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A touch of glass represents the best of January session

by Anthea Ayebaze | Sep 28, 2016

I spent some time today watching and talking with students in Professor Jeff Diesburg’s January session Torchworking Glass class and was impressed by what they’ve been able to do as first-time glass artists. What most impressed me was the range of majors I found. In addition to the art students working in the third-floor science lab, I found a couple of chemistry majors and an exercise science major. I’m sure there were others as well.

Students explained how they made clear marbles with colored glass inside (it has to do with the surface tension of the glass and the way it reacts when heated). One of the chemistry majors made a benzene ring and an art student with a bent toward biology was creating a school of goldfish.

The class represents the very best of Manchester’s January session specifically and our approach to the liberal arts more generally. We want students to try new and different things in January, whether by traveling or working with red-hot glass. We also provide them with opportunities to learn outside their majors that inform how they view the world.

I asked one student what he had learned and he said, “It’s harder than it looks.”  Another said she had learned “patience.” Both are good life lessons.