Glass Blowing Classes in West Virginia 2023 [Updated]

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List of Glass Blowing Classes in West Virginia 2023 [Updated]

glass blowing classes West Virginia
The mountainous state of West Virginia has a long legacy of glass production. Glass companies and small studios keep the tradition alive today.

The state of West Virginia has a long and fascinating history of glass manufacturing. Glass was first created in West Virginia long before it became a state. The state’s high-quality silica sources have supported glass blowing historically and in the present day. 

With over 200 years of glass production and close to 500 companies within that time frame, West Virginia is arguably the state with the deepest connection to the art form. 

Glass was so important to West Virginia’s economy that by the 1910s, glass manufacturing was the 4th largest industry in the state. 

The tradition of glass blowing lives on in small studios, galleries, and companies like Blenko Glass. Founded in 1893, Blenko is one of the top glass companies in the world. Blenko clients include  St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Country Music Awards, and the White House. 

West Virginia’s residents are eager to keep the glass blowing tradition alive and well. The state has experienced a revival in handicrafts in recent decades and both the government and non profit organizations are working hard to preserve and promote West Virginia’s unique traditions. 

If you want to get involved in West Virginia glass, consider one of the opportunities included in this article. We cover small studio classes, demonstrations, factory tours, and more.

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1) Tamarack Marketplace

  • Type: general glass art, glass blowing 
  • Classes: small group, blow-your-own, weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons 
  • Price: $55-$145
  • Website:
  • Telephone: (304) 561-8918
  • Location: One Tamarack Park Beckley, WV 25801

Tamarack Marketplace is a unique cultural center that introduces visitors to “The Best of West Virginia.” The center achieves this through showcasing traditional handicrafts, art, and cuisine. Tamarack Marketplace is made up of a retail store, studios, an art gallery, a food court, and a conference center. 

One of the hands-on activities available at Tamarack is glass blowing. The art form is an essential piece of West Virginian history.

Participants learn how to blow glass with Tamarack’s resident glass blower John DesMeules. His classes run for around 20-30 minutes, making them a quick and fun introduction to the art. 

Class prices vary depending on the type of project completed. Choose from ornaments, paperweights, hearts, glasses, candy dishes, vases, and bowls.  

2) Oglebay

  • Type: general glass art, glass blowing 
  • Classes: small group, demonstrations, museum 
  • Price: Contact for pricing information
  • Website:
  • Telephone: (304) 242-7272
  • Location: 465 Lodge Dr. Wheeling, WV 26003

Oglebay is a 2,000 acre estate offering year-round recreation for visitors. The historic mansion and grounds are home to golf, a spa, horseback riding, hiking, swimming, and much more. 

The property also includes a glass museum and offers walk-in classes for beginners. Participants can create a paperweight or view a glass blowing demonstration. 

While waiting for class to start, visitors can explore the Oglebay glass museum. This space includes 3,000 pieces of Wheeling, West Virginia glass. The most famous piece is the world’s largest punch bowl, which is 5 feet tall! 

Oglebay offers something for everyone. Museum visits, demonstrations, and hands-on classes provide well rounded glass-education and are suitable for every learning preference. 

3) Dakota Glass Works

  • Type: general glass art, glass blowing 
  • Classes: demonstrations, studio visits, evenings, weekends
  • Price: Free
  • Website:
  • Telephone: N/A
  • Location: 273 E. Main St. Wardensville, WV 26851

Dakota Glass Works is a glass blowing studio that is partnered with the Farms Work Wonders non profit. This organization supports the cottage industry of West Virginia and uplifts community members. 

Byron Gaylord is the current studio manager and gaffer of Dakota Glass Works. He started blowing glass in 2006 and has experience learning at the Pilchuck School in Washington. 

Gaylord offers pop up studio nights for the community. Visitors are welcome to come watch Gaylord and his team create. Ask Gaylord questions about the glass blowing process and get information on new products to purchase. 

4) Virtu Art Glass Studio @ The Greenbriar Resort

  • Type: general glass art, glass blowing 
  • Classes: private, 30 minutes-1 hour 
  • Price: $80-$160
  • Website:
  • Telephone: (855) 453-4858
  • Location: 101 Main St. W. White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986

The Greenbriar Resort is one of the top vacation destinations in West Virginia. It attracts visitors from around the country. The Resort is a designated National Historic Landmark and has been around since 1776. 

While visitors can choose from a range of activities during their stay, one of the more unique opportunities offered at Greenbriar is a private glass blowing class. 

Participants learn the basics of glass blowing at Greenbriar’s Virtu Art Glass Studio. Instructors work one-on-one with students to complete simple yet beautiful finished projects. 

5) Appalachian Glass

  • Type: general glass art, glass blowing 
  • Classes: demonstrations, weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons 
  • Price: Contact for pricing information
  • Website:
  • Telephone: (304) 269-1030
  • Location: 499 US Highway 33 E. Weston, WV 26452

Appalachian Glass is owned and operated by three generations of glass blowers: Matt, Chip, and Todd Turner. The guys have a retail space and offer demonstrations to the public. 

Demonstrations are available for both small parties or larger groups of students or team members. Contact Appalachian Glass directly for more information on scheduling. 

6) Blenko Glass

  • Type: general glass art, glass blowing 
  • Classes: studio tours, demonstrations 
  • Price: Contact for pricing information
  • Website:
  • Telephone: (304) 743-9081
  • Location: 9 Bill Blenko Dr. Milton, WV 25541

Blenko Glass is one of the most famous glass blowing companies in West Virginia and America. The company was founded in 1893 and has been operating out of Milton, WV since 1921. 

Blenko’s current president is John W. Blenko. He represents the 4th generation of Blenkos. 

Visitors to the factory can view glass blowing demonstrations and take an in-depth tour of the facility. Learn about the glass blowing process while you watch in real time. 

Tours are currently suspended until early 2023, but check Blenko’s website for more information on scheduling and signing up. 

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