Jeremy Friedly and a glass creation
Glass items for sale at the Center
Renovated gallery space at the Center

Through The Fire Studios

Each month our e-newsletter features a local or regional business that calls the Susquehanna home. Learn more about how they are helping to reinvest in our river towns, encourage revitalization, and further local economic development.

February 2013

Nothing cuts through a winter day like opening the doors to Through The Fire Studios and being greeted by the warm, molten glow of a glass furnace. This new glassblowing studio in Columbia, Lancaster County is housed within the Susquehanna
Center for the Creative Arts
, and offers workshops in glass blowing for beginners. Resident “gaffer” (a person who blows glass) and co-founder, Jeremy
Friedly, led SGP on a tour of the Studio and described how the group transformed an old, water-damaged furniture store in the heart of historic downtown into creative gallery, studio, and learning space.

“We knocked down internal walls, pulled down the old water damaged ceiling and opened the place up, said Freidly. Now the Center incorporates gallery, exhibition, reception, and private studio space for other artists. Through The Fire Studios is also happy to call it home. “I worked in Lancaster for a few years, but I just love the art scene that is happening in Columbia. We are open for Fourth Friday events which invite the public to stroll around the different art spots. We do glassblowing demonstrations; people ask questions or sign up for our workshops. It’s a great community.” 

A 90-minute “Hot Glass Experience” workshop costs $80 and is the Studio’s most popular offering. “We introduce people to the process, the colors, the chemicals, the heat and the tools gaffers use,” says Freidly. “It’s a hands-on demo where people can leave with a finished, unique glass creation that they made.” Paperweights, glass flowers and ornaments are all popular pieces from this experience. For those who would like to take their art to the next level, the studio also offers four week workshops to teach beginning through intermediate glassblowing. 

Being a community resource and promoting the creative arts through education, exhibition, and workshops is the shared mission of the Susquehanna Center for the Creative Arts and Through The Fire Studios. “At the Center, we have hosted programs for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lancaster County, and we’d like to work more closely with local schools. Their budget for the arts in school is under so much pressure, we want to help by providing a
creative, safe after school venue where students could even earn credits for their work.” 

As we finish our tour around the studio, Jeremy greets five new visitors. “Hi, you guys must be my 11 o’clock.” The family nods in agreement and stares with a bit of wonder and apprehension at the glowing glass furnace. “Yep,” said the family’s father, “We’re up from Maryland for the day. We’re doing the Turkey Hill Dairy Experience tour a little later and wanted something to do in the morning. So here we are!” “Great, let’s get going,” says
Jeremy as he leads them into the first half of their experiential day. With creativity burning so brightly in this river town, we wouldn’t be surprised if they soon coin this family’s itinerary as the Fire & Ice(cream) Columbia Experience. 

To learn more about Through The Fire Studios, visit them on facebook.

To learn more about events and sales happening at the Susquehanna Center for the Creative Arts, find them on facebook.

Visit the Studio and the Center in person at 452 Locust Street in Columbia.