Millville and southern New Jersey are well known for glassmaking businesses and industries. One longtime business is Carlisle Machine Works and Carlisle School of Glass Art, located at 412 S. Wade Boulevard, Millville. Recently, artist Michele Norton was hired to be in charge of the Carlisle School of Glass Art. Norton has an associate degree in photography, which led her to a career in graphic design. She has been a freelance designer since 2005. She also has a passion for landscape design and gardening.
Her home studio is her creative space for her design work and for silversmithing, which brings us to her love of flame work to create glass beads. The beads are made at her flame work bench at Carlisle, and then turned into beautiful pieces of jewelry set in silver. Norton’s jewelry can be found for sale at Clay College’s gift shop and often at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, both on High Street in Millville.
Carlisle School is back in full swing since the pandemic, and Norton has many classes in progress and planned for the next several months. There are classes for beginners and intermediate level artists. You can find the schedule of classes, costs, and other requirements by visiting carlisleschoolofglassart.com. Find all the links you need on the left side of the home page.
Norton will be introducing painting classes for oil and pastel art led by talented local and regional artists. There will be workshops on design ideas and jewelry making. You’ll even be able to make your glass beads one day and on the next learn how to “wrap” the beads and create your own jewelry pieces.
If stained glass is a love of yours, Carlisle will soon be offering classes with instructions to learn to make objects of art with these colorful pieces.
An after-school series of classes for children from 5th to 12th grades will start in September with four weekly programs. These classes will be repeated in October and November as well.
Norton will be doing flame work demonstrations on Third Friday evenings, beginning at 6 p.m. On May 19 and June 16, she will be at the Glasstown Plaza at the corner of High and Sassafras streets. On July 21 and August 18, the demos will be at Rowan College South Jersey – Clay College at the corner of High and Vine streets (outdoors). More Third Friday demonstrations will be added in the autumn months.
These demonstrations will help you understand the art of glass bead making and how artistic and creative you can become. We are so pleased that Carlisle School of Glass Art is back, stronger than ever, and that Michele Norton is sharing her talent and skills with all of us.