BELFAST — Six Belfast Area High School students will be taking a glassblowing class at Waterfall Arts in its new studio this fall. It is one of eight public schools nationwide that offer a glassblowing course, according to Waterfall Arts Marketing and Development Manager Chris Battaglia.

David Jacobson donated much of his glassblowing equipment to Waterfall Arts after he moved out of his Montville studio last fall. He now lives in Belfast and will offer glassblowing classes to the public as well as to high school students in the new studio.

Teaching glassblowing out of a public studio is a new venture for him, he said, but he is happy just being in a glassblowing setting, and the people working at Waterfall Arts are welcoming.

“This is new to me,” he said. “The good part is that being in a glass studio, regardless of where it is, feels comfortable. That’s where I feel at home.”

David Jacobson blows glass July 13 at Waterfall Arts’ new glassblowing studio. Photo by Kendra Caruso

The class will be offered over the course of two fall quarters and two spring quarters, allowing up to 12 students to take it in a school year, Principal Jeff Lovejoy said.

Seventeen-year-olds Jonah Lovejoy, Miles Cannon and Anna Schortz, all of Belfast and all seniors, are taking the class. They gathered at the studio July 13 for an introduction with Jacobson.

The teacher demonstrated some glassblowing techniques and explained glassblowing concepts to the students for about an hour.

Miles said he hopes to complete a glass bust of himself before the course ends. He experiments with other art media creating self-portraits. He saw the Netflix show “Blown Away” and became interested in glassblowing.

Jonah said he likes the more physical art media, where you have to use more of your body. It has been a couple of years since he has been able to take an art class and he was interested in fitting the glassblowing class into his schedule.

Anna’s grandmother creates paper art, she said. She grew up watching and participating in some of her grandmother’s projects. Her grandmother always encouraged her to do art. Usually she enjoys ceramic arts, but she wanted to try the glassblowing class this year.

Lovejoy hopes his students gain enough knowledge to be able to use the studio during open session after they have completed the class, he said. If Waterfall Arts did not have the studio, the school could not offer the class. Glassblowing equipment is too expensive for the high school to be able to open its own studio.

He said the school is lucky to have so many professionals in the community who volunteer their time to pass on their knowledge and expertise to students. Lovejoy first approached Waterfall Arts with the idea last spring, but did not have a funding source for the class, he said. Waterfall Arts was able to fully fund the high school class through donations from the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation and the Davis Family Foundation, Battaglia said.

Waterfall Arts is working to make the studio carbon-neutral by using an electric furnace, which must always stay on to keep it at 2,125 degrees Fahrenheit, and two warmers that will use old vegetable oil from local businesses, he said.

The studio was put together with a lot of work from community volunteers, including Belmont Boatworks, which helped move the equipment into the studio, Battaglia said. He thinks the nearest glassblowing facility like the one at Waterfall Arts is in North Carolina.

“To be able to look out the back window of our organization’s building over to the high school and know there is going to be a really great synergy and a really nice relationship between the high school and Waterfall makes everyone, the board, volunteers, staff, everyone, really glad about what can happen going forward,” he said.

For more information on how to sign up for classes, visit waterfallarts.org.