News

Innovative art form heats up curriculum

Sophomore Justine Abelow works on a project in her glass blowing class. “I’m not an art major but I enjoy it,” she said.  Grace Beitler // Contributing Photographer 

Out of hundreds of interesting courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, one stands out as the hottest class on campus – so hot that the temperature reaches 2,150 degrees.

Glass blowing, not offered as a class at many universities, is usually only available at colleges dedicated exclusively to art. But the UM art department offers several glass classes, which are taught by lecturer Alex Adams and artist-in-residence Seth Fairweather.

Fairweather said he believes that working with glass helps students on many levels.

“It’s a unique opportunity and a class that helps with any aspect in life,” he said. “It helps students learn to think quickly.”

Adams agrees, saying students must develop critical thinking skills.

“Students must do research with their hands and eyes,” he said. “I want students to develop another avenue for problem solving. I believe that hands make us human and we don’t use them enough to explore our world.”

The classes are held in the new art building near the Newman Alumni Center at the south end of campus. Students work with state-of-the-art amenities, such as a furnace that heats up to temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees. Students use the heat to melt glass into a liquid form to shape it.

The process goes from hot to cold, as a cooling technique is applied to solidify the glass.

While art classes may seem like an easy elective to some students, this is not the case when dealing with melted glass.

“The first half of the semester there is a lot of broken glass and failures,” Adams said. “It takes half of a semester for the hands, eyes and brain to finally connect.”

Adams, who has been teaching the class for three years, said he enjoys the diversity of students every semester.

“There is a variety of interests and areas of study. The questions, ideas, and finished work are broad and interesting,” Adams said.

Samir Mathew, a computer science major, was a student in the glass blowing class last fall.

“Glass blowing was my first art class. I expected it to be an ‘easy A’,” Mathew said. “It wasn’t easy but it was really fun.”

Mathew appreciated the break from his science-intensive classes.

“It was nice to be creative for once,” he said.

September 12, 2012

Reporters

Molly Canfield


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

One day after the University of Miami announced that starting cornerback Malek Young would undergo “ ...

It’s one thing for a player who’s projected to go in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft to turn p ...

Miami coach Jim Larranaga and his staff spent recent practices pushing his players to whip the ball ...

The University of Miami confirmed in a written release Sunday that starting cornerback Malek Young s ...

In 2016, the Miami Hurricanes had tight end David Njoku, who went in the first round of the 2017 NFL ...

Presidents at three higher education institutions in Miami "lend our unified voices” to the cal ...

Thirty high school English teachers from Brazil are spending six weeks at UM in a new skill-building ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

The No. 25/23 Miami men's basketball team shot a sizzling 57.6 percent from the field in pullin ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team picked up its third straight win in eight days ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-2) closed out its opening weekend with a 5-2 loss ...

With the help of dominating victories and dramatic comebacks, the No. 19 Miami women's tennis t ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-1) returns to action on Sunday, as it travels to N ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.