Celebrity Cruises Glassmaking Scholarship recipient Lauren Hunt moved to Corning in 2011 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied glass under Jack Wax and Emilio Santini. She has worked in the Make Your Own Glass workshop at The Studio and is currently auditioning with the Hot Glass Show for the chance to blow glass aboard a Celebrity cruise ship.
The scholarship she received this summer allowed her to take Boyd Sugiki and Lisa Zerkowitz’s class, A Step-by-Step Approach, a class which revisited basic shapes and designs. The purpose of this class was for students to touch up the fundamental skills that may have been lost along the way as they have progressed further into their glassmaking. In the week-long class, students focused on the size of their gathers, working with thinner pieces of glass, and using heat and gravity to their advantage to make basic forms such as cylinders, cones, and bowls. “This is bringing me back to all my basic skills, and it’s teaching me how to relieve all my bad habits and really watch the glass a little closer,” says Lauren, who found this class beneficial after working with glass for about four years.
Drawn to functional forms more than abstract designs, and inspired by makers such as Boyd and The Studio’s own resident artist Bill Gudenrath, Lauren gets motivation from her surroundings at The Studio. The skill of these masters is “what you strive for,” and Lauren listed skill building among her main goals for taking the class. “I hope I have a better understanding of how to make these basic forms. I hope I can utilize it in my own time whenever I want to start my own work. I can always reference back to Boyd’s class and always have my notes with me.”
Access to the Museum is one of the greatest benefits of taking a class at The Studio. The Museum houses the largest comprehensive glass collection in the world, giving students the opportunity to go through the history of glassmaking. “You can get inspired all over again and take it back into The Studio with you,” says Lauren. Another benefit to taking Studio classes is that students have the opportunity to watch the other classes in session during the week, providing a glimpse of other techniques and designs.
The assistance of the Celebrity Cruises Glassmaking Scholarship has allowed Lauren to allocate her personal resources for the tools necessary for the class, and has also allowed her the means to be able to take another class later in the summer at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. “The Studio has given me a lot of opportunities,” from giving her the means to continue her glass education outside of college to the chance to build relationships with artists and experts in glass.