After Hocking College’s glass-blowing classes shut down, Arianna Howe was just looking for another creative outlet. When she stumbled upon flameworking, which was in the same medium as glass-blowing, she was interested to try. 

“I've always loved glass, so I really felt that flameworking was something that looked fun,” Howe, a student of the class, said. “I tried my first class and instantly fell in love.”

Howe isn’t the only one who has loved her experiences with Hocking College’s Intro to Flameworking. Grant Hoenstein, a frequent student of the class, also enjoyed his time there. 

“Initially I wanted to do glass blowing at Hocking, which is usually something they offer,” Hoenstein said. “But, they’re not currently offering that so it was just another outlet for me to do glasswork... It's just another way for me to explore a different art.”

Instructor Sabrina Suman says that a big part of the class’s appeal is the creative freedom it allows. For beginners, it’s a space to get familiar with the medium in their own way. Suman guides the students, but what they create is purely up to them.

“It's really great for beginners who have never experienced a class like this before,” Suman said. “I like to use it as a platform to introduce people to things that they’ve never seen. I talk to people all the time and they've never seen glassblowing or flameworking or any sort of art form that involves fire. I don't think people realize that’s their kind of thing until they see it and experience it for themselves.”

She also enjoys working with adults and watching them explore a new art, discovering passions. 

While COVID-19 has certainly changed the initial experience design, it hasn’t disrupted the class from doing what they love. Suman described that strict social distancing procedures are in effect and masks are in effect. 

Other than COVID, the participants had relatively few concerns. 

“I was a little worried; I thought it would be really hot working over the flame, but actually for some reason, it doesn't even make you hot,” Hoenstein admitted. 

Overall, however, he’s found it to be a very enjoyable art.

“It's cool just to be able to make things… even if it's not what you're going for,” Hoenstein said. “It's easy to make something else and just be happy with it.”

Howe agrees with Hoenstein, and also appreciates that the class has a lot to offer for people who are new to art.

“It's definitely been something that’s new and exciting especially for someone who's never done it before,” Howe said.

@colleenbealem

cm832719@ohio.edu