Thames Glass – Hand Blown Glass by Matthew Buechner Since 1981
Thames Glass is a glassblowing studio and gallery located at 688 Thames in the heart of Newport. At this studio, you can enjoy the view as artisans craft molten glass into art pieces and you can also have a firsthand experience and try it for yourself! The works crafted by these artisans have been featured in several publications including the Smithsonian. They also have had an ornamental line established in Tiffany & Co. Their in-house gallery highlights various glass pieces that are blown on the premises as well as a bright display of handmade glass jewelry that have been crafted by other artisans.
Matthew’s Passion for Glassblowing
Matthew Buechner, the owner of this studio is a world-renowned glassblowing instructor who has trained and developed several of the top experts in this field. As Matthew grew up in a family full of artists, his interest in glassblowing was spurred by his father, Thomas S. Buechner who was the founding director of Corning Museum of Glass in New York and the president of Steuben Glass. The Corning Museum of Glass is a prestigious museum devoted to showcasing and displaying fine glass art. He resumed work in a traditional glass factory in Frauenau Germany after he had completed his college studies in glassblowing and ceramics. After working in the glass factory for a period of one year, Matthew decided to share his passion for glassblowing with others. With the support of his wife Adrian, he started Thames Glass in 1981 and commenced offering glassblowing tutorials.
A Memorable Experience for Everyone!
As it stands, you don’t always have the chance to experience firsthand glassblowing lessons; however, this has been made possible by Matthew and his incredible team of experts. With lots of help and direction from a professional glassblower, you can get to blow your own glass ornaments at a relatively low charge. This offer is open to both kids and adults and with close supervision, you have nothing to worry about. The cost of blowing your own ornament is only $38 and they also offer a DIY paperweight lesson for $65.
You can fix an appointment by calling 401-846-0576
My First Lesson!
I recently had the opportunity of crafting my own ornament and it was an incredible experience. I highly recommend that you book an appointment and try it for yourself! The artist who assisted me, Shane, was incredibly helpful and ready to attend to all my questions. The lesson spanned through 10 minutes and I was able to learn quite a bit about the process within the short period of time.
What to expect in a lesson!
- First, you select up to three colors of your choice with white inclusive. You have two alternatives of either making a swirl or a speckled pattern.
- Afterwards, you insert the end of a hollow rod into a furnace that contains molten glass in order to collect a small quantity of clear glass for the base of the ornament.
- With the help of an expert, you will take the glob of the molten glass and roll it in the tray of colored glass shards. You will fuse the glass together by inserting the rod into a melting furnace.
- This is an interesting part where you now proceed to blow into the rod and watch your ornament form.
- Your instructor guide’s you on how to use a set of tongs and grip it above the sphere, pinching the hollow ball of glass from the rod.
- Your instructor then create’s a small loop on top of the sphere with which you can hang or suspend your ornament
- Finally, the glass is gradually cooled in an oven for a period of two days to prevent fracturing.
You can be sure that your ornament will be ready for pickup two days after your lesson. Perhaps, you don’t reside close to the area? No problem, your masterpiece can be shipped to your doorstep just for a token!