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

Here is some impressive news for the University of Miami football program: All but one of the remain ...

Lonnie Walker IV stood out on and off the court at the NBA Draft Combine, which ended on Sunday in C ...

University of Miami incoming prep star Will Mallory, the other half of the soon-to-be No. 1 freshman ...

View photos as Miami Hurricanes Coach Jim Morris ends 41-year career on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at M ...

The sullen, charcoal sky opened with a vengeance Saturday afternoon at Mark Light Field in Coral Gab ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

The final Sea Secrets lecture at the Rosenstiel School examines the biofluorescence of marine organi ...

Maintenance mechanic Milton Davis has kept UM housing humming for decades. ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned ITA Southeast R ...

Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry and freshman Freddy Zamora were among those recognized by the At ...

Senior Jeb Bargfeldt was recognized as ACC Pitcher of the Week following a dominating performance ag ...

No. 7 seed Miami opens its run at the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship Tuesday, May 22 against No. 11 ...

Although 17th-year head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews has made Sweet 16 appearances commonplace the jour ...

TMH Twitter
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.