Visual Art, Design, Chemistry, Mathematics
“For 2 years running I have been able to bring 20 different students into the hot glass world. It is a once in a lifetime experience for many and completely altered their understanding of what is possible in the world of glass art.” —Project Coordinator
“In addition, glass can enhance a student’s self-confidence by succeeding at an unusual and difficult art medium.” —Project Coordinator
Eight years ago, professional glass artist Carolyn Rordam had a vision to bring glass art to her students when she started as an art teacher at Merrimack High School.
She felt the windows in the “catwalk hallway” were just screaming for stained glass windows. The glass art class is now in its fourth year and working towards the completion of their fourth stained glass window for the school. Students work on the competencies of the arts, design, and use mathematics and engineering to construct and install the windows in the school. Rordam has a professional background in glass research and design and the students learn the chemical make-up of glass and processes of chemistry that go into creating a successful piece of glass. Students also sell their small projects throughout the year, which are sold online and at craft fairs to pay for their supplies.
After several successful years of glass class, students showed interest in creating a glass club to expand their knowledge and fundraise for more advanced glass opportunities not possible during school. Fundraising manifested itself in a field trip to Terrapin Glassblowing Studio in Rindge, NH.
Students’ continued enthusiasm for this art that’s been around for over 5,000 years has increased the school’s glass art class from two to three sections with 20 members in each. Stained Glass Club now has 16 members. Merrimack is one of the only known high school level glass programs in the state.
Coordinated by professional glass artist and art teacher Carolyn Rordam.