Laurie Nessel, Core-Formed Vessels: A Modern Approach to an Ancient Art (April 25 and 26)


Instructor: Laurie Nessel
Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, 10am-5pm
Material Fee:  $30 payable to the instructor at the beginning of the first day.

Course Description
Why Core-Form? Core-forming goes back 3,500 years, to the Bronze Age. But who the heck does it now? Not many, that’s true. This is a laborious technique, but it allows one to make relatively large, hollow forms with the detail of torch work, the colors of soft glass, the stability of a mold, and the economy of a flameworking studio. The drawback is the main reason it went out of fashion over two thousand years ago – the time it takes to prepare and clean out the core. Still, core-forming is unique and continues to intrigue a handful of dedicated glass artists to this day.

Fear not, we won’t be using dung! Students will learn to make steel wool cores, simple vessels and more elaborate vessels adorned with lip wraps, handles, feet and snug fitting lids. Expect to make 2-4 vessels in this workshop.

Laurie Nessel Bio
Laurie Nessel lived a pedestrian childhood in suburban Detroit until she discovered glassblowing in her teens. She studied glassblowing at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and at Haystack, Maine. Upon graduating in 1978, she assisted Roger Darricarrere in a Chartres, France stained glass workshop, then lived for five months on a kibbutz in the Negev where she felt drawn to the desert. Nessel settled in Tempe, AZ, and realizing that Frisbee, juggling, and epic bike rides didn’t pay the rent, she survived on residential custom stained glass until the great recession. Being a serial opportunist, she’s taught water safety to toddlers since 1990 (since the recession before the last one), and flameworking, fusing, and stained glass at the Mesa Arts Center from 1998-2019 (glass director 2005-2017). Her art and articles have been featured in 1000 Beads by Lark, Glassline, Glass Art, and The Flow magazines. She competed many years (being the first female in the field) at the Sonoran Glass Art Academy Flame-off (now Sonoran Glass School). She studied flameworking from Loren Stump, Bandhu Dunham, Janice Miltenberger, Matt Eskuche, and many others. She is a member of the Arizona Society of Glass Beadmakers, and Arizona Glass Alliance. She has exhibited at Sky Harbor Airport, Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, Shemer Art Center, and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Laurie also paints landscapes in oils, does seasonal field tech work, and leads dragonfly, butterfly and tortoise walks for Maricopa Audubon Society and Boyce Thompson Arboretum. She co-wrote the book Birds of Phoenix and Maricopa County which she highly recommends if you like birds and find yourself in Maricopa County.

Not a member? Join today for reduced rates on all classes!



Class Notes:
There is a $30 material fee paid directly to the instructor at the beginning of class.

Materials You Need to Bring:
Glass rod – about 3/4 pound any soft glass COE of preferred colors including two rods per vessel of opaque rods for base color (figure on making two vessels). (Sonoran Glass School has glass you may purchase at 20% discount during class)

Tools You Need to Bring:
Your Favorite Tools
Blunt tweezers
Fine tweezers
Dust Mask (only if using enamel)
Note Taking Items
Drinking Water

Optional Tools to Bring:
Calipers (for lids)
Rod holders
Disc or Tile Nippers
Tungsten Pick 1/8” or 3/32”
Footing tool
Jacks – round jacks preferred

To clean out the Core: (for home use, do not bring to class)
Narrow Needle-Nose Pliers
Hooked Steel Pick
Steel Scraper
1/8” Wood Dowel
Cleaning Solutions (vinegar, CLR, etc…)

What to Wear:
Cotton or natural material tops and pants.  Long pants are preferred.   Close toe shoes.  Hair pulled back.

You are welcome to sign up for practice time during our discounted open studio times on Wednesdays, 5-9pm and  Thursdays, 12-4pm.

Additional information


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