If you’ve ever visited a gallery that features glass art, you know the intricate and beautiful forms that glass art can take. Glass artists create a breathtaking array of shapes, molding glass to bring their inspired visions into reality. But have you ever wondered exactly how the process works – how glass artists bring their visions to life?
At the Duncan McClellan Gallery, we feature hundreds of works from dozens of nationally and internationally recognized artists. But we also have a 2,400 square foot state-of-the-art, fully equipped glass workshop, the St. Petersburg Hot Glass Workshop – or hot shop for short.
The hot shop gives visitors to the gallery the opportunity to see behind the scenes into the world of glass art creation.
Silicate glass, which is the type of glass most often seen in glass art, is created by melting silica (and often other raw materials) at extremely high temperatures – around 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, solid silica becomes molten, losing its crystalline structure. When it cools, it becomes what is known as a non-crystalline or amorphous solid – what we commonly call glass.
At temperatures between 1,600 and 2,000 Fahrenheit, glass isn’t fully liquid, but becomes soft and moldable. Glass artists heat glass to this temperature range to allow them to shape it into the many beautiful shapes of glass art you see in galleries.
When you visit our hot shop, you can watch award winning artists as they create their art, and learn about the process behind this amazing art form. Seeing artists transform molten materials into the masterworks displayed in our gallery will give you a new appreciation for the art form, and provides a uniquely entertaining experience.
And perhaps you’d like to learn how to make glass art yourself? In the hot shop we provide glass blowing classes for all levels of experience, from first time beginners up through master classes for experienced artists.