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Toledo Museum of Art master class to teach glass flameworking techniques

Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Art Museum, Toledo Museum
Amber Cowan (American, born 1981), Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph, Flameworked glass, American pressed glass, wood, and mixed media, 2018. Purchased with funds from the Jamar Art Fund of Marvin and Lenore Kobacker, 2018.

Philadelphia glass artist Amber Cowan, whose work, Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph, was acquired by the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in 2018 and is currently on display in the Glass Pavilion, will teach her glass flameworking techniques during a one-week glass art master class at the Museum June 24-28. This class is open to those with no previous glass or flameworking experience.  

Cowan’s class will be a survey into a variety of glass that can be used at the torch.

“We will cover borosilicate, soft, and recycled glass to everything in between,” Cowan said. “The students will learn how each of the different types of glass work in the torch and kiln and why we would use these glasses for certain projects. The class will focus on sculptural flameworking off the mandrel and how to build more complex forms.”

Cowan gathers found pressed glass, purchased from eBay or antique shops, to her studio where she reshapes the pieces with a flameworking torch. She also utilizes a historic glass press purchased from the now-defunct Fenton Glass Company (similar to the one on view in the Glass Pavilion in Gallery 3) to create her own pressed objects, like the shells that are found scattered throughout Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph.

She has been working with glass for over fifteen years and has received her MFA in glass/ceramics from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her BFA in 3-dimensional design with a concentration in glass from Salisbury University.

Her class is one in a series of glass master classes the Museum is hosting from May through August 2019. The glass master classes will run one week, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with lunch provided. Each week-long class will cost $950 for Museum members and $1,000 for non-members.

To register for a master class in glass, visit or call (419) 254-5080.