Glass Flameworking & Lampworking Classes

Using the intense heat of an oxygen-propane torch, learn how to melt and shape borosilicate or soft glass. Students create beautiful and interesting pieces including beads, marbles, small sculptures, and hollow vessels.

We offer a range of flameworking classes, from learning the fundamentals to more advanced bead making, for both adults and youth. If you’ve ever wanted to learn the beautiful art of flameworking, look no further!

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Upcoming Bay Area Glass Flameworking Courses

Browse below for all upcoming Glass Flameworking classes. Please note that due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, all upcoming Crucible classes are in-person with strict health and safety policies in place for students, faculty, and staff. You must review all Crucible policies before registering.

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Meet The Glass Flameworking Department Heads

Lauren Ekman

Lauren took her first flameworking class in 1999. She has been dedicated to education for decades, from teaching Glass Flameworking at The Crucible to being a school principal. “I just love watching as the glass turns into a bead or critter at the torch,” she told us. “And I’m so glad I get to share that with others at The Crucible.”

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Ralph McCaskey

Ralph began teaching at The Crucible back in 2009, and as his students know, his passion for Glass Flameworking is infectious. “The energy in The Crucible is what draws me here,” he shared with us. “You can never be 100% sure what you’re going to encounter when you walk in the door. It recharges me, spiritually and creatively.”

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Glass Flameworking Adult Classes

The Crucible offers a wide variety of adult classes teaching different glass flameworking techniques. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of marble making or how to make blown vessels with glass tubing, The Crucible has you covered. See the complete list of glass flameworking classes offered below.

Note: Due to COVID-19, we’re unable to offer all of the classes listed below at this time. You can sign up to be notified when specific classes are offered or browse a list of upcoming classes here

3-Hour Taster: Glass Flameworking

3-Hour Taster: Glass Flameworking

3-Hour Tasters are a great way to explore a new art form without the deeper commitment of a full course. After a basic introduction to melting and shaping borosilicate glass with an oxy-propane torch, create small glass marbles, mushrooms, or hearts to take home. Take a Taster and meet new friends or give the gift of creativity to someone special.

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Advanced Marble Making Techniques

Advanced Marble Making Techniques

The magical world of glass marble making continues in this course for the enthusiast. Explore advanced techniques, such as color, depth, texture, organic detail, murrine and cane use, and surface decoration. Students create vortex marbles, implosion marbles, and mystical dichroic galaxy marbles.

PREREQUISITE: Glass Flameworking I

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Adventures in Soft Glass: Fabulous Fish

Adventures in Soft Glass: Fabulous Fish

This intermediate-level class will have you sculpting fabulous solid and hollow-bodied fish. Emphasis will be on both structural and delightful decorative glass flameworking techniques, along with an exploration of various aquatic life forms. Fun is the main ingredient!

PREREQUISITE: Glass Beads I or Glass Flameworking I

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Adventures In Soft Glass: Finding Your Inner Monster

Adventures In Soft Glass: Finding Your Inner Monster

Extend your glass experience by learning techniques in creating open hollow forms. Monster expert Ralph McCaskey takes you on a journey in soft glass sharing secrets to creating facial expressions (if, indeed a bead could have a face) with a concentration on the eyes, thought of as windows to the soul. A brief historical look at monsters will give you a good starting point for your project. The class will wind up with embellishment techniques, such as feathers and electroforming.

PREREQUISITE: Glass Beads I or Glass Flameworking

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Beginning Marbles

Beginning Marbles

Create nature’s most perfect form—the sphere—in glass! After a basic introduction to melting and shaping borosilicate glass, you will complete several marble designs, including the clear gravity marble, the outside twist, the ribbon, or the eyeball. Techniques include hold and cold seals, color pulling, and color application.

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Friday Flame: Glass Flameworking

Friday Flame: Glass Flameworking

End the workweek with fire, friends, and a toast. Join us for Friday Flame, a unique night focused on industrial arts and good company. Learn to make a gather, shape glass, make hot seals, and work with color, while creating glass mushrooms and a glass serpent. After class, enjoy wine, beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage and marvel at your new masterpiece!

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Glass beads i

Glass Beads I

Learn to make colorful glass beads from Effettre glass rods (a soft glass) using an oxy-propane torch. This class teaches you how to make a variety of bead shapes, introduces tools to form and alter surface patterns, and shows you how to make stringers and twistees.

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Glass beads ii

Glass Beads II

This intermediate class explores new bead making skills, tools, and materials. Shape beads into hearts, flowers, or animals. Experiment with new techniques, including drawing with stringers and creating overlapping fish scales. Learn to use silver foil, dichroic glass, and other materials to add depth and sophistication to your beads.

PREREQUISITE: Glass Beads I

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Glass Flameworked Ornaments

Glass Flameworked Ornaments

After a basic introduction to melting and shaping borosilicate glass with an oxy-propane torch, create elegant, icicle-inspired ornaments or miniature candy canes ideal for holiday gifting or for your own ornament collection.

This class is part of Family Day, where parents and guardians with children ages 8 and up are welcome to register with their kids and get hands-on making ornaments—just in time for the holidays.

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Glass Flameworked Pendant

Glass Flameworked Pendant

After a basic introduction to melting and shaping borosilicate glass with an oxy-propane torch, create elegant, organic and beautiful pendants for holiday gifting or for your own adornment.

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Glass Flameworking i

Glass Flameworking I

Create beautiful glass ornaments, pendants, marbles, and more! Learn how to use tools and equipment like an oxy-propane torch to melt and shape glass. We will cover a variety of techniques including color pulling and applying, color pattern application, and marble making.

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Glass Flameworking ii

Glass Flameworking II

In this intermediate course, we expand on the fundamentals and investigate the intricacies of borosilicate glass flameworking in more involved projects and contemporary designs. In addition to learning more progressive solid glass techniques, you will learn to use glass tubing to make blown glass perfume bottles and vessels. Color application to blown glass and annealing hollow form pieces will also be discussed.

PREREQUISITE: Glass Flameworking I

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Glass Flameworking lab

Glass Flameworking Lab

Lab sessions are a great benefit, exclusively for Crucible members! Practice the skills you learn in class and explore new possibilities with your craft. No instruction is provided during lab sessions, but a lab monitor will be present to answer questions, manage safety, and provide overall support. You are free to come and go at your convenience during open lab hours, however, you must provide your own materials.

PREREQUISITE: Glass Flameworking I or Glass Beads I and Crucible membership

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Hollow Vessels

Hollow Vessels

Learn to flamework hollow glass, making unique vessels like terrariums, vases, trinket dishes, and spice jars! You will learn proper techniques for shaping and creating a stable vessel structure, as well as how to use the tools necessary to create vessels of your own design. This class is open to student exploration so have your ideas ready!

PREREQUISITE: Glass Flameworking I

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Making Glass Beads with Wine Bottles

Making Glass Beads with Wine Bottles

Wine bottles come in many beautiful colors, but can be difficult to work with. In this class, you will learn how to safely cut bottles into smaller pieces, and how to use an oxygen-propane powered torch to melt and shape the glass into a variety of fun shapes. This is a great introduction to glass beadmaking and an exciting opportunity to transform wine bottles into personal adornment.

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Glass Flameworking Youth Classes

In the Glass Flameworking Department, we offer youth classes specifically for ages 12-18. In these classes, The Crucible provides a unique setting for youth to get hands-on with glass, exploring their creative voices and absorbing real-life lessons in science, technology, engineering, and math. You can see all The Crucible’s offerings for youth here.

Youth Glass Flameworking

Youth Glass Flameworking I (ages 12-18)

Create beautiful glass ornaments, pendants, marbles, and more! Learn how to use tools and equipment like an oxy-propane torch to melt and shape glass with confidence. We will cover a variety of techniques including color pulling and applying, color pattern application, and marble making.

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Youth Glass Flameworking ii

Youth Glass Flameworking II (ages 12-18)

Expand your skills and techniques for working with borosilicate glass flameworking in this intermediate class. Create complex marbles, detailed sculptures, implosion pendants, and work with expert faculty on crafting unique designs.

PREREQUISITE: Youth Glass Flameworking I

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Youth Soft Glass Beads

Youth Soft Glass Beads (ages 14-18)

Learn to make colorful glass beads from Effettre soft glass rods using an oxy-propane torch. Youth will make a variety of bead shapes, stringers, and twistees and build skill using tools to form and alter surface patterns.

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Flameworking Class FAQs

What is flameworking?

Flameworking is a type of glasswork that uses a torch to melt and shape glass. Once the glass is heated to a molten state, it is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. It is also known as lampworking or torchworking.

Is flameworking different from lampworking?

Essentially, flameworking and lampworking are the same. The term lampworking originated from when Venitian glass workers would heat their glass over an oil lamp. Flameworking is a more modern take since present-day glass artists primarily work with an oxygen-propane torch.

How do I learn flameworking?

The Crucible offers a wide variety of adult classes teaching different glass flameworking techniques. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of marble making or how to make blown vessels, The Crucible has you covered. Start with a 3-Hour Taster or Glass Flameworking I to cover the basics, then move into more advanced classes.

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