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Hands-on glass classes

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 By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

Registration is now open for hands-on classes at the seventh annual Festival of Glass, scheduled at the Blenko Glass Co. factory in Milton on Friday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 2.

The festival affords visitors an opportunity not only to see the glass company’s skilled artisans at work but also be able to participate in a variety of classes related to the glass making process. In previous years, the annual event has attracted more than 1,000 visitors from as far as California and Maine.

Open to the public, the free festival will feature guided factory tours, glass blowing demonstrations and special sales in the gift shop, including some limited edition and numbered pieces.

The Festival of Glass was first started in 2008 to coincide with what was then the sixth annual Blenko Collectors Society convention.

New at this year’s festival will be a lecture by Blenko designer Arlon Bayliss, who will show images and videos and talk about his life working with glass and what it’s like to design for Blenko. Admission to his lecture is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required.

Sixteen instructional classes will be offered at the festival, ranging from simple glass painting to a glass blowing workshop. All classes require a fee. A full list of courses is available at blenko.com. For more information or to register, call 877-425-3656.