Glass Workshops at Penland


Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week workshops taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include glass blowing, flameworking, glass sculpture, cold working, casting, fusing, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Register for Workshops

Scholarships are still available for some workshops. Log in to Slideroom for details. 

NOTE: Many aspects of Penland workshops will be altered for 2021 because of the pandemic, but we’re moving ahead with optimism and care. Before you apply, please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document so you will know what to expect and what will be expected of you. And know that, if conditions force us to cancel workshops, you’ll get a full refund on your payment.

Note on glassblowing workshops: Glassblowing is inherently collaborative and requires constant physical assistance and proximity, especially for students who are learning and developing new skills. We have not found a way to teach glassblowing safely while the pandemic is still a threat, so we have decided to cancel our 2021 glassblowing workshops. We will offer glassblowing again as soon as we are confident that it is safe to do so.

Glass – Special Session
May 9-15, 2021
Janis Miltenberger
The Narrative Core

We’ll cover the basic flameworking techniques needed to make well-crafted solid and blown work. Using borosilicate glass, a torch, and hand tools, we’ll bend, reconfigure, and shape clear and colored glass rods and tubes. We’ll laugh, have endless discussions about how to approach each project, and lose track of time as the ideas flow. Bring whatever skill you have or have not; no glass experience required. Bring ideas, become inspired, and allow your creative voice to emerge. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), Penland (NC), Pittsburgh Glass Center (PA), Niijima Glass Art Center (Japan), Bild-Werk Frauenau (Germany); representation: Habatat Galleries.

Janis Miltenberger, "Untarnished," borosilicate glass, oil paint, 22k gold, 48 x 14 x 8 inches
Glass Summer Session 2
June 6-17, 2021
Nisha Bansil
Paper to Glass: Casting Thin Folded Forms

This workshop will cover all of the skills you need to create complex, cast-glass objects. Students will begin by create 5-7 samples of various paper folds, starting with the Miura-ori* and working our way to diamond folding and pleating. Then we’ll create plaster/silica molds from these folded forms. We’ll discuss mold making and firing schedules in depth, and we’ll learn how firing affects the outcome of our finished pieces. Working with Bullseye glass, our casting techniques will be inspired by the Higuchis’ pâte de vérre process. We’ll also learn basic enameling techniques so we can experiment with slumping images into our plaster molds. No glass experience necessary; experienced folders are welcome! All levels. Flame studio and kiln areas.

*Miura-ori is a versatile fold created by Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura. It has been used to fold everything from maps to deployable solar panels.

Studio artist; teaching: Hartwick College (NY), State University of New York-New Paltz; residencies: The Studio at Corning (NY), Bullseye Glass (NY); performances: CMOG 2300 (NY), Chrysler Museum Third Thursday series (VA).


Nisha Bansil, "Diamond Fold 2," cast glass, 42 x 15 x 1-1/2 inches
Glass Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Heather Trimlett
Flameworking A to Z

Working with soft glass at the torch, we’ll investigate countless options for bead design, twisted cane composition, and distinct application methods. Students will be introduced to disk beads, glass buttons, working with large mandrels, and coldworking and challenge themselves, through a series of tips and tricks, to conquer these methods. Demonstrations will support the learning process in detail, allowing students to apply techniques at their own pace. Students can expect to advance their skill set, work more precisely by mastering the fine art of heat control, and increase their level of confidence and consistency. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist, tool designer, tutorial writer; teaching: The Studio at Corning (NY), Haystack (ME), Penland, and venues in Germany, Hungary, U.K., and Canada; Uncommon Goods Glass Challenge Winner; representation: Kittrell-Rifkind Art Glass Gallery (Dallas).

Heather Trimlett, "Beads," flameworked glass, largest: 2-3/4 inches diameter
Glass Summer Session 5
July 18 – August 2, 2021
Kimberly Thomas-Zii
Mean What You Say

Art is communication, a language of thoughts and feelings. Every artist speaks a different dialect, and while the interpretation is subjective, the expression should be accurate. With a focus on honing sculptural skill, improving technical fluency, and developing creative intelligence, students will learn how to find their unique aesthetic speech and use this sculptural language to create short stories in glass. Through group and individual demos, we’ll cover sculpting borosilicate glass, assembly, timing, and texture. Mixed media and reckless abandon encouraged. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist, glass instructors at Salem Community College (NJ); other teaching: UrbanGlass (NYC), The Studio at Corning (NY); exhibitions: Glass Vegas Expo (Las Vegas).


bug-eyed glass bunny head with glass fingers for ears
Kimberly Thomas-Zii, "Finger Bunny," glass, 7-1/2 x 4 x 3-1/2 inches
Glass Summer Session 6
August 8-19, 2021
Mathieu Grodet
Say Something with Glass

This innovative workshop will be an introduction to the Venetian glass cane technique called murrine. Using the classic Franchini technique, students will work with soft glass to create simple and intricate murrine patterns, letters, and images. These elements will then be made into beads, pendants, rings, and other solid forms. Carefully considering design principles and elements, students will execute projects that combine multiple glass pieces at the torch. By the end of the workshop, students will have made several unique pieces using flameworking, fusing, and coldworking. Soft glass only. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio Artist; teaching: Haliburton School of Art and Design at Fleming College (Ontario), Aya Glass Studio (Japan), China Academy for the Arts; collections: Museum of Fine Arts (Montréal), Lommel Museum (Belgium), Art Institute of Chicago, Corning Museum (NY); representation: Sandra Ainsley Gallery (Toronto).

Matthieu Grodet, "Declaration of Human Rights," Moretti glass, wood, cement, 43 x 30-1/2 x 2 inches
Matthieu Grodet, "Murrine Letters and Numbers," Moretti glass, largest: 3/8 inches
Glass Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
David Willis
Gotta Make It Somehow

Approaching flameworking from a goal-oriented, project-based perspective, we’ll talk about and build things with borosilicate glass. Skill building will happen along the way, or it may be a goal in itself. Topics may include, but will not be limited to, blowing hollow forms, solid sculpting, large- and small-scale construction, hot and cold assembly, botanical and figure studies, tooling, color application, heat application, and annealing. Group or class projects are a possibility. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), The Studio at Corning (NY), University of Oregon, Penland; Tacoma Museum of Glass residency (WA), multiple exhibitions at Austin Art Projects (CA); work published in ARTnews, New Glass Review, Contemporary Flameworking Volume III, Lampworking Volume 2: The 20th Century to the Present; past director of the Glass Art Society.

David Willis, "Memorial (a heavy heart, but full)," flameworked borosilicate glass, 7 x 9 x 4-1/2 inches