Working with fire and molten glass isn't for everyone.

Working with fire and molten glass isn't for everyone.

But with the right help, it could result in some decorative Christmas ornaments and maybe a little fun, gaffer Mike Stepanski said.

As part of a full schedule of holiday festivities, the Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., is offering glassblowing classes for people to make their own Christmas ornaments.

The sessions are held from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday through Christmas. Cost is $54 to $72 per class and covers materials and instruction. Visit for more information.

Stepanski is one of four glassblowers, also known as gaffers, who will be teaching how to create the decorations.

"It's not easy," he said. "I don't want to say that. But anyone can do it."

It starts with a hot kiln - around 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit - that holds the melted glass, which is gathered on the end of a blowpipe. Air is added and the piece is shaped along the way. Participants can make anything from Christmas bulbs to bowls to vases, Stepanski said.

On a related note, the conservatory is offering a design-your-own-ornament option. The gaffers will take custom orders and create the decorations in the hot shop. Those who are interested can download an ornament template at Cost is $34.

While model train exhibits have long been part of the holiday celebration at the conservatory, this year's display will be one for the ages, said Lori Kingston, marketing director for the facility.

Paul Busse, a model railway designer and Ohio State University graduate, has created a theme centering on such fairy tales as the "Three Little Pigs," "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "Cinderella."

The display rotates like a giant music box, and the train meanders through small, handmade landscapes using natural material.

"We know people love the trains, but this a new one," Kingston said.

The conservatory has long been known as a multigenerational destination for those celebrating the holiday season, offering elaborate light installations, poinsettia displays, candlelight dinners, "Breakfast with Santa" and live entertainment, Kingston said.

"It's just a really a nice atmosphere and a great way to celebrate the season," she said.