Visit Norfolk: Hands-On Glass Studio Opens at Chrysler Museum

Temperatures might be dropping in Norfolk, Virginia, but we know of one BRAND NEW must-visit attraction that’s hot, hot, hot!

The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio is now open to the public (as of November 2) and daily demonstrations provide a first-hand look into the fascinating art of glassmaking techniques. The ambiance is light, airy, modern, and a couple of furnaces running somewhere around 2,150 degrees offer a warm reprieve from cold, windy seasonal weather.

Katie from TravelPlusWine volunteers! Breathe in, breathe out.

Glass Studio demonstrations are FREE and they last one to two hours. Manager Charlotte Potter and her dynamic team of talented and outgoing artists dazzle visitors in a theatrical and entertaining way… leaving you with a profound appreciation and understanding of the glass world. Demonstrations will be offered at noon and 6pm and picnic lunches or dinners are highly encouraged. Enjoy the view with your food from the audience seating… watch from a safe distance or check out the television monitors above to get closer views of the live action. The Ghent district offers numerous gourmet restaurants with take-out, so make it a family affair or a unique, romantic date for two!

(Tip: TenTop is a hole-in-the-wall, unassuming establishment about a mile away but definitely holds a spot in the Top Ten restaurants of Norfolk. The food is gourmet and amazing – salads, sandwiches, pita pizzas for lunch or try the Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Lasagna for dinner. Call ahead to order for pick-up!)

The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio – Interior View

Always working as a team

When you’re finished discovering the world of blowpipes and cullets, walk next door to the Chrysler Museum. This impressive space houses one of the best art collections in the United States thanks in large part to the Norfolk community of art collectors (“Our Community Collects”) who kindly put their finest pieces on loan so we, the public, can enjoy as well. Head right to the Glass Collection, one of the largest and most comprehensive glass collections in the world. Are you ready for 10,000 glass objects spanning 3,000 years? Many of us, as much as we appreciate art, don’t have the time or patience to view everything… so head directly to the Tiffany Gallery and then search for works by Robert Wilson, Dale Chihuly, Harvey Littleton, Klaus Moje, Steuban Glass Works, Lalique, Paolo Vanini, William Morris, and many more. If possible, join a tour or ask a docent for more information. Their knowledge will help you bridge any gaps between what you learned in the Studio with what you’re looking at in the museum.

(Tip: The Chrysler Museum is opened until 9pm on Wednesdays making this an excellent dinner & museum night!)

Various glass works


BUT WAIT… THERE’S MORE! Yes, it gets even better…

If the Glass Studio demonstration makes you hot for something more, well, hands-on… they offer WORKSHOPS! Extend your stay in Norfolk and sign up for a Two-Hour Teaser, One-Day, Two-Day, or Three-Day workshops.

(Tip:Just make sure you don’t leave town the same day your workshop ends because glass needs to be slowly cooled in a kiln so it doesn’t break. If that’s not a possibility, make advanced arrangements to ship your project home.)

When you plan your trip to Norfolk… stay a few more days than you think necessary, you’ll need ’em!

And, if you’re interested in checking out more photos from the Chrysler Museum and Glass Studio, visit our Facebook page.