VOLTA: Advanced Glassblowing Foundations

Murano comes to Monterey Bay

Work hotter, Work bigger, Work better, all of the essentials for working on large installation glassworks in professional glassblowing studios. Taught by the owners of Murano's Wave Murano Glass Studio, and Monterey's own Monterey GlassWorlks. Students will drill on the essentials necessary to make high quality installation works. And ultimately, get to see their components installed into a public venue.

$ 2,150.00 USD

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VOLTA: Advanced Glassblowing Foundations

This class is not open for registration yet. It requires a minimum of 4 to sign up prior to opening. If you would like to register to be notified when the workshop will be available, add your name to the waitlist. There is no obligation or deposit required to be on the waitlist.

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Class Objectives

VOLTA: [Italian vawl-tah]: timing, to turn. The important pause or timing between two separate acts or ideas.

This week long workshop focuses on learning the key elements of successful team-VOLTA work in a glass studio:
1. Get comfortable working large and hot
2. Heavy drills to master large gather working, heating, sculpture and assembly fundamentals
3. Understanding and successfully working with large glass in a team setting

Students will gain this experience while working together to complete a work to be publicly installed. Over the course of the week, you will drill and practice on the basic skills to allow an intermediate glassblower to learn how to work bigger, hotter and better in a team setting. The pieces made this week will become part of a significant group project which will ultimately end up being installed in a local remodeled hotel. Each student will be a named contributing artist on the completed work and so gain an experience on a reference-able installation.


January 3rd - January 10th 2023.


This is an Intermediate - Advanced level class for people that are looking to become professional glassblowers with Murano level skills. We will focus a lot on advancing your basic skills, so some prior experience and comfort in the hot shop is required. This workshop is taught by two glass studio owners who make their livings producing high end, custom blown glass chandeliers and art installations. This is not about learning how to work on a glass production line making intricate glassware, instead, for those that want to learn how to work big and hot in a team environment.


Participants will, through repetition and coached drills, learn to execute core advanced skills required to make high quality glass art.  We will focus a lot on advancing beyond the basics, so a some experience is required. We will deconstruct your basics skills to build a correct set of habits and movements. You will, through repetition and coached drills, learn to execute core advanced skills required to make high quality glass art. Think of this like a Sports Training camp. It's going to be very physically demanding so expect to be sore pretty much everyday. But you should likewise expect to have built some brand new muscle memory to take with you to advance your own work. And to have had a fun time learning in a terrific environment!

Students should plan to arrive on Saturday January 22nd, with a Studio Meetup/Cocktail hour to meet the rest of your class.

Sunday - Tuesday: Studio hours 7:30a - 6p.

Tuesday: Mid-session Group dinner

Wednesday - Studio Closed - individual and group events enjoying the Monterey Peninsula

Thurday - Sat: Studio hours 7:30a - 6p.

Saturday - Farewell dinner


In completing this work, students will learn and practice:

> Studio set-up and team movement planning
> Large object design and suspension
> Large gathering and temperature control
> Heating, garage work and assembly in a team environment
> Sculpting, bit & tool work


Roberto Beltrami, Owner Wave Murano

Roberto is the youngest glass master in Murano, and with his young passionate team, he crafts bespoke artisanal glass objects in his workshop, Wave Murano Glass.

He doesn’t have any family ties in Murano, but he managed to gain the skills of the great glass Masters in a relatively short time.

Like all glassblowers in Murano, he has a great deal of respect for tradition and he’s not a rebel, but he tries to push the boundaries of what it means to be a craftsman.

Wave Murano Glass makes glass according to the island’s centuries old tradition, but adds the most valuable tool that Murano’s been missing for a long time: the enthusiasm of young minds to experiment new paths.

Roberto loves keeping his hands busy, but he’s also aware of being a son of the digital age. With this in mind he came up with new processes and techniques in a craft that has been still for centuries.

“The value of young people is to have an open mind unencumbered by preconceptions”

With this belief, Roberto quickly became an innovator and a reference point in the Muranese glassmaking tradition.

Nathan Sambar, Owner Monterey GlassWorks

Nathan Sambar is owner and founder of Monterey GlassWorks.  He is an Industrial Designer with a degree from California College of the Arts specializing in product design and fabrication. Nathan and Monterey Glassworks design and sell custom glass lighting, installation works, works of fine art, as well as tools and solutions for other makers.

 His work is known for exploring the interaction between ancient traditional glassblowing techniques and modern design and technology. While nearly all of his large-scale installation work starts with digital design, visualization and custom 3d printed tool fabrications, they all end with a foundation of basic, well combined Venetian, Czech, and American adapted techniques. Largely, his inspiration is derived from the history of our beloved glass, material exploration, and the solutions and outcomes to which it leads. 

 After a time at Savannah College of Art and Design, and completing his industrial design degree from California College of the Arts, he went on to work as a production glassblower in Seattle, WA, perfecting and sharpening his skills while assisting and learning from a prestigious list of Artists. In

Prior to opening MGW, Nathan:

  • Taught a Venetian Glass Blowing at a variety of levels, at the Schack Art Center with Manuel Castro.
  • Studied, taught and demoed with respected artists at The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Corning Museum of Glass, and Pilchuck Glass School.
  • Works with a multitude of designers on a variety of products and designs, including placing in the finals of the Space X Hyperloop Design Competition.


These classes are supported by two important sponsors: Gaffer Glass and the Gas Artists Society. Gaffer is supplying all the glass we will be using. We are proud members of the Glass Artists Society and will provide a 10% discount to all members.


Visitors have three airports they can fly into:

Monterey Peninsula (MPY) - 8 minutes from the studio and nearby hotels. Easy to use uber for access.

San Jose International (SJC): ~75 minutes from downtown Monterey. There are shuttles that run to the city which can be reserved <here>.

San Francisco International (SFO): ~2 hrs north of Monterey. Visitors coming in and out of SFO would probably want to rent a car for the week.


We have arranged visitor discounts at two local hotels:

The Monterey Tides: This  hotel is located beachfront in Monterey and a 20 minute (1.2 mile) walk from the studio.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel: This hotel is located in the heart of Cannery row near the Monterey Bay aquarium and surrounding restaurants. It is 4.5miles from the glass studio.

Of course Airbnb and VRBO are active all over the peninsula, but do book early as they can fill up when you most need them.


Lunch and snacks will be provided at the studio each day except for Wednesday when we are closed to go out 'adventuring' on the Peninsula. We will also host two inclusive dinner events on Tuesday and Saturday night. For the remainder of the evenings you are free to explore the peninsula's great restaurant scene on your own or with others in the class. Please do let us know prior to the class of any food allergies or other dietary restrictions.