January 27, 2015

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Click here to visit UMass Dining
Click here to visit UMass Dining

Local artist hosts grand opening of new studio

A high school hobby has become a full-time job for Noah Rockland.

Wikimedia Commons

This past Sunday, the glassblowing artist Rockland hosted the grand opening of his glassworks studio, Rockland Glassworks, in Montague.

People of all ages filtered in and out of Rockland’s studio, where he laid out blown glass pendants, guitar picks, sculptures and more to sell.

Visitors gathered around Rockland as he performed a demonstration using his bare hands and a blue flame. Within 10 minutes, he had turned a translucent, glass tube into a colorful perfume bottle, which he promptly placed into his kiln. Guests were instructed to wear protective glasses while watching the demonstration.

“It’s almost kind of like looking into the sun,” Rockland said.

This isn’t Rockland’s first studio, though. He used to have one at the center of Leverett, called the Leverett Crafts and Arts Center, which was smaller than his current location, he said.

“I just kind of worked my way up,” Rockland said.

In discussing the origins of his glass blowing, Rockland said his work began as a simple high school hobby. Now it has developed in to a business and his full-time job “for the last two and a half years,” he said.

Rockland draws inspiration for his artwork from nature and animals. He lists jewelry, marbles, perfume bottles, ornaments, wine glasses and wine bottle stoppers as his favorite things to make, which he displays and sells at his gallery and craft fairs.

Rockland will be teaching beginner to advanced glassblowing classes. No experience is necessary.

“Most of my students come with no experience, but I’m also happy to teach people at the intermediate level that want to refine their skills more,” Rockland said.

Rockland’s classes are held Monday through Friday in his studio at 17 N. Leverett Road in Montague. Costs for one-on-one instruction begin at $45 an hour while group classes start at $40 an hour.

“I can teach up to three students at a time so you can come with a couple of friends” Rockland said. “Come try it out and you’ll probably get hooked.”

Anna Jolliffe can be reached ajolliff@student.umass.edu.

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