I have always said the best part of my job at Visit Hendricks County has been getting to know the people who live and work here and discovering all the really cool things you can experience in your own backyard. Indiana Artisan Lisa Pelo is one of those people I was lucky enough to meet shortly after I started working at Visit Hendricks County.
Lisa Pelo is an artist, operator and owner of Hot Blown Glass, LLC. Her background and training include a degree specializing in glass, faculty instructor and glass studio department head at the Indiana Art Center/Marilyn K. Glick School of Art in Indianapolis. She also holds the distinction of being an Indiana Artisan since 2009.
What is Hot Blown Glass?
Lisa and Hot Blown Glass are truly hidden gems in Hendricks County. She offers year-round glass classes, workshops and group demonstrations at her private studio in Clayton, so anyone can see first-hand how she creates glass art, or better yet, have that bucket list experience of creating your own glass art!
My first time seeing what Lisa does came when we hosted a motorcoach tour group at her studio. It was not only thrilling to watch her create these amazing works of art, but she also described what was taking place as she was heating and molding the glass into different forms. Her demonstrations are ideal for larger groups and young children.
The idea of participating in one of her private workshops or classes where you are making your own art piece may sound a little intimidating, especially if you are artistically challenged like me. Maybe just the thought of handling hot glass scares you.
But you shouldn’t worry. Lisa will safely guide you through this immersive, hands-on experience. Once done, I think you will realize just how special and memorable it was.
My granddaughter and I have a standing date every year around the holidays for our ‘Becky Jean and Callie Jean’ day, which usually involves Christmas shopping, lunch and a lot of girl talk. You know, like why her little brothers are so irritating.
A few years ago, I wanted to do something different than our normal shopping day. Callie loves anything art, and the first thing that came to mind was Hot Blown Glass because I knew it would be an experience like no other. I also thought this would be a unique gift for my daughter-in-law, so I invited her to join us.
They both wanted to make the snowman, which was maybe a little challenging for an introductory workshop, but with the hands-on help from both Lisa and her assistant, they were able to handle it.
As it turns out, it would be the first of several workshops we would do with Lisa. Callie also wanted to make the pumpkin, so she asked to have her birthday party at Hot Blown Glass with a few friends. The third workshop we did was last Christmas, where Callie and my daughter-in-law made the glass blown ornaments.
It was their first try at blowing glass, and they both said it was probably their favorite workshop they have done so far.
Date Night, Parties & More
Other fun ideas for experiencing Hot Blown Glass workshops could be a date night, a bachelorette or wedding party (I recommend the heart paperweights), a girl’s night out or an after-work activity with co-workers.
For a small group outing, there’s also outdoor seating if you want to bring food and/or enjoy an adult beverage after you have your turn making an art piece.
Workshop prices range from $40-$65 per person to make one item including your choice of paper weights, blown ornaments, pumpkins and flowers. Most of the introductory hands-on workshops are solid forming, with one blown-process offering.
Lisa also has begun to offer new two-hour private sessions, which have been very popular. This more in-depth experience can be for one or two people for $150. You will make multiple items during this time, including both solid form and blown process.
Hot Blown Glass is COVID safe and compliant. The workshops are still hands-on and up close, but Lisa stresses they have really kicked up their normal cleaning process by sanitizing pipes and tools after each session, and by scheduling lag time between sessions. Lisa and all staff also now wear masks during the workshops.
The Hot Blown Glass studio is located at her home, 3717 S. County Road 200 East in Clayton, Indiana, and workshops and demonstrations are by appointment only. The preferred way to contact Lisa is to send her a text on her cell phone (317) 987-6862. She also checks social media and is listed on Google Business.