You may have heard of the famous Bath Aqua Glass shop, specialising in hand-blown homewares and jewellery in their distinctive, aqua-blue hue, but did you know you can also peek behind the scenes and have a go yourself at their Theatre of Glass? We were invited to the Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass to see how they make each creation, and try our hand at the ancient art form.
Let's Set the Scene
Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass is the hub of all of Bath Aqua Glass' blown glass and fused glass jewellery creations. Just a ten-minute walk from Bath Abbey, the Theatre of Glass offers regular public demonstrations, as well as private group demonstrations and experiences (perfect for hen and stag parties, special occasions and corporate events), and glassmaking courses. We sampled the group package, which gave each of us the opportunity to blow into (and take away) our own bauble.
Public demonstrations are open to all, and take place from Monday to Saturday. Simply pop in or call ahead to book if you wish. During some demonstrations, there's the chance for a handful of guests to have a go themselves for an additional fee, but it's best to request this in advance because it's very popular!
Trying Our Hand
We enjoyed a warm and friendly introduction from the team, before being taken straight into the action with the first bauble, accompanied by a running commentary talking us through the process and techniques, with a bite-sized serving of science.
First, the molten glass was prepared and shaped by the expert glass blowers, before it was our chance to take the starring role.
Each bauble was then expertly finished off in clear view (this was our favourite part to watch, the glass was pliable, yet like honey).
We each took it in turn throughout the visit to blow into a bauble, with the guidance of the experts. It was just enough hands-on experience without getting too close to raging-hot furnaces, or having the worry of making a mistake.
If you do want to get even more hands-on, you can book on to one of their dedicated glass-making courses.
The Masters at Work
As part of the experience, we were also able to watch a number of other items being made, some as part of the show, and some just in the background as part of the day-to-day production of the workshop. The pinnacle was a beautiful decorative jug, which seemed to appear out of nowhere, before our very eyes.
We absolutely loved our visit to Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass. It was mesmerising, intriguing and inspiring – we won’t ever look at another hand-blown glass piece in the same way again! We were so impressed by what we saw, that we spent a good while exploring the factory shop on our way out, marvelling at each item and imagining how it was created.
A day or two later, the magic continued when we each received our pretty little creation perfectly packaged in its own box and engraved with our chosen personal message. Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree?!