Glass as a means of expression

Stoke the flame of your imagination, innovation and artistic aptitude at the University of Montana Western’s glass studio. The university provides course work specializing in the many facets of glass working: hot shop, torchworking, fusing, casting and coldworking. Students will learn to work with glass, both towards technical mastery and as a material adept at articulating conceptually-driven artwork.

Glass is a material steeped in thousands of years of tradition. Montana Western teaches techniques that were developed and refined by world cultures. Students strive to learn and improve their abilities with the material, but do not limit themselves to material inquiry alone – they work with the material as a means of expression. Glass is a philosophy as much as a material with which the artists/students can share their ideas with the world. Our students combine technique and tradition with research and innovation in order to create well rendered and original artworks.

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Glass Degree Options at the University of Montana Western

Certificate in Glass

The Certificate in Glass offers the opportunity to develop an immediately applicable and foundational knowledge of glasswork including glassblowing and sculpting, torch work, and scientific glass.

Associate of Arts- Glass

The Associate of Arts- Glass takes the study and art of glass making to the next level by providing the foundational knowledge of glasswork and then establishing a focused interest area for the student.

Courses beyond foundational studies of the certificate include: Intermediate Flame Working, Neon, EncasementsIntermediate Scientific Glass, and many more engaging and interactive courses.

Bachelor of Arts- Glass

Similar to the certificate and associate program, the Bachelor of Arts- Glass offers students the foundational and intermediate knowledge and application of glasswork, but then builds to an advanced level of application in glassblowing, torch work, or scientific glass. Based on the courses a student chooses to take, they will complete a specialization in artistic or scientific glass.

The program culminates with art seminars in professional practices, advanced studio courses, internships, and exhibits of student work.

The Certificate, Associate of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts in Glass may be taken as individual academic pursuits, or combined into stackable degrees, with the courses and knowledge of each building on each other until students ultimately receive their Bachelor of Arts in Glass degree. A minor in Glass is also available.

To apply to the University of Montana Western and begin your journey with glass, visit our Admissions webpage today or call 1-877-683-7331.

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Equipment/Facilities

Hot Shop

Montana Western has a 2000 ft2 hot shop with an Electroglass electric furnace that holds 300 pounds of molten glass. The shop has two glory holes: one hole is 18” diameter x 30” deep, and the other is 12” diameter x 24” deep. Both holes have rolling yolks and a dedicated bench. The studio also has an assistants bench, many hand tools, bench torches, oxygen/propane torches, a powder booth, pipe warmer, pick up oven, three top-loading annealers and one Wet Dog front-loading annealer. A garage by Canned Heat Glass was recently installed. The studio is equipped with both intake air, and exhaust hoods over all the equipment. The hot studio is also equipped with ladles for hot casting, kiln casting ovens and fusing ovens.

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Torchworking Studio

The fine arts department has expanded its glass studio by another 2000 ft2 in order to add a dedicated torchworking studio. The studio is equipped with over 20 torch stations, each under newly installed exhaust hoods. Bethlehem Burners new torches adorn each station. There are 20 Alphas, four Champions, and one Grand. Students are encouraged and taught how to work with both soft and borosilicate glass. There are three Skutt torchworking ovens in the studio as well (two Scarabs and one Mini). The torches are fed with liquid oxygen and natural gas.

Cold Shop

The cold shop has a 24” flat grinder with diamond discs (60, 120, 300, 400, 600 grits, and felt). There is a four-wheel lathe grinder with sintered 60 and 120 grit diamond wheels, and an orange and blue resin wheel. There is a separate lathe for the brown polishing disc. There is also a belt grinder with grits from 36 – cork, and felt. The studio has a water fed drill press, a wet saw, an oil saw, two flex grinders, a sand blaster, five wizard grinders, three UV lamps, various types of glue, many size goulashes, aprons, ear protection, etc. All stations have overhead lighting.