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

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Monday: ▪ If you ever wondered what the Hurricanes would look like if ...

Demetrius Jackson has come through again for his Overtown neighborhood. For the second year in a row ...

Days after praising Mark Richt, Clemson grad transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant has canceled his Frid ...

Mark Richt kept his word. On Thursday, two days before the Miami Hurricanes defeated Virginia Tech 3 ...

The season is evaporating before our eyes. And nothing made that more obvious than University of Mia ...

Erin Kobetz, director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative, disc ...

Kristiana Yao, who graduated summa cum laude in May, said she was “still in shock” after finding out ...

UM Libraries is presenting an extraordinary exhibit that immerses the audience in an emotional journ ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

The Canes got back to their winning ways with an impressive 38-14 victory at Virginia Tech. ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team dropped a 75-52 decision Sunday at Iowa State in the P ...

20-point performances from Chris Lykes and DJ Vasiljevic led Miami past Bethune-Cookman. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team forced No. 10 Pitt to five sets in a thrilling match on Seni ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced Thursday the signing of three golfers to N ...

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.