The glass art and metalsmithing studio at the Jax was renovated out of an office space in the main building of the center in 2005 as part of the center’s creation of a residential crafts school. Originally designed for bench torch glass work, in 2010 the center also began equipping the studio for small scale metalsmithing and successfully held 5 jewelry metalsmithing classes. The studio has 6 removable glass workstations and 3 small electric kilns for glass firing. It is also stocked with a supply of hard and soft glass, as well as kits for both hot glass and metalsmithing classes.
Elizabeth Ryland Mears, glass artist and now veteran instructor at the center has this to say about the studio:
“The Jacksonville Center for the Arts first asked me to teach a week long workshop in 2006 shortly after the Glass Studio had been set up in the beautifully renovated building.
As an experienced artist/flameworker, who has been in many private and public teaching studios, I was very pleased to find such a well equipped studio in a budding arts organization. The Glass Studio boasts the latest in contemporary torches along with a tabletop kiln for every two students in the class. While the space may seem a bit tight at first, it works really well for instructor demonstrations and facilitates great interactions between the students, who learn from each other, as well as, the instructor. All necessary tools and glass are supplied to the students whose only requirements are to bring a desire to learn and a willingness to try something new. My instruction leads them step by step, and at the end of the workshop I am always amazed at the quality of the objects produced by folks who have been working at the torch only a few short days. I continue to return year after year to teach in the excellent Glass Studio at the Jacksonville Arts Center.” (2010)