Monday, December 10, 2007

Glassmaking in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has something of a history of glassmaking, but the place where ordinary people go to learn to make fun things from glass is the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
I wasn't really aware of it until Travis suggested that I join him and Kristen in an ornament-making workshop, but it's quite an interesting place.
Located on Penn in what Kristen tells me is a former car dealership, the Glass Center has exhibition space and runs many classes and workshops. The ornament workshop was more of an introduction to glass than a real class, as most of the work is done by people who actually know what they're doing and explain it as they go along. Basically, you pick out some colors of powdered glass to put on your round ornament, decide whether you want them in solid areas or swirls, and you get to do a little of the blowing. So it's not especially hands-on, but it's interesting.
Kristen said she had previously made a paperweight and taken a stained glass intro.
We enjoyed ourselves, but the ornaments won't be ready for pickup until at least Tuesday. They undergo a long cooling-down process.

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