Shiny Sparkle Labs is the creation of Dorie Gutherie and Matthew Day Perez, two art educators who are formally trained in glassmaking. Located in Red Hook, the lab offers glass-making classes for beginners to make their own glass art.
“Over the pandemic, we identified that space is untapped, and it was a place where we wanted to be. We wanted to be less reliant on other public access studios,” Perez said.
“I think it’s a diverse medium. I think it’s magical putting it in a kiln and seeing it flex or bend or melt or slide. It’s very alchemical in a way because you’re using this primordial material in a way that a lot of people don’t engage with. We have a lot of glass in our life, all over the place, in cellphones, cars. But you never get the chance to manipulate it in the way that we do.”
Perez and Gutherie keep both fun and accessibility in mind when creating their classes. Right now the studio space offers Fuze & Booze classes where participants can make charcuterie boards, coasters, and whiskey glasses while enjoying snacks from local small businesses.
The lab also offers Weekend Workshops where students can learn a variety of glass-making skills. After finishing your creations in class, they take about a week to be available for pick up or shipping.
“I think this is a really great opportunity for Dorie and I to put together our ideas and feels about how pedagogically we want in the glass world and how to build meaningful relationships with community members and underrepresented partnerships, people who are trying to do something a little different and offer something a little different,” said Perez.
“We’re still very much in our infancy so it seems like we’re very much this and that, but for the long term, we’d love to have scholarship programs with community partners, working with youngsters, younger kids, and we’re figuring out ways to diversify our field.”
In the future, Perez and Gutherie hope that the studio will offer more classes, grow community roots and possibly even begin a residency program.
Shiny Sparkle Labs is located at 185 Van Dyke Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. For more information, visit shinysparklelabs.com.