As we embark on a new year, we’re heartened to look back on the opportunities we’ve had to build new partnerships and grow existing ones. We closed out 2020 with a series of live virtual glassblowing demonstrations for over 150 junior- and senior-year students majoring in Industrial Design at Brooklyn Technical High School, marking a happy continuation of our collaboration with the school. Our partnership with Brooklyn Tech’s Industrial Design department is rooted in the critical role that glass plays in shaping the modern world. By connecting students with professional glass artists and designers, we aim to give them the skills and knowledge to design for the future.
To complement the 3D modeling curriculum that the students were studying all semester, our virtual demonstrations investigated how this prototyping technique can be applied to the fabrication process in the glassblowing studio. Utilizing reusable molds made of wood and metal, William Couig of FurtherDesign and studio technician Shuhei Fujii demonstrated the creation of various objects through a technique called mold blowing. Mold blowing is the process of shaping molten glass by inflating it in a mold with a hollow cavity. For the purposes of mass production, this cavity is typically machine-carved from different materials according to the specifications of a digital rendering.
Seeing this entire process from start to finish offers invaluable insight into the material properties, limits and potential of glass as a design material. Tuning in remotely to the live demo, students were able to engage with the demo artists in real time and learn from an expert perspective about what it takes to run a successful design business. In conversations propelled by the students’ keen questions, we covered everything from getting started in the field, to managing client relationships, to how the glassblowing community overcame technical challenges imposed by COVID restrictions, and much more.
The lasting challenges of these past months have impacted young people more than anyone. Their collective fortitude in the face of it all has been endlessly uplifting, and we are truly grateful to have had an opportunity to share a bright moment with these students.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more, or to reserve a custom designed virtual demonstration for your group.