Things are heating up on West Campus as members of the Ohio State Glass Club fire up their furnaces and begin work on their projects for the semester. The club, which has been an active organization on campus for over 30 years, has opened its doors for students to observe the glassblowing process and engage in the experience of working with molten glass.
“It’s a really open and inviting environment. It’s a great place to get to know people … watch people have fun, learn how to use the material and do some wacky things with (glass) as well,” said Niko Dimitrijevic, a first-year Master of Fine Arts candidate studying glass.
Dimitrijevic, a new member to the Glass Club, has several years of experience working with glass. He has spent the last two weeks working closely with other members of the club to share techniques and work together to educate incoming members for the semester.
“Most people have a general idea of what glassblowing is … but it is a completely different thing to actually do it, step in and be in front of the heat to see how the material moves,” Dimitrijevic said.
Jonathan Capps, president of the club and a Master of Fine Arts candidate studying glass, takes charge each week and guides students through the meeting.
“We come together as a community and clean the studio first,” Capps said. “Then, each week a different group of students is responsible for what we call ‘Feast,’ and we have a family picnic style meal. It’s really a time to get to know each other and then learn some technique through demonstrations after the meal.”
Capps said he enjoys working with students to enhance their abilities in working with glass. He also notes that most don’t necessarily need to have prior experience in the field to qualify to take a class with the club.
“We’re actually pretty open out here,” he said. “Any student is more than welcome to come out, watch and observe … As far as actually enrolling in a course, there are a couple of prerequisites … But mostly those prerequisites fall into general education requirements. A lot of kids are actually unknowingly able to take the courses.”
In addition to hands-on experience with molten glass, the club occasionally brings in glassblowers from around the country for demonstrations. Professionals such as Lisa Demagall, Boyd Sugiki and Lisa Zerkowitz will come to OSU this semester to showcase their work and share techniques with any student interested in attending.
Yukiyoshi Mineoi, a fourth-year in ceramics, said he has enjoyed participating in the club this past year.
“These guys are so skilled. It’s rare to get the opportunity to be so close to them while they are working and see some really amazing stuff,” he said. “It’s the ability to work with hot glass, casting glass and cold-working glass … These skills, you wonder how the hell it’s done. And these guys are doing it right here with you.”
As a culmination of its work, the club will hold art sales on campus, during which members will sell their finished pieces to help pay for their used materials from the semester, as well as help support the visiting artists program.
Capps said the autumn sale will take place Nov. 16-18 at the Ohio Union.
“We have a lot of OSU students and alumni come back and are collecting pieces that are made from the club. It’s a really great time,” he said.
The OSU Glass Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening 6:30–9:30 p.m. at the Sherman Studio Art Center, located at 1055 Carmack Road.
For more information about the club and membership information, visit the Undergraduate Student Organizations page on the OSU Department of Art website.