Welcome to the WheatonArts Glass Studio, an internationally celebrated, state-of-the-art glassblowing facility! In recent planning work, the Glass Studio has been identified as the “heartbeat” of WheatonArts; the home of Resident and International Artists, Studio assistants and interns, as well as many students beginning, and furthering, their glass knowledge with our Studio Classes.
The Glass Studio is open to the general public from April through December, Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5pm. Watch contemporary glass being blown in a traditional, 1800’s replica glass house!
Join us for live, narrated glassblowing demonstrations Tuesday through Sunday at 11am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm.
The Studios at WheatonArts facilitate the ongoing work of artists and educate the public on the creative process.
The Glass Studio, a replica of the T. C. Wheaton Glass Factory, is a vibrant interactive public access studio, home to resident staff artists who host the CGCA Fellows and other guest artists. Visitors to the Glass Studio are afforded first-hand insights into artistic pursuits during all operating hours. Interpreters educate the visiting public with informal interaction, as well as three narrated demonstrations per day.
The Glass Studio is visited by nearly all of our 50,000 visitors per year. Hands-on opportunities through programs such as the Make Your Own Paperweight Program, continue to serve approximately 600 people per year. The Glass Studio is essential to our educational programs for students and is one of a very few glass facilities in the country to offer hands-on opportunities to approximately 1,000 elementary and high school students each year.
Initially, the Glass Studio was manned by “old time” glassblowers transferred from the Wheaton Glass Company. In 1976, the addition of interpretive staff included students coming out of college art programs. Young artists/craftspeople, costumed by day in Victorian garb, worked in the Glass Factory, while also achieving success in their individual careers. In 1978, contemporary glass artist Flora Mace, a top assistant to Dale Chihuly, was invited by WheatonArts and welcomed by Frank Wheaton, as the first official artist-in-residence. Paul Stankard also worked with the WheatonArts staff on experimental work.
In 1982, a group of artists, educators, gallery owners and WheatonArts staff leadership approached Founder, Frank Wheaton, Jr., to solicit support of an ongoing artist-in-residence program for emerging contemporary glass artists. By this time the studio staff had grown to approximately 13 people, operating seven furnaces, facilitating the production of glassware in the “hand shop” tradition. Wanting to cut expenses, and encouraged by Stankard’s and Mace’s residency experiences, Mr. Wheaton committed his support to fund the Creative Glass Center of America (CGCA) Fellowship Program for the first few years. This was a turning point in the organization and a catalyst for the eventual broadening of the mission beyond its historical emphasis. At this point the “Glass Factory” became a year round "Artist Studio.”
In 2003, Hank Murta Adams accepted the position of Creative Director, and will lead the studio into a new growth stage. He is supported by a talented and dedicated staff including Don Friel and Joe Mattson.