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Wednesday July 7, 2021 | by UrbanGlass Staff

Brooklyn Tech HS Virtual Senior Seminar, Spring 2021

Last week we were delighted to host an in-person reception in our Agnes Varis Art Center celebrating the end of a 9-week Virtual Seminar developed in collaboration with our community neighbor, Brooklyn Technical High School. Following a series of virtual glassblowing demonstrations for 150 students from the school’s Industrial Design department, 12 eager students were invited to dive deeper into the dynamic properties of glass as a creative and design medium with teaching artist Jessi Moore. Working in groups, the students moved through the entire process of bringing their ideas to life, from inspiration to design to fabrication.

Tuning in virtually to watch glassblowing demonstrations streamed live from the UrbanGlass hotshop, students explored traditional techniques as well as experimental methods of glass production. Focusing on building an understanding of the fundamental properties of the material as a design tool and learning a language around the business of glass, the demonstrations gave students an opportunity to connect with a variety of professionals working in the field. Visiting artists Romina Gonzales, Michiko Sakano, and Mia Sartori joined the class to share their work and engage in a discussion about their process, inspirations, client relationships, education trajectories and career paths. Students also met with Eda Sanchez-Persampieri from St. Francis College to learn about entrepreneurship and business strategies, offering valuable perspective on a career in design.

Inspired by the amazing possibilities illustrated each week, the students collaborated in small groups to conceive and sketch original designs for tabletop objects. The teams were then invited to join Jessi in-person at the UrbanGlass studio to observe the fabrication process and contribute on-the-spot design decisions in response to how the form was taking shape. Sharing feedback about his experience in the class, student Arsen Tumanian said, “I really enjoyed the entire learning process, especially the fabrication session. You guys did a great job creating an immersive program despite the circumstances we are all in. Thank you for the amazing experience!”

We are incredibly heartened by the students’ creativity, camaraderie and dedication despite the challenges of this heavy year. We are also deeply grateful for the partnership of Matt Mandery, Chief Educational Officer for the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation, and Mike Fisher, the students’ Industrial Design teacher, who were instrumental in realizing this program. 

Our joyful congratulations to the students who took part in this class! We are thrilled to share the beautiful results of their efforts, and look forward to seeing how their unique artistic voices develop.

UrbanGlass is committed to fostering community partnerships with organizations that share our passion for educating and inspiring young people. Please contact our Youth & Outreach Coordinator at  to learn more, or to reserve a custom designed virtual demonstration for your group.