Over the last twenty years I have developed a 1-&-a-half to 2 hour multi-media presentation and participatory glass fusing program for elementary schools around the NW region. With a combination of slides, videos, demos—tinged with a bit of humor--the information touches on science, math, art, history--and of course--safety. The info presented prepares the kids to explore the fun and creativity of fused glass art thru individual projects.
This day, and these projects, are appropriate for all elementary grade levels--kindergarten thru 5th grade.
I have worked with many schools and teachers multiple times--invited back year after year. It’s very fun, informative and safe.
In addition, I can also offer the option of creating auction projects and permanent art for installation at the school, some of which can be achieved on the same day.
Please contact me at any time for pricing and more details about this opportunity for your school.
Typical Space & Set-Up
Though I have worked with single classes, I find that multiple classrooms sharing their creative talents makes for a wonderfully productive energy. My preference is to reach as many kids as possible when I visit a school, so I have developed a very organized and thoughtful package for dealing with 60—and up to 140--students at a time.
The preferred space at the school is the gym or cafeteria, as much table and flat surface space is needed. Of course, available space (and budget) sometimes dictates the day—one must be flexible.
In addition to working space for the kids, multiple surfaces are needed for spreading out the thousands of colorful glass pieces to choose from. The parent volunteers, trained earlier on how to use the glass tools, also need their own area for helping to shape a few of the glass pieces.
Set-up starts about an hour before the students arrive. I unpack my materials and organize the various tables, get my iPad connected (hopefully a tech person is available to help as needed) to your projector or smart board, and train the parent volunteers—who need to arrive at least 20 minutes before the kids join us.
In the gym/cafeteria spaces I ask that the kids be seated on the floor in front of me/the screen for my presentation of slides, video and demos. This more intimate grouping helps with the back-and-forth of questions and comments. This part of the session is 30-45 minutes. They then move to their individual seats at the tables to start the work. At this point they have 45 minutes to an hour to work--depending on our designated end time.
At the table each student receives a paper plate—to be labeled with their name—and used for gathering up the color glass safely, We also pass out the square glass tile that becomes their “canvas”. Hopefully they’ll take some time to design and experiment with ideas for their creation before gluing the color glass to this base—a point of emphasis I make.
During my talk I also emphasize that they are working in a mosaic format, pretty much using the chosen shapes and colors the way they find them: "That is how mosaic works”. The presentation includes many examples and ideas of actual student work from previous school days to help make this point clearly.
But, the “trained volunteer’s” table is an option for having a “few” pieces shaped—definitely a popular and busy spot during the day.
In the end, the finished projects sit on the labeled plates and are gathered up when the kids leave. The packing up begins, I take everything home, fire the tiles, clean and wrap them back on the plates. I ask a volunteer to come to my studio to pick up the finished work about a week later and return them to the school. Done!
When the Kids Arrive
Materials & Other Items
I provide the volunteer training, all the glass, tools, paper plates, and various other materials needed for this day.
I do ask the school to provide:
White glue, small pill cups and toothpicks.
A sheet of regular white paper for each student (most can be used again), and pencils or pens should be available for sketching ideas and marking the plate.
Volunteers. I suggest at least two volunteers per classroom. But, the more the better, the merrier.