Upcoming Jewelry Classes

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Jewelry Department

Suellen Fowler

Suellen Fowler

Suellen Fowler

Suellen Fowler

Suellen Fowler

Instructor: Suellen Fowler
April 22–23, 2017 (Saturday–Sunday, 9:30am–4:30pm)
All levels

Harlan SimonTom Boylan


Register Online Now
You may register online until two weeks prior to class start date. After that date, please call the registrar:
707 937-5818, ext. 10 or toll-free 800 653-3328, ext. 10


This two-day workshop, an overview of off-hand flamework glass blowing and sculpting techniques, will give the students a chance to try an unusual style of flameworking borosilicate glass. We will cover basic blowing techniques and some small sculpture work in solid glass. If there is time and interest, we can hand mix color in the torch flame using oxide formulas, and have a general discussion about commercial boro colors, too.

My techniques are based on the style of flameworking developed by John Burton, and taught to me by his student Margaret Youd, in the late 60's. A bubble is built up on the end of a glass blowpipe by coiling layers of clear and colored glass rods, then melting each layer in, until a gather is created. The bubble is decorated with colored cane in various designs, and then formed into a bottle, bead, or ornament. The piece is allowed to cool and then finished. 

The solid sculptures are also worked off hand, on the end of a clear rod or solid blank attached to a punty, and color is applied to shape and build up the sculpture. I usually make animals and birds in a natural style, but I also make fantasy pieces, like dragons. I will demo a couple of easy basic designs for critters, and if there is time, make a spinning top. 

The students will get a chance to try out techniques they will see in class, and hopefully come away with something fun and new to experiment with. These are techniques that require practice and repetition, but all levels of experience are welcome, beginners through expert.

SUELLEN FOWLER has blown and sculpted glass for over 40 years. She is the foremost practitioner of a method of flameworking characterized by working off the end of a glass blowpipe. Building layers of clear and colored glass, her finished vessels are rich in color and intricate design. She makes a wide variety of solid sculptural pieces, many full of whimsy, as well as loving reproductions of birds and other animals.

She displayed a passion for color, drawing and sculpting at an early age. Encouraged by her parents to develop these talents, she was enrolled for several years in children’s classes at the Chounard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

In the summer of 1969, at the tender age of fourteen, she enrolled in the Glass Workshop at Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, a program directed by John Burton. Fowler was instantly captivated by the scintillating qualities of light and color in this volatile medium. She rapidly acquired technical skills and within a few months, she was assisting other students in the class.

At the time of the Glass Workshop (1968 – 1973), borosilicate glass had a limited and unsophisticated set of colors available to the artist. Suellen and a small group of her fellow students began researching chemical formulae that led to an improved, but still limited, range of colored borosilicate cane.

After the demise of the Workshop, Fowler continued working independently developing an extensive range of color formulae. Her formulas were the basis for the development of commercially produced color. She has continued with her color development, and her work shows the rich palette of colors she has available.

Suellen Fowler’s glass work will always stand out because of her unique palette of hand-mixed colors, the absolute precision of her skills, and her uncompromising aesthetic quality.

Visit Suellen Fowler's website


Current MAC Members: $225
Non-members: $250 plus a $45 non-member registration fee

There is a registration fee of $45 for each class for non-members. Current Mendocino Art Center members do not pay a registration fee and may take 10% off each class registration. The discount is reflected in the prices above. Not a member yet? You may sign up below.
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Cancellations must be made in writing, either by mail or email. If you notify us at least 21 days prior to the first class meeting, you will receive a refund of tuition less a $45 cancellation fee. No refunds will be made after that date for any reason due to our contractual obligations and material acquisitions. If the Art Center is compelled to cancel a class you will receive a full tuition refund. Memberships are non-refundable as they are considered a donation to the Art Center.

Instructor materials fee: $35
Studio fee: $20

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$295: Non-member tuition price (includes a $45 registration fee)
$225: Current Mendocino Art Center member


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