Let's Talk About Art: Eggs-cellent time for making glass eggs

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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.

Eggs-cellent time for making glass eggs

Looking for an eggs-citing activity for the entire family this weekend? Learn how to make glass eggs Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Pittsburgh Glass Center in Garfield.

"Make-it-Now workshops are a way for all ages to have a hands-on experience with glass. It's an affordable and easy way to see if they like it," says Glass Center executive director Heather McElwee.

Children as young as 5 have participated. For some families it's become a tradition. Groups of friends have also used this workshop to get together and have fun.

"People say it was a cool experience and not what they expected," says instructor Jason Forck. "When they are in front of the furnace, they are blown away by the rush of heat at 2,200 degrees."

Projects available on Saturday:

• First, a hot-sculpted glass egg can be made from a furnace full of molten glass. Participants sculpt the hot glass, add color and use wooden blocks to shape it into a solid egg.

• Or pendants can be made using a tabletop torch. Participants melt rods of colorful glass in the flame, twist and manipulate it into an egg-shaped pendant that can be worn as a necklace.

• The third project requires no heat, just imagination. To create a fused-glass egg, participants begin with a flat egg-shaped piece of glass. They cut colored glass and glue the shapes onto the flat egg creating a one-of-a-kind design. Overnight, the flat eggs are heated in a kiln to 1,500 degrees, causing the glass to fuse together.

Both the sculpted eggs and the pendants will be at least 1,000 degrees when the projects are complete -- much too hot to touch -- so none can be taken home immediately. All of the eggs are put into a kiln and slowly cooled overnight. The slow cooling process relieves stress that happens as glass drops in temperature and prevents it from breaking.

These might be hard-cooked eggs, but they are not hard to make. The cost is $35 per hot-sculpted egg and $25 per pendant or fused egg. Walk-ins are welcome. More details: 412-365-2145.

Pittsburgh Glass Center and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts/Pittsburgh Filmmakers collaborate frequently on workshops, programming and administration. Visit: www.pittsburgharts.org and www.pittsburghglasscenter.org.



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