (momentum, centrifugal forces), art, and history.

“The actual task of learning to blow glass is technically challenging and brings your eyes, touch and smell into the piece at hand,” Susan Chin another employee at AHG, said. “I have heard that glass has a mind of its own.”

From a simple material like glass, intricate creations can be made. To showcase this, Atlanta Hot Glass also has their own gallery, with everything from glass swans to sparkling vases.

“I would like Atlanta Hot Glass to be a place where the community can visit for anything glass,” Chin said.

AHG also plans to host community events, such as a glass Pumpkin Patch, where both children and adults can come to enjoy glass-themed parties.

“Events like these will bring our community together and build fellowship,” Chin said.

At its heart, Atlanta Hot Glass is simply a studio where everyone has the potential to create something beautiful.

“When you purchase a handmade object, something in your DNA is resonating with some part of the artist’s vision,” Chin said.