The gallery at Fire Glass Studio is celebrating bright and bold colors of summer, featuring a wide variety of one-of-a-kind handcrafted light-filled glass sculptures, bowls and artifacts created by students and local artists.
“It’s exciting to see it all come together this summer, it is such a beautiful season,” says Fire Glass Studio artist and founder Michal Hasson. “The gallery, along with our work tables, makes the studio friendlier and warmer for visitors, students and artists. Here at the studio, I want to give more people a chance to appreciate the special charm of fused glass art, learn the process of how things are made, and, perhaps, take home a piece of summer.”
Hasson, 50, a former Israeli soldier and now artist/entrepreneur working in Canoga Park, recently opened Fire Glass Studio, a place where adults, children and families produce dazzlingly beautiful glass fusion art. “The painter Marc Chagall, one of my favorite artists, used stained glass art to express new beauty and his faith. I think glass art can be so life-affirming,” she says.
Her passion about the healing power of fused glass art is evident. Her eyes sparkle when telling a visitor how the technical skills learned and the inspiration experienced are invaluable to a child, a senior, or anyone who needs a sense of accomplishment.
“Once a month, I drive down to Silver Lake to teach elderly residents at the Garden Crest Rehabilitation Center, and there’s no doubt in my mind that making fused glass art brings connections and meaning to their lives,” she says.
With an M.B.A. from University of Judaism, Michal, also a wife and mother of three, has her own reasons for mastering an art form. She talks about the time a serious illness, only a few years ago, caused her to step away from a successful career in business.
“Someone suggested doing fused glass, which I never really heard about before,” she says. “I found, however, that the tactile, careful process of fusing multicolored glass pieces into something wonderful was so appealing to me. And, yes, inspiring, in ways I never imagined.”
Largely self-taught, Hasson quickly gained an expertise in using glassmaking techniques and tools. The glass fusing process is a delicate mix of old- and new school methods. The skills are traditional ones: using a fusing kiln, molding or flat-fusing glass items, and applying paint to glass with varying colors. But the design work can be cutting-edge, taking digital stencils or models to produce a unique-shaped bowl or jewelry piece.
“I love to keep things simple when instructing students,” she says. “Method and craft will come together eventually as long as one focuses on the idea or result you envision.”
Hasson has made a commitment to improve her community outreach this summer and beyond, pointing to the studio’s schedule of new classes for kids, youth, families, and adults. “When I first started the studio, mostly friends and families signed up,” she says. “Now, for example, I’m going out to public and private elementary and middle schools to offer fusion glassmaking classes for after-school enrichment programs. I’m also looking forward to doing more art therapy sessions at nursing homes and so much more. I even created a new Web site to gain more visibility for the studio.”
Hasson says that as soon as the warm summer sunlight streams into her studio and tones up all the brilliant blues, golds, and greens of the fused glass art pieces, “I instantly know I’m in the right place and doing what I’m supposed to be doing: making each day more beautiful. ”
Fire Glass Studio held an Open House to celebrate its one-year anniversary. Fire Glass Studio offers glass fusing art classes and workshops to children and youth, families, and adults. Owner Michal Hasson said she was delighted for the opportunity to introduce a creative and enjoyable art form to communities throughout the San Fernando Valley.
“Our studio shows all our students how to take their imagination and bring it to life in a beautiful art form that is simple to learn, but has endless possibilities they can explore.” said Hasson. “We are constantly touched by the personal growth stories we get from individuals after just taking one class.”
The Open House featured gallery exhibits from glass art students and several independent glass artists, who use the studio space to enhance their art projects. In attendance were prominent glass artists, but also a number of visitors who had just discovered Fire Glass Studio. According to Hasson, guests were thrilled to discover the variety and quality of the colorful artworks on display, and, as an added bonus, they were given a chance to try their hand at creating their own one-of-a-kind fused glass art. Even some curiosity seekers found themselves at a craft table learning how to combine different shapes and colors of glass to make their own eye-pleasing keep-sakes.
Fire Glass Studio’s in-house artist and head of teaching, Darren Frale stated, “It is so much fun to see someone try their hand at glass fusioning for the first time. Watching someone go from ‘I could never do that’ to ‘I can’t wait to do it again’ makes what I do so worthwhile. Frale, who is a graduate of the Corning Museum of Glass as well as the famous Glass Furnace studios and a contributor at Santa Monica college’s Glass Art program, is an avid glass artist, who loves sharing his skill and passion with the student’s at the studio.
“We feel we have just begun to bring the special value of fused glass art to all kinds of communities and people,” said Hasson. “We can’t wait to see what we will achieve in the coming year.”
This summer, Fire Glass Studio is offering a special 2-week Summer Camp program for kids in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area called “Adventures in Glass Visioning.” The program was created to provide a unique and different alternative for the youth of our community to come and explore the world of Glass Art. During their two-week journey our young adventurers will discover:
- the history and possibilities in Fused-Glass Art.
- the many different types of techniques used to create Glass Art.
- how to work with ceramics and acrylic paints to enhance their Glass Art.
- how to work with artist tools such as brushes, saws, grinders, kilns and polishers.
- how to combine paint, wood, glass and other media into works of art.
- how to take their “Creative Vision” from their imagination, to paper, and then create stunning one-of-a-kind art they can treasure forever.
“Adventures in Glass Visioning” meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00am to 2:00pm for two-weeks and has six time slots open for the 2014 Summer Season. They are:
- June 9 – June 20
- June 23 – July 4
- July 7 – July 18
- July 27 – August 1
- August 4 – August 15
- August 18 – August 29
The camp is designed for kids age 6 to 16 and the cost is only $390.00 for the entire two-week session and includes all supplies and materials. If you sign up now and use the promo code “glassadventure” at checkout, you can receive an additional 10% discount.
Don’t miss this chance to let your kids explore their un-discovered creativity in this exciting adventure.