To work as a glass blower, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete long-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Formal training beyond high school is not required for glass blowers who work in factories.
Some art glass blowers pursue formal training programs. Many schools offer programs in general art. Community and technical colleges offer certificates or associate degrees. Universities offer bachelor's degrees and higher.
At four-year schools, you can pursue a Bachelor of Art (BA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). In these programs, you learn to make functional pieces and artistic pieces. In your fourth year, you may work on developing your art one-on-one with a faculty advisor.
Some schools help you secure an internship, apprenticeship, or studio assistantship in the field. These experiences help you learn new techniques, build your skills, and develop contacts in the art world.
Glass blowers who work in factories receive their training on the job. Training lasts at least one year.
An apprenticeship is an excellent way for glass artists to receive additional training. You choose a glass blower whose work you respect and work with that artist for a period. In some apprenticeships you receive materials, work space, and room and board in exchange for your work in the studio.
Some state arts councils and foundations offer resident artist programs. Types of programs vary widely. Some are for artists who are new to the field. These programs allow artists to create and explore their work further. Other programs are for people who are known in their field. Usually resident artist programs allow you to work with others in your own discipline or from a broad range of art fields. Each program is different in terms of whether glass blowers pay to be involved or receive a stipend. Programs last from one month to nine months.