Making coloured glass bowls with Alex Powell

Ref: S4D09541


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About this course

Make a set of coloured glass bowls from kiln-formed glass. Develop your ideas through fusing, adding decorative detail and texture. Use moulds to 'slump' your work as intricacies of the kiln firing process is explained.

Course Description

This course builds on your existing skills in glass cutting, either from having worked with stained glass or with kiln-formed glass.

A basic knowledge of warm glass - using fusing and slumping techniques to form three-dimensional glass in the kiln - will help you benefit fully from this practical experience. With the focus of the course on designing and making a set of glass bowls and platters, you are shown a range of fusing techniques using sheet glass, powdered glass frit and metal inclusions. A selection of commercial moulds will be available for slumping the glass into, including shapes to create various bowls, dishes and platters.

In producing this work, you develop your glass-cutting techniques, learn how to create a glass blank by combining coloured glass with fusing and learn how to work with moulds to create three-dimensional glass forms. During the course you get to grips with the glass kiln, developing an understanding of what happens to glass in the kiln during a firing cycle, and learning how to load and programme a kiln so as to produce perfect, durable glass pieces.

The course covers glass cutting in detail, perfecting the techniques for cutting straight lines, strips, gentle curves, deeper curves and circles. Those who have been working with glass for a while may have picked up bad habits and this course will help to identify and transform them into good techniques.

A large selection of materials will be provided including glass sheet, powdered glass frits, stringers and noodles, metal inclusions such as copper sheet, mesh and wire, and products that can be painted between layers of glass. You work towards a set of final pieces which you produce in your allotted space across five kiln firings. Teaching is a combination of methods: showing a wide range of samples - as well as photographs in books - to illustrate possibilities, demonstrations of techniques and group evaluation of the glass coming out of the kiln.

You learn the finer details of how to fuse or slump at different levels inside the kiln to achieve different effects in glass. Technical information is available in handouts which cover kiln processes, chart the firing cycle for more complex fusing and slumping and explain strain points, soaking and annealing.

By the end of the course, you will have made a range of glass tableware: a large bowl, several small bowls and a selection of smaller samples which could be used as coasters. You will have improved and perfected your glass cutting technique, cutting accurately and efficiently and using a range of scoring and breaking tools correctly. Having learnt a variety of decorative effects, you should also have built on existing skills in order to develop your personal language in kiln-formed glass.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The cost of glass, glass products and inclusions, kiln paper and plaster, and is in addition to any items you may purchase individually.

What students need to bring

  • Students should bring with them closed-in footwear (essential), an apron to protect clothing, sketchbooks and drawing implements. A digital camera would also be useful to record the appearance of the pre-fired glass.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketch book
  • A selection of drawing materials e.g. pencils, pens, charcoal, Conté, crayons etc.
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushesWe have a generously stocked craft shop, which opens daily from 8.30am-2pm.
  • For any materials you need to purchase from the shop, we suggest you do so during the first morning of your course, after having discussed with your tutor.

Please note: pieces from the last firing will need to be collected from the college after the following morning. They are too heavy to post. Your work will be kept for collection for six months.

Student review

"Being in such a creative environment, learning with excellent tuition, and working amongst a lovely team of fellow students."

Judy, 2019


Alex Powell

Alex Powell studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and Glass at Central Saint Martins. She takes commissions for architectural pieces and sells through exhibitions.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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