By Nancy Solomon

Mom always said not to play with fire– clearly she had not been to Diablo Glass School in Boston. Here, the ancient art of glass blowing is brought to life and made accessible for children and teens. A perfect way to warm up during the cold winter months, Diablo’s roaring fires turns into creativity while letting everyone blow off some hot air- literally.

Since opening in 2001, Diablo provides a public glass studio for both beginning and experienced glass artist. From the moment you walk in off the graffiti-lined street, you realize that this is a very unique space. It’s ironic to have such a rough and tumble entrance for such a delicate art. Yet you quickly become aware that glass blowing, although delicate is not for delicate people. Glass blowing is basically playing with fire and molten glass all at about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is physical and requires both strength and knowledge of the principles of glass. Learning the science behind the glass and how temperature affects the outcome teaches more than just how to make art, it compliments children’s academic learning. This all happens in an adrenaline charged environment where senses are heightened because both safety and timing are very important. Kids are drawn to this and learn that they can do a more dangerous activity in a controlled and safe way.

Photo Credit: Nancy Solomon

Diablo has embraced the interest of children and teens by expanding their class offerings in this area. Just in the last year I have seen their family options become more robust. Now, not to worry, they don’t start you off by throwing you right into the fire, there are very thoughtful and measured steps to get involved. A great way to start is with their “Family Experience” which is offered every Sunday from 1:00-2:00pm. The Family Experience starts with a basic introduction to the art of glass blowing. They talk about the materials and then best of all, host a live demonstration of glass blowing. The small setting has you close enough to really feel the heat. The artists were informative and entertaining in their demonstration. This is followed by optional pendant making, where you layout multiple small pieces of glass to be fused into a pendant.

Once you or your kids are hooked there are a lot of classes offered including one-day workshops, private lessons and teen series classes. Additionally, they host birthday parties. Given that the studio is affiliated with the Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston University College of Fine Art, and the Decordova, you know that this is the real deal.

Nancy Solomon is an avid traveller living just outside Boston with her husband and four children. She enjoys sharing tips on how and where to have fun traveling with kids! Check out more of her family travel posts on Ciao Bambino.

  1. DoverDavid says:

    Wow great to see an old art alive and doing well in Boston. Thanks for sharing this story and it’s location.