The Glass Hub
One workshop using both the Minimelt and Nanomelt furnaces is actually a glass school. The Glass Hub, our neighbour and sister company, is a busy independent school, hosting all forms of glassmaking classes from beginners through to advanced masterclasses. Owned and directed by KT Rothe and Helga Watkins-Baker. KT and Helga were two of the original founders of The Liquid Glass Centre (glass school) in 2000. They sold their shares in 2006 but came back six years later to resurrect the school following its closure by the then owners in 2012.
From the very beginning, KT and Helga knew that owning and running a full-size furnace, one that requires being left on day and night, would be challenging. Already committed to running families, they wanted the option of being flexible, adapting to bookings, and sleeping well at night knowing that all the gas was turned off. KT had been developing the Minimelt for this very reason and so it was the perfect solution.
Running their hotshop entirely with Minimelts (and Nanomelts), The Glass Hub has become one of the most respected glass schools in the UK, offering a wide variety of classes at all levels. The Hot Shop recycles glass provided by Glasstorm (www.glassstorm.co.uk) in the form of smashed whiskey bottles that melt beautifully. Due to the shortened melting time of glass in the Minimelt, a few bubbles can be present but this rarely matters. Students are eager to explore the joys of glassblowing, learning techniques, the emphasis is on experimentation. The Glass Hub has a substantial demand for private hire sessions where a student, family or group can have a tutor and a Minimelt and tutor to themselves and create bespoke pieces. Students can also hire the Minimelt studio at The Glass Hub without a tutor, and just practice, practice, practice.
Without the Minimelt, Both Helga and KT have no doubt that running the business would have been much more difficult, especially since the rise in gas prices. It has given them the flexibility to move with demands, rather than being slave to the furnace. From the thousands of beginners who have discovered glass via the Minimelt, a number of them became addicted to hot glass and now proudly own one.
Here is a list of just some of the glassmakers who have taught using Minimelts at The Glass Hub:
James Devereux, Katie Huskie, Louis Thompson, Scott Benefield, Scott Chaseling, Sonja Klingler, Ruth Dresman, Dave Barry, Elliot Walker, Luke Jerram and more…