Class turns glass into art

Saturday morning, six women appeared at the Tiffin Art Guild for a one-hour fused glass class with instructor Jill Groves of Fremont. The group had met for a prior class to make their own creations, which Groves took home and fired in her kiln. She returned the participants’ pieces Saturday to help them transform the glass into jewelry.

The students were surprised at some of the results. One piece that went into the fire with a silver color came back blue. Squared corners had become rounded as the glass cooled. Other colors appeared that had not been visible before.

A few pieces developed bubbles or other imperfections that needed filing and a second firing to finish them. Groves took notes on each one and made arrangements to return them to the owners.

Artists who were satisfied with the way their items came out the first time chose wires or posts to attach for earrings and bales to be added for pendants.

A retired postmaster, Groves said she has been working with fused glass for about three years. She took her initial instructions at Delphi Glass in Lansing, Mich., and bought a small kiln in 2009. Later, she completed a six-week class at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion.

“It was wonderful,” Groves said. “You just go there and work for four hours … and learn from everybody else.”

During those classes, she met other Tiffin Art Guild members and was invited to teach classes in Tiffin. Another basic fusing class is planned for March. The first day is a longer session for participants to assemble the kinds and colors of glass into the pieces they want.

The second class is shorter, for finishing the projects.

In April, Groves is to teach a class on making larger glass items, such as trays, tiles for wall decor, or bowls. This is intended to attract more men, who might not be interested in jewelry, although all the classes are open to men.

Groves has arranged for students and other TAG members to have their glass creations on exhibit in different areas at the TAG gallery during May.

“It’s all fused glass, but each of us has our own style,” she said.