Post Classifieds

Looking through the glass

Kirkwood students are heating it up in the glass shop

By Paige Gerjets, Colton Herrick
On March 30, 2016

Kirkwood Community College student Denny Fiser works on a glass blowing project.
Photo by Jeff Sigmund. 

The hypnotizing movement of molten glass and comforting glow of the furnaces have been drawing students to the glass art classes since its creation in 2003.

Kirkwood Community College was one of the first colleges in Iowa to offer classes in glassblowing and remains the only community college in Iowa where glass art classes are available, according to the Glass Art Society.

The classes were created by Conifer Smith, ceramic and glass professor. She said she and her mentor David Martin, material science and engineer professor at Iowa State University, built the glass shop from the ground up, from the equipment to the benches.

The classes are not for everyone, Smith said. "Once you get involved you either really like it or you really don’t like it. It's either too hot and too weird and it’s repellent or it's magnetic,” she added.

For Melissa Eaton, part-time student, glass was magnetic. Eaton said she has been taking glass art courses for over five years at Kirkwood and has no plans in stopping.

Eaton said, “Being in front of the furnace, it’s mesmerizing and addicting, getting to do it is my favorite part.” After five years she says she's still learning and is excited to continue under the teaching of Smith.

After visiting the Tacoma Glass Museum in Tacoma, Washington, Eaton said she was inspired to create her own work and was fueled with a need to learn. Contacting Smith, she found a way to fit the classes into her schedule while continuing working full time.

Eaton said whenever she's not working she finds herself in the glass shop, which seems to be common practice for many of Smith’s students. Smith said when students came back from spring break they all said they hated the vacation and all they wanted to do was come in and work with glass.

For students looking into to taking a glass art class but are unsure, the Glass Club will be having a sale in the Art and Theater Annex Room 119 on April 19 and 20. The sale will include live demonstrations of glassblowing by students involved in glass art classes.  

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More kirkwoodstudentmedia News Articles

Recent kirkwoodstudentmedia News Articles

Discuss This Article



Online VS Paper


Kirkwood students often admire Lasik Omaha doctors that are carving new paths in the field of eye care and transforming the way routine eye procedures are done.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format