WSG Partnership Program Homeschool

Homeschool Partnership Programs

Water Street Glassworks is a proud participant in the Berrien Springs & Niles Partnership Programs. We offer classes in Glassblowing, Glass Beadmaking, and Artistic Welding. Our qualified instructors will guide students through the exciting learning process of working in the fire arts. Students can learn how to blow molten glass, weld and hammer metal, and form glass beads over a torch. 

If you have questions about the courses, program, or registration, contact the office at 269.925.5555 or contact our Office Manager Anna at



This course is an introduction into the medium of glass and students will learn how to use the methods and processes of glassblowing to shape molten glass. The class begins with learning  exercises and moves into making paperweights, cups and flowers. The second half further develops skills and techniques. No Experience Required. Min age: 15.

Instructor: Eli Zilke
Eli began his glass journey at Water Street Glassworks at the age of 12 when he joined the Fired-Up! Program. It was love at first “gather” and really became more of an obsession. After  a couple years in the program Eli started training as a studio technician and eventually a teaching assistant under Jerry Catania. In 2013 Eli departed Water Street Glassworks to Co-Found Hot Shop Valpo a production glass studio in Northwest Indiana. During this time HSV installed several large architectural installations and supplied over a dozen galleries across the region. In 2018 Eli returned to Water Street to assume the position of Studio Manager/ Production Designer as well as the core glassblowing instructor. 


Glass Beadmaking

Learn how to make glass beads with rods of glass and a tabletop torch. Safely shape and mold the glass while learning the fundamental properties of working with molten glass. You’ll make enough beads to turn into a necklace by the end of class. Skills will include safe handling of materials, proper use of tools and fine motor skills. No Experience Required.  Min age: 12 

Instructor: Gina Edwards
Gina has been melting glass and creating beads for over 15 years. She has a relaxed teaching style and encourages creativity and experimentation in her students. She currently teaches beadmaking classes at Water Street Glassworks as well as in her own studio. 

Artistic Welding

This four-week introduction to artistic welding and metalworking includes safety in the studio and how to handle the tools in order to cut, bend, hammer and weld steel to create metal artwork. As a bonus, students will learn to use the plasma cutter to enhance their projects. Bring your imagination. No Experience required. Minimum age: 15.

Instructor: Bill Boyce
Bill received his degree in metal fabrication from the Santa Barbara Art Institute in Santa Barbara, California in 1973. Recent major projects include the installation of "Lyuba," the baby mastodon at the Field Museum in Chicago, and the design, fabrication and installation of a public sculpture in the Logan Boulevard skate park (Chicago). Bill has exhibited extensively, primarily in the Chicago region, but also in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Abel Joseph Gallery in Paris, France. His teaching background includes DePaul University and Evanston Art Center.


Berrien Springs Partnership Program

This a free program paid for by your tax dollars and generously provided and supported by Berrien Springs Public Schools. Because BSPS is a district of choices, we offer all students an array of options. The Partnership is available to district students, homeschool students from Berrien, Cass and VanBuren counties, and in-district (Berrien Springs residents) private school students.

Students, grades K-12, sign up as part-time Berrien Springs students. According to HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), homeschoolers retain their status as homeschool students as long as parents provide 51% of the students' total education including all core subjects: language arts (reading, spelling, English grammar, writing, literature), arithmetic, science, history, and federal and state government. The school district receives tax dollars and in turn provides extremely valuable and fun non-core (elective) educational opportunities families might not otherwise be able to enjoy.

Visit the Berrien Springs Partnership Program website for more information and registration dates. 


Niles Extended School Community

We respect your choice to be the primary educator for your children. Our offer is part of Niles Community Schools' vision to support the learning of every student residing in our district and beyond. Extending our educational support beyond the school walls and into Michigan is a small part of a larger plan to develop and grow Michigan into a vibrant state.

All courses offered in the Partnership are available to the following students; all students in the Niles Community Schools district,  Home School student whose residence is in Michigan, or private school students whose residence is in Michigan. 

Visit the Niles Partnership Program website for more information and registration dates.