And we're off. We're offered the choice of making a glass bauble or a paper weight but at the Liquid Glass Center you can take courses in all sorts of glass works - tiles, jewelry, fusing, the list goes on.
First of all we each have a go at gathering the molten glass from the crucible inside the furnance. Ali and Jade use heat shields to protect us from the worst of the blasting hot air but it's still hot work.
Ali teaches us various ways in which we can work on the glass and we each have a go at gathering and glass work techniques. It's a truly unique experience to see how molten glass behaves up close.
Ali then demonstrates how to make a glass bauble and how to make a glass paper weight. She makes it look easy. The class is riveted as she blows a bubble from the end of her blowpipe into the blob of glowing glass to create the bauble shape.
Next she demonstrates twisting the glass into a spiral to start off the air bubbles within a paper weight, it's fascinating and we are all itching to have a go.
One by one, we're expertly guided through the process. Ali may have made the techniques look effortless but when it's my go, it seems anything but easy.
Still slowly, slowly the glass takes shape. I'm so excited as my bauble begins to take shape.
It takes a lot of breathe to get bubble into the glass. I look like 80's Children's TV character Pob as I try and force an air bubble into my blob. I’m bright red but I’ve manage a pea-sized air pocket and am congratulated by the team. I'm actually gob-smacked at how much effort is required to get just a tiny amount of air into the glass.
Sweaty and slightly exhausted from my efforts, I feel seriously proud of the finished product: A glittering green bauble! Yes, it looks homemade but that's entirely the point...
Ali calls it "rustic and individual". I assume that's a polite term for "quite crap" but it's my first time so I'm thrilled to bits.
Working with glass is hot, tiring, a little bit scary and so much fun.