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Hollywood Hot Glass Studio Gives the Gift of Glass

By S. Mathur

Hollywood Hot Glass founder and director Brenna Baker has quick the history working with glass. She first learned glass making while growing up in Corning NY, a town that is famous for glass art. She furthered her skills in Murano, Italy, under the guidance of Pino Signoretto, who is considered the finest glass sculptor in the world. Stints with the Corning Museum of Glass and Steuben Glass enabled her to hone her craft. In 2013, she opened Hollywood Hot Glass in Hollywood, FL.

Opening the studio was the fulfillment of her dream of making glass blowing more accessible.

"I hope to open more studios in the future and continue to give the gift of glass," Baker said, "Through many years of my career I've always heard that glassblowing is a "dying art" and to me it has always been very much alive."

Classes at the studio, like the Walk-in Workshops, give everyone a chance to learn about glass making, though the skills are difficult to master. The workshops allow everyone a chance to experience the process of glassblowing/sculpting without having any experience but it also brings a whole new appreciation to the medium.

"People really view glass differently after working with it, even once, and gain a whole new appreciation for the skills and techniques needed to create high-end glass art installations and sculptures which we also specialize in!" Baker said.

While it can take four-six years to learn glassmaking, the workshops give participants a chance to experience the process and to take home something beautiful they helped to create. As the name suggests, the workshops are available any time the studio is open, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each workshop lasts about 20 minutes and fees start at $40. Special after hours workshops can be scheduled for private parties as well.

The mystique of glassblowing centers on the magic of manipulating glass through heat and fire. This is a spectacular, intricate and difficult process, for a number of reasons.

"Glass is a poor conductor of heat, therefore your work time period is limited," Baker said, "It is also a demanding material that requires constant reheating in our 2300-degree ovens. It can go from the consistency of honey to a brittle solid in less than a minute, depending on the thickness and many other variables."

The studio also offers free glassblowing demonstrations, where visitors can watch the studio artists create their own artworks. The studio specializes in custom lighting, installations and one-of-a-kind art pieces. Visitors can collaborate in the creation of their own custom designed art, which also makes a wonderful gift.

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