Glass fusing is not a craft that most people are familiar with, including myself. That is, until I had the opportunity to participate in a glass fusing class at a A Glass Act in Hoboken. The studio is a D.I.Y. haven (also conveniently BYOB) that has remained a well kept secret since their opening last May. The class was taught by sibling duo John and Christina Rosano, and John is actually the founder and CEO of A Glass Act. They offer classes in glass coaster and platter making, and if you’re more advanced, recycled wine bottle candles, planters, and glass fused jewelry.
As I took my seat at one of two large wooden desks, the surroundings were definitely intimidating, but no doubt a craft lover’s fantasy. There were tons of tools and materials to become familiar with, an environment guaranteed to get those creative juices flowing. When Christina explained the process of making the coasters from choosing the right glass, cutting it to size, gluing on the details, there was an overwhelming amount of blank stares (a mix of confusion and fear). However, the process wasn’t nearly as challenging as described, and of course John and Christina were there to jump in when I needed a hand (which might have been more than once).
The key to success was to remember the magic numbers. The coasters had to be 4×4 inches and 6 millimeters thick. Other than that, when it came to color choice, transparency, and decorative accents, we were encouraged to let our imaginations run wild (but keep it glassy!). Once we all got the hang of it, the silence was contagious. Between deciding on the right pattern of tiling and the positioning of stringers and frit, glass fusing required an extreme amount of focus, concentration, and precision. Perhaps more so for safety purposes, but also because you want the finished product to come out as beautiful as you intended.
I found this class to be a surprisingly calming outlet, but a fun environment nonetheless, an ideal setting for birthdays, date night, or just a get together with friends. The hardest part of all ended up being the waiting period! In other words, once you’ve finished perfecting your creation, they have to go into the “kiln” (furnace for fusing glass) for 14 hours in order to melt down into the masterpiece you’ve set them up to be. And if you can hold off for that long, the final product will leave you feeling proud that you worked your glass off.
*Don’t forget to check out their online shop, Rehabulous, “Be Fabulous Responsibly.”