SESSION 5: Intelligent Design

August 7 - 18, 2020

Update 04-21-2020

In response to growing concerns around COVID-19, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel programming through mid-August - including Session 5 courses. We apologize for any inconvenience and are doing our best to communicate with all who have been affected by these cancellations.

We remain optimistic that the late August and Fall programs will continue to take place and encourage interested students to enroll. We have amended our enrollment and refund policies to give you the flexibility and financial security to do so without any risk.

Read more here.

In the current age of Glass the material has become ubiquitous and a vital component of technology, architecture and utilitarian design.  By understanding its material and aesthetic properties we can learn to design intelligently with glass.

Artists in Residence: Doug Johnston & Tomoe Matsuoka, Sabine Marcelis

Craftspersons in Residence: Jen Elek, Eric Meek



Glassblowing, Lighting, Design, Professional Development

Lighting design and iteration! A session jammed to the brim with an assault on the lighting industry from two professionals in the trade. Students will explore the business of the lighting world and the deconstruction of process and form. We will have lectures on industrial processes, the design world, 3D printing components, and the balance of professional and personal practices. Students will work through mold blowing and repetitive form building. Wiring and UL, CSA, and European codes and certifications will also be covered. Got ideas? Let’s have at ‘em!





Jay Macdonell balances personal explorations with working for various artists, designers, and architects as a project manager, design consultant, and gaffer. He is the material explorations manager for Bocci, a process-based design and architecture firm based in Vancouver and Berlin. Japanese-born glass artist Michiko Sakano started a fabrication studio in Brooklyn where she and her team create artist editions, original art works, and limited edition design pieces. Her clients include Lindsey Adelman Studio, Rolland Hill, Jorge Pardo, and others. 


Glassblowing, Experimentation, Mixed Media, Sculpture

This course will be focused around breaking boundaries. Learn to push material limitation and work with the unexpected by approaching glass from a non-traditional angle. Explore experimental sculpting techniques, mold making, color theory, and mixed-media design. An array of materials will be introduced as aids for construction, surface treatments, and finishing agents. Working through creative outcomes with a freedom that doesn’t jeopardize intent and embracing the unknown, this course will push what you know about making. Collaboration will be vital. Embrace the weird, get wild, and let go of inhibitions! 




Bri Chesler is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in glass and mixed media. Her work draws from the wild and erotic character of the natural environment and its relationship to our own internal structures. By fusing similar elements found in biology and botany she creates forms that ‘flirt’ with the audience, exploring ideas of intimacy and desire. She was recently featured in the Bellevue Arts Museum, Washington, exhibition BAM Biennial 2018: BAM! Glasstastic, and was a 2019 Pilchuck emerging artist in residence. 



Glassblowing, Hot Glass Fabricated Blow Molds, Experimentation, Multiples

Explore notions of positive and negative and how they inform the creative process! Students will explore how blow molds can expand their practice, how the back and forth between positive and negative informs intent, and the advantages and pitfalls of molds versus freehand techniques. With a focus on making and utilizing blow molds, we will experiment across a range of material interactions and processes. The integral concepts of multiplicity, repeatability, and divergence will be addressed while considering larger notions of formality and flexibility. 





John Hallett lives and works in New York City, having recently gained an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born and raised in Adelaide, Australia, Hallett holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from University of South Australia, Adelaide. Anders Rydstedt’s relationship with glass began with his great-grandfather and grandfather, both glassblowers in Sweden. Currently living in New York City, he produces his own line of design wares and takes commissions from various designers, architects, and artists. 



Moldmaking, Hot Glass Plaster Blow Molds, Kiln Casting, Pâte de Verre

Cover the fundamentals of moldmaking and blowing for plaster-silica hot-glass molds. Students will make molds from forms they design, then blow glass into these molds to produce hollow, colored-glass casts of their objects. The course will also offer moldmaking for kiln casting and pâte de verre. Students will learn kiln-firing, annealing, and coldworking techniques for finishing in glass. Various trips into the surrounding landscape to observe the local flora and fungi will provide students inspiration for the forms and colors of their works. 




Thaddeus Wolfe studied glass at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio, graduating with a BFA. He has held residencies at Creative Glass Center of America, New Jersey; and Museum of Glass, Tacoma. His work is represented by Friedman Benda, New York; Pierre Marie Giraud, Brussels; and Volume Gallery, Chicago. Wolfe’s work is held in the permanent collections of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Montréal, Canada; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut; and Corning Museum of Glass, New York; where he was awarded the 2016 Rakow Commission. 


Flameworking, Sculpture, Fluid Dynamics, Design, Functional Art

The function of a piece can take on a beauty of its own; it’s not only about the ergonomics, it’s also about the way smoke moves through the water, how water moves through the piece, and how all these aesthetics work together. In this course, students will explore the possibilities of fluid dynamics in glass. Advanced flameworking techniques will be utilized to create pathways to designs that push the idea of functional art. From sketching to technical drawing to hands-on practice, ideas will be expressed in the functionality of borosilicate glass recyclers. 




Daniel Coyle, known as COYLE, is an independent artist, and his stylistic and distinctive monkeys, bears, and bananas are easily recognizable. He started blowing glass in 2003. After spending five years working as a professional glassblower for a chemical company, he quit his job in order to pursue his artistic vision in glass pipes. COYLE currently resides in western Massachusetts.