Downtown is soon to be home to two glass working businesses with different missions. On Friday, April 30 at 5:30 pm, High Gravity Glassworks launches at Red River Brewpub, 1200 Marshall Street. High Gravity Glassworks is owned by Michelle Pennington.

Michelle Pennington, owner of High Gravity Glassworks

The business will be all about sharing the love and creativity of glass blowing with the public through workshops that will allow you to participate in blowing your own wine glass, hummingbird feeder, flower, beer mug or solid egg. It is a blast to do and you leave with both a pretty object and a great story about creating it! Michelle and her crew will also take custom requests and create one-of-a-kind glass artworks. High Gravity Glasswork’s hours are Tuesday through Thursday 3pm-8pm, 2pm-8pm Friday and Saturday, 12-5 Sundays.

Eric Hess, owner of Sanctuary Arts School and a happy student.

One great thing is never enough and we are thrilled that Sanctuary Arts School will be moving into 421 Lake Street adjacent to The Agora Borealis art marketplace. Owner and founder Eric Hess says the 501c3 nonprofit will be providing classes communitywide in glass arts, which will include glass blowing, kiln casting, sand casting and hot sculpting. Staff will also do outreach to veterans and active military who have a diagnosis of PTSD and utilize glass blowing as part of their therapy. See more on their website here. 

Says Hess, “We bring our arts education programs into the community including schools, affordable housing locations, Providence House, nursing homes and to populations that are underserved. We offer free courses to individuals in wheelchairs since we have a special bench that can be used for people with disabilities. Free studio time is given to MFA and BFA students throughout the Gulf South.”

Sanctuary Arts School will also have glass blowing opportunities for the public whichwill be invited to come and watch the glass magic happen. The school plans to open on Saturday, May 15. Hours will be Wed – Sat. 1 to 9 pm and Sundays 12-5 pm. Hess is thrilled with the new opportunity, and the fact that the studio will be air-conditioned. “You can schedule with us at We also now have a party room, so we are a great place to throw a birthday, bachelor or bachelorette, graduation, baby shower, parties, etc. If you want to schedule a party call 504-390-4377,” says Hess. “We look forward to you staying cool in our studio this summer!”