Glass blowing for beginners with Jon Lewis

Vase made by a student


Glass blowing for beginners with Jon Lewis
This would make an amazing gift!

Jon Lewis offers glass blowing tuition for beginners. In the fully equipped glass hot-shop the students will learn all about the ancient and magical craft of glass making. All of the glass which the students make can be taken home when cooled overnight. They can be collected or posted to you.

The environment of glass making, the heat, the furnaces and the manipulation of molten hot glass combine to give an intense and exciting experience. You will learn to work with glass in its molten liquid state by using traditional techniques and tools.

The glass is melted in a crucible in the glass furnace at about 1100 degrees Celsius. At this temperature the glass is liquid. The glass is "gathered", wound onto the blowing iron like honey. The blowing iron must be turned continuously or the glass will drip onto the floor.

Glass blowing is all about turning the iron and shaping the glass by using gravity, heat and of course your breathe to inflate. There are also traditional tools to shape the glass.

Glass making in this form has changed very little in technique in the last thousand years.

The lesson will start with a brief description of the workshop, equipment, tools and safety considerations.

We will start by making small marbles. This is to help you get used to the tools, turning the blowing iron and experiencing hot glass at your fingertips. Through the lesson you will move on from making your first marbles, to quickly progressing to making your own colours which you will use to make a gorgeous swirling paperweight. After lunch students progress blowing your first bubble with an added loop to make a bauble. By the end of the lesson you will have made a finished translucent coloured vessel.

Everything you make will be put into an annealing kiln which will slowly cool all the glass work overnight. Once cooled you will be able to keep all the glass pieces you have made.

You should wear sensible work clothing, jeans are good, leather shoes or trainers.

It will get hot in the workshop!

Most weekdays are also available on request.

Numbers of students: we require 2 students for the day to go ahead, but sometimes accommodate 3 as a family or friends group per session

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Materials included.
please bring your own drinking water, we have no drinking water on tap.
Hot drinks and snacks provided throughout the day
Each single session is 6 hours long with a lunch included (pizza cooked in the kiln). Please inform us of any dietary requirements on booking.


Jon Lewis at Jon Lewis


Parndon Mill
Parndon Mill Lane
CM20 2HP

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers


1 day (10:00am to 4:00pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

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In-person course
Michael - - #33956

I booked a day of glass blowing with Jon for my partner’s birthday (she’s always been a fan of glass art and wanted to try her hand at glass blowing).

Jon is a fantastic teacher and is extensively experienced in the craft, we learnt a lot and had more than our fair share of laughs. We came away with a lovely collection of pieces and a day that we would remember for a long while.

The answer to the question of whether you should book yourself in for a session with Jon should always be yes.

In-person course
Stuart Tucker - - #33750

Such a great day, I had been looking forward to trying glass blowing for a long time and the course did not dissapoint. A cleverly designed day to take you from making pebbles to a coloured vessel. Lots of hands on time closely monitored by Jon. Glass is such an amazing and difficult medium to work with and yet I ended up with some beautiful pieces to take home. Brilliant. Thankyou.

In-person course
Akiko Hickey - - #33219

An excellent day with Jon learning about glass. There were only two on the course so we got plenty of tuition and guidance. Jon has the patience of a saint, is clearly passionate about his craft and his knowledge is immense. Although high temperatures are involved it felt safe in the studio. Seeing pizza cook in about a minute in the cooler annealing kiln was an indication of the temperatures involved!

Altogether an excellent course which I can recommend highly!

In-person course
Chris - - #30831

We had a great day with Jon trying our hands at working with glass. I was surprised by the number of things that we got to make during the day and the number of techniques that we got to try our hand with. At the start of the day we could just about make some not quite spherical marbles and by the end we were experimenting with different colouring techniques and making vases.

Jon is a very good teacher and we also got to find out about the other interesting projects he has been working on and the techniques he has been experimenting with. All in all it was excellent value for money and taught us a lot of new skills. Hoping to try it again sometime and practice all the skills we learnt.

In-person course
Bryony - - #30821

My partner and I had a great day on this course, learning from Jon. I've wanted to try glass blowing for many years, so this was a fantastic opportunity. Jon was really welcoming, and we got stuck in to our projects early on in the day. It is clear that Jon has a good plan for the lesson, and knows what can be realistically produced by eager beginners (us!) without ever feeling rushed. Jon was also able to provide great guidance without taking over, so you really feel that what you have created is your own!

Parndon Mill is a beautiful setting, and eating lunch in the sunshine outside the studio added to the experience. All in all, a really enjoyable day.

In-person course
Malcolm Dallamore - - #28266

We made some great, chunky pieces with Jon! A total surprise as we're complete beginners to glass blowing, and came home with some really nice thick glasses, vases and baubles. The location at Parndon Mill's really pretty, and Jon's a great teacher - as evidenced by us muppets coming home with some nice things! Highly recommended day out.

In-person course
Leanne O’Neill - - #27648

My partner and I attended this course last weekend, as this type of glass making had been recommended. It was an incredible experience from start to finish.

The day had been set out so the first order of the day was getting use to the tools and techniques. We then went on to make three items - which given we were absolute novices - we were ecstatic with.

It was an incredible expierence/feeling knowing we were creating our items using such an incredible traditional craft, and being taught by such a fantastic teacher. Jon is an incredible glass artist and it was a privilege to be able to do this course in his studio and see some of the works of art, he has created.

If you do any craft courses in 2020, let it be glass blowing with Jon Lewis.

In-person course
Alison Baker - - #27384

A fabulous experience which I highly recommend. Jon was incredibly patient and helpful with us and made the course interesting and fun. You have the added bonus of coming away with your artistic creations, what more can you ask for.

In-person course
Matt de Moraes - - #27028

Jon was a tremendous and attentive coach in the entry level world of glassblowing. This was an immense experience that I will remember forever. I already have a long list of friends wanting to take part, so no surprise his gentle demeanor and tutoring style has created such demand for his lessons!

In-person course
Sang - - #25923

We had a fantastic day learning to blow glassblowing with Jon, who is both a great teacher and an amazing artist.

Jon was encouraging, calm and patient, and we managed to make baubles, paperweights and vases / glasses in our session which are beautiful take home souvenirs!

Lunch was a great kiln fired pizza too :)

Would recommend Jon and the day to anyone fancying something a bit different and all just 30 mins from London :) thanks Jon!

In-person course
K & B - - #23176

What an absolutely fantastic day from start to finish. Jon Lewis is not only a genuinely lovely guy, but is also a very gifted teacher. Cool, calm and collected the whole time, Jon guides you effortlessly through the processes needed to create marbles, colourful paperweights, festive baubles and vases. He is most definitely the reason we were able to take home work we were actually proud of.

The day was challenging, exciting, surprisingly adrenalin-fuelled and really, really fun!
This glassblowing day was a gift from my fiancé and what a wonderful gift it was! I have yet to stop smiling. Honestly one of the best days I’ve had in ages, and certainly the best arts and crafts course I’ve ever taken. Thank-you so much Jon!

In-person course
Zoe Sharpe - - #21937

What a fabulous experience this was. Jon was just excellent, a great teacher and fun guy to learn from. Loved every minute of it, would highly recommend this to anyone who is practically minded and interested in learning new skills. A credit to Jon's teaching, we made lots of lovely items to bring home and keep. Many thanks!!

In-person course
Andy Stewart - - #21907

A great experience made even better by the host and tutor Jon Lewis.
Having been on a variety of craft courses this one was far and above the best experience. Not only was it outside the normal craft experience it required a good deal of skill. However, this was made a very accessible experience by Jon’s great tutoring.
Jon would explain the process, then follow this with an example of the process. A guided glass blowing process would then take place, followed by your own experience. Jon was on hand to correct and rescue your example if needed.
We were right to choose this course over other courses available. We began by producing basic marbles and this was followed by paper weights, baubles, and a drinking glass. We also made our own coloured glass and used this to colour some of our examples.
Finally to mention the food. Jon put on an excellent spread enjoyed by all.
P.S. Be ready for a very hot but very enjoyable learning experience. I would most certainly recommend.

In-person course
Delphine - - #20356

I got this as a surprise for my father and he loved it. It was a great experience and would highly recommend it if you are looking for something fun and creative. Jon was great at teaching us the basics of glass blowing and to make our beautiful glass pieces! I will definitely consider this class again next time my family comes over to visit.

In-person course
Katherine Sirrell - - #18805

This was a fantastic day and great choice of present for my partner. Jon was an excellent teacher; patient, clear and put us at ease. I was a bit nervous before going but Jon explained the process in a way which made us feel confident in what we were doing. We got to do so much ourselves and it was really amazing to make the products we did. The mill was also a beautiful location a d super easy from London. If you're thinking about glass blowing this really is the best course and such fantastic value.

In-person course
Susannah - - #18698

Had a great day of glass blowing with Jon . Was fascinating seeing the whole process, from the liquid glass to adding colour at the alchemist's table! And no need to worry if you make mistakes. Jon will help you fix things and make sure you end up with some great pieces. A lovely location and tasty treats to keep you going help make it an excellent experience.

In-person course
Paula - - #18633

My husband and I had the pleasure of attending this course. Jon was very patient and a great teacher. We progressed through the day to make some lovely objects. Would definiately come again.

In-person course
Daniel Jennings - - #18417

I received a Craft Courses voucher for my birthday with an aim to attend a glass-blowing course. I chose Jon's course partly because of the sheer number of outstanding reviews he has received.

Reading through them again, they're not wrong, having now attended his course. Jon is a friendly, encouraging and relaxed teacher, who demonstrates a keen passion for his art.

The course took two complete novices (at crafts as well as glass-blowing) and enabled us to make a number of very special items, working with the glass right from the beginning.

The setting is very nice, and the pizza lunch was a very nice tough. If you are looking to try glass-blowing for the first time, I could not recommend this course to you highly enough.

In-person course
Hadassah - - #17891

My sister and I had a fantastic day at Parndon Mill with Jon blowing glass. The day was extremely enjoyable and with Jon’s help we made a number of original items including my dream vase! He was tremendously helpful, motivating and encouraging and enabled us to experience all areas and aspects of glass blowing. I would definitely recommend this course to others! Thank you Jon 

In-person course
Ricky Cheung - - #17140

Jon was very knowledgable and patient.

He helped and taught us a lot about glass blowing, and the course itself it really fun.

Definitely a great birthday present. Money well spent for a good day of glass blowing, tea and Pizza

In-person course
charlie clarke - - #16988

I just got back from this course, here are my thoughts:

Jon is an extremely patient teacher, as well as a master craftsman, and he showed us how [in a small group setting] and then helped us to make things like christmas tree baubles and a vase. Twenty minutes into the day and you are getting busy with red-hot molten glass - it's a very packed six hours.

The location of the course is stunning - this amazing mill which has been converted into an arts complex, by the canal. Jon makes a good lunch of it too - cooking pizzas in the kiln which is pretty special.

I was given this course as a birthday present - learning to do glassblowing is something i've always wanted to try - my advice to anyone reading this is DO IT!

In-person course
Nick - - #14326

Really good, genuinely hands-on taster for this ancient craft. You quickly get going with the simpler pieces, and the things you make are really your own work. I made some marble/pebble/paperweights a military grade bauble and a tall and thoroughly usable G&T glass.

Jon is a great source of information about the craft, with impressive experience and portfolio.
Highly recommended!

And lunch cooked in the kiln. All in a real working studio, next to a river.

In-person course
Joseph Evans - - #14268

Such a great experience! Jon is a really knowledgeable and patient teacher. The workshop is in a very picturesque location in an old mill on the side of a canal. On the day we went even though we had minus figures and snow outside we were sweating inside. To work with glass is very demanding but also very rewarding and Jon was helped us to be very productive. In 6 hours we managed to make so many interesting glass sculptures we were shocked (cups, bottles, marbles, paperweights) and also were able to keep them all. Would highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in exploring a new material. In fact we’re probably going to go back to try to expand our skills further. Well worth the money and a hearty lunch is also included!

In-person course
Priya Shah - - #13219

Me and my friend had the pleasure of experiencing this course yesterday. Jon is a very good and patient teacher providing a very comfortable setting and atmosphere. So good that we ended up talking quite a bit but he went above and beyond to make up the time, we even got to do more than what was advertised. We are now considering doing the sand casting course and even going back for another session.

In-person course
Gideon van Niekerk - - #13016

Was given this day course by my wife as a birthday present and was the best present I have ever received. Jon is an outstanding teacher; calm, immensely patient and his passion for glass, working glass and its enchanted properties is infectious. Jon makes you feel safe in the workshop and makes the process of working with glass come to life. Jon, his immense skill and his craft borders on the fantastical and all day it felt to me as if I had stepped into the pages of a storybook. I left not only with my confidence renewed, but also with the wonderful pieces of glass I worked with. Thank you so much, Jon.

In-person course
Stephanie bancroft - - #12656

I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to try something different or for anyone looking for a great present for someone else. Only 3 on the course so lots of time for each of us to have a go and we learnt from watching each other. Jon is extremely patient and keeps the atmosphere down to earth and relaxed even though the glass blowing itself is an intense and totally absorbing experience. The finished objects are beautiful and unique.

In-person course
Mike B - - #12493

This was a really fantastic course!

Jon is a really excellent teacher, inspiring and encouraging us to experience every part of the art of glassblowing, from the initial gather to intricately shaping and decorating our glass. With his help we were able to make some lovely marbles, a paperweight, baubles and a vessel. He even stepped in lightning-speed and saved my vessel when I was about to lose it to the floor! Jon really makes you consider and appreciate the process, and made sure we put a lot of thought and time into every piece we made. Resultantly, everything we made felt incredibly personal, and has given us a great insight into the medium of glass and inspiration to find out and try more!

Overall - a really helpful, patient and down to earth teacher with loads of experience to share and guide you through this great course. Couldn't recommend more :)

In-person course
Tracy Brown - - #12322

Just come back from a days glass blowing with Jon, and I had a fabulous day. Jon is patient, supportive and inspirating. He gave us the guidance needed to take complete beginners through the basics to enable us to make baubles and drinking glasses.

I enjoyed it that much, I didn’t want to leave. He has inspired me to explore about glass blowing. Thank you.

In-person course
C & P - - #12071

My husband and I booked a short glass blowing course for the purpose of making our own Christmas baubles.

Jon is an excellent teacher, he talked us through the procedure and explained the reasoning behind the process before we started. Jon was also happy for us to take photos during the class. Neither of us had blown glass before or had any experience in arts/crafts and Jon was very patient with us providing assistance when we needed it.

With Jon's assistance and guidance we made 2 baubles each with a variety of colours. It was amazing to see glass in liquid form and to learn how to add colours and shape it.

We shall certainly want to return, we had a great time and would definitely recommend the class.

In-person course
Alison Quinn - - #10615

An excellent day of glass blowing with Jon.
We got an insight into the profession through looking at some of Jon's work and making marbles, baubles and a vase each.
The course was very thorough and fun, with a supportive teacher to guide us through.
Everyone at the Mill was friendly and welcoming and I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested, especially as the course is suitable for all skill levels!

In-person course
Debbie Bent - - #10236

Amazing experience for my two boys in their twenties and me their mum. Jon was inspiring, calm and encouraging and we got to make marbles, baubles and a glass each.

A very hands on few hours but with Jon's gentle support guiding us each step of the way. We loved it.

The peaceful location next to the river was a bonus as we walked along and saw pigs next to the swans.

We all want to come but this time with my daughter too.

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