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Dear Prospective Students,

Materials Days at BGC are visits to studios to experience different forms of making. Of course students have many opportunities across their classes to consider the particular knoweldge and perspectives of makers, but these days present the chance to experiment with processes.

We recently had out first outing of the year, to Urban Glass in Brooklyn. First-year MA student Karylnn Allenbrand reflected on the experience:

My favorite part about the BGC are the Materials Days. As a former designer, I welcome any opportunity to connect with other makers and get to know materials that I wouldn’t normally work with in my own practice. This past weekend, we visited UrbanGlass in Brooklyn and the incredibly talented staff introduced us to sculpting and blowing glass. I was able to physically experience the process, getting a feel for the drippy, molten glass. I had a really hard time scooping the glass out of the 2000 degree oven and keeping it in the air while twisting and shaping it with the heavy, iron tools. In spite of that, got to see some amazing techniques I never thought about when looking at glass objects. One of the staff members showed me how to create air bubbles within the walls of the glass by shaking baking powder into the surface while it cools.

By moving my body and handling the material in a similar way to the makers, I feel I have built a tacit understanding of glasswork that will inform my research and analysis of glass objects. I believe this experience will help me to reveal the makers hand through the objects I encounter and share that with others. It made me appreciate glass blowing as a medium and has inspired me to find ways to include the haptics involved with making in other areas of my research. Sometimes its good to get out of the library and get a feel for a material. (Just make sure you can handle the heat!)

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A second group of students will go this Saturday. Other visits in years past have included jewelry making, letterpress printing, and weaving.

We have two more open houses for prospective students this fall, on November 13 (at BGC) and December 4 (on Zoom).

All good wishes,Keith Condon
Director of Admissions and Student Affairs