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Paly Students Practice Glassblowing in Elective Art Class

Palo Alto High School offers glassblowing instruction as part of its ceramics program.

Students in Steve Ferrara’s ceramics class at Palo Alto High School are quite literally breathing new life into the ancient art of glassblowing.

Under the supervision of Ferrara and aide Peter Stuckey, the young artisans work to delicately manipulate molten glass heated by roaring 2000-degree kilns. Ferrara said that students start off making paperweights and flowers, and gradually work their way up to more complex projects like cups or animal shapes.

Typically, a liquefied bubble of glass is rolled in pans of colored, crushed glass , reheated, and then shaped several times before its allowed to set and cool. 

In the video, you can see junior Eveli Mayfield as she works with Stuckey to make a cup. She said she was drawn to glassblowing because of the artistic possibilities that the medium affords. “I love being able to create whatever you want, and the freedom of what you can make,” she said.

Stuckey, who said he’s been blowing glass for years, helps students with the finer points of their techniques. He said that despite the fact that glassblowing as an art form has been around for thousands of years, there’s always something new to create.

“I love the medium for how it moves the colors you can capture with it. There are endless possibilities.”

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