If you are looking for custom glass artwork for your home or office, then artists Michelle Plucinsky and Chris Noldin can create a masterpiece at Furnace Design Studio. Started by the couple fresh out of college, Furnace Design Studio has grown into a premier place to commission corporate and private glass sculptures.
Still, social by nature, Michelle and Chris sought a more interactive glass-making experience. Thus, Glass Academy was born. “We created a teaching facility to inform and educate about glass and create customers for our glass,” Michelle says.
It was Glass Academy that first popped up in Ann Arbor last October at a fundraiser for the Steiner School, where the couples’ children, ages 15 and 13, attend. “We were asked to teach an Art & Business course at the high school,” she says. “As part of the class, we put on a show with help from the students.” Using Glass Academy’s mobile furnace, Michelle, Chris, and the class created a pop-up pumpkin glass show in a space across the street from Knight’s restaurant.
“Glass blowing is entertainment,” says Michelle. “We talk about history, the glass-making process, math, and how colors are made, while we blow.” Their mobile furnace is available to organizations for parties and fundraisers. Think of it as approachable art. “People can hire us for a weekend to entertain and educate.”
Glass Academy will make its next appearance in the Ann Arbor area this spring. Michelle and Chris will be doing a custom mug event with J
olly Pumpkin when the new brew house opens in Dexter.
If you can’t wait that long to experience glass blowing, then try a custom Mug Night, available twice a month at the Dearborn location. Pay for a mug, sit with a glassblower, and watch as your mug comes to life before your eyes.
Furnace Design Studio creates beautiful candlesticks (right)