hrScene is on a quest to find the best date in Hampton Roads! In this ongoing blog series, we’re asking local couples to go out and test-drive some of the coolest dates that we have in our seven cities.
Nomination for Best Date in Hampton Roads: The Glass Blowing Studio at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk
Locals Checking it Out: Chelsea Anderson and her husband
We arrived for our private lesson a couple minutes early. We were greeted at the door by the friendly staff of the glass studio and were directed to the desk to fill out a quick waiver form. We also had to provide our information so that we could pick up our pieces when they were ready.
The studio atmosphere is really fun and modern and feels welcoming when you walk in. There are beautiful glass designs surrounding the room that were made by the staff and instructors who work closely with the studio. The pieces inspire you as you prepare to make your own work of art.
After we signed our waiver, we were directed over to the studio area where pieces are worked from molten glass into something beautiful. We were assigned two instructors, Van and Laura, to help us make our candy dishes, which involved the art of glass blowing. Van and Laura were extremely friendly and helpful the whole time and began our lesson by showing us exactly how to make a candy dish and which parts of the glass blowing that we could be a part of.
After their demonstration was over, we began to make our own candy dishes! We got to select the color, help melt the color pigment onto the glass in the furnace, and then blow air into the glass formation and watch it transform into first an orb and then by sucking air back in, it became a dish. It was extremely fascinating to watch and be a part of!
When the candy dishes were finished, Laura showed us where they would finish to cooling process. Our private lesson was on a Saturday evening, and they called us to pick it up by Tuesday morning the next week.
Finding the Chrysler Glass Studio was absolutely no problem at all. The Glass Studio is located very conveniently next to the actual art museum in between Ghent and the downtown area of Norfolk. The parking situation for us was quick and convenient with a short walk up to the actual building that was well-lit for our private class after dark.
If you want the private experience, you can host a gathering or pay for a private lesson which is offered on Saturday evenings when the studio is closed to the public. Private glass blowing lessons range from $225 for museum members ($275 non-museum members) and include up to 6 people in your party. Sounds like a fun triple-date to me!
You can also join in on one of the classes that are already offered for groups at the studio. To make a candy dish during normal studio hours with other people is $40 per person for museum members and $50 for non-members. There are also other really fun classes that you can take such as making a glass-blown pumpkin ($45 museum Members/$60 for non-members), or your very own personalized Christmas Tree ornament made from blown glass ($40 per person for museum members and $50 for non-members).
Depending on which class you take at the glass studio, you can head on over to the museum itself, which is just across the street and free to enter, to continue soaking in the artistic inspiration that the Chrysler has to offer. We didn’t have the time on the evening that we went to our lesson, but another great option is to take a walk in the Mowbray Arch area of Norfolk after your lesson, just beside the museum. The houses right on the Hague are beautiful and there is a fun bridge that takes you over the Hague and into Downtown Norfolk where there are other fun options to either grab a cheese platter and coffee at Cure Coffeehouse or an authentic french macaron from Hummingbird Macarons just down Botetourt street.
What to wear:
One thing we didn’t really think about when we went is that the glass studio is very warm. Glass has to be melted at very high
temperatures in order to get it to shape and act like we want it to. This date would be absolutely perfect for the winter because the studio would be a perfect place to get warm in the cold weather. Still, make sure to wear comfortable clothing that isn’t too tight and that is breathable so that you don’t get too hot during your lesson. Having some water on hand isn’t too bad of an idea either, especially if you decide to go with a private lesson that’s a little longer. You will also need to wear closed-toe shoes and if you have glasses, bringing them would be helpful otherwise the studio will provide glasses for protective purposes.
Chelsea Anderson is a local photographer. You can see more of her excellent work at chelseaandersonphotography.com.
Do you have an idea for the best date in Hampton Roads? Drop us a line! Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org