Photo by Anne Parsons
It’s an oddly familiar scene: at 10am on a Saturday morning, you find yourself at yet another large factory complex in Berlin. Heavy beats emanate from the nearest building. Yet all is not quite as it seems.
Through these factory doors are friendly faces, high fives and two giant cylinders all fired up and ready to go. Today you will be blowing bubbles of molten glass, and it’s going to be hotter and weirder than any warehouse party. This is Berlin Glas, Berlin’s first public-access glass blowing studio.
The three-year-old non-profit is run by chilled-out Californian Nadania Idriss, who organises small, bilingual classes taught by guest instructors. Today, Canadian glass artist Leah Duperreault is in charge. She urges you to “be fast and be brave” when dipping the blowpipe into the glass melting furnace that burns at around 1200 degrees and reheating it in the curiously named “glory hole”.
She shows you how to make colourful paperweights and drinking glasses, and if things don’t go according to plan she’s got a solution. “You like whisky?” she asks one woman whose glass turned out particularly small. At €119, the three-hour workshop isn’t quite a steal, but if you come away with a taste for hot glass action, you can always return as a volunteer.
Next classes are March 29 and April 5. Go to berlinglas.org to book a spot.