This is a biweekly series about art and artists in the region. Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts serves the community through arts education, exhibitions and artist resources.
Pittsburgh has a long history of manufacturing glass. At one point it supplied half of all glassware to the nation. Once a thriving industry in the South Side, most of the glass production houses from that era have closed, but there is still much evidence of the heritage of the glass industry in Pittsburgh.
From the ashes of industry, a small artisan community of glass blowers has emerged, drawn to city's thriving arts and cultural scene. Look no further than the Pittsburgh Glass Center in Garfield, as well as other glass-related studios and community spaces
Young artist Drew Hine said he intended to become a ceramicist while studying at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. But he changed his mind after taking one glassblowing class.
After college in 2001 he got a job at the Pittsburgh Glass Center as one of its first teachers. There he learned how to run and maintain a studio -- skills that were indispensable when he was ready to start designing and building his own space.
After much planning and hard work, he and his wife, Jeannine, opened Vessel Studio on the South Side in 2007. Complete with a glass furnace and six hand-built kilns, Vessel offers classes, workshops and private lessons in glassblowing for ages 7 and up. Current workshops include making glass pumpkins and holiday ornaments.
Mr. Hine sells his own work at local galleries, including The Shop at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and nationally. He also accepts commissions from designers and architects.
His hand-blown glass pumpkins are one of the most popular items at the Holiday Shop at PCA in Shadyside. The annual Holiday Shop features art and crafts from more than 200 regional artists. It opens Friday, and there will be a reception at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 22.
Learn more about Mr. Hine's art and Vessel Studio workshops at www.vesselstudio.net. For details about the Holiday Shop at PCA, visit pca.pittsburgharts.org/pca-holiday-shop.