It's  fun, but it can be  stressful. You've got a piece of glass at 2000 degrees on the end of a stick, so my first job is to teach them how not to injure themselves.
Glass artist Jeff BurnetteThe popular Whanganui Summer School of the Arts began yesterday with an exciting mix of painting, sculpture, literature, jewellery and much more on offer.
The school runs until next Saturday and has students from all over New Zealand attending the 18 different workshops.
The week-long Hot Glass Techniques workshop is being led by Canadian glass artist Jeff Burnette, who  is visiting New Zealand for the first time.
The workshop is designed to cater to all levels of glass-blowing skills, although Mr Burnette said most of the students were new to glass.
He admitted - with a grin on his face - to being "a little nervous" about the beginner students.
"It's a lot of fun, but it can be a little stressful. You've got a piece of glass at 2000 degrees on the end of a stick, so my first job is to teach them how not to injure themselves.
"I think they're having a good time."
Yesterday the students made paperweights and today will move on to drinking glasses.
Noeline Cummings, from Wellington, is on her seventh glass workshop at the summer school.
"So you might say I'm addicted. It's pretty cool - and it's such an adrenaline rush when you're working the glass."
Ms Cummings said while there were many very talented New Zealand glass-blowers, it was invaluable to have international teachers such as Mr Burnette as well.
"Already he's taught us skills New Zealand glass-blowers probably don't know."
Ms Cummings was full of praise for the summer school.
"Where else in the world could you get tuition from the best glass-blowers for a week for just $600?"
An exhibition of Mr Burnette's work opens on Thursday at Chronicle Glass.