I'm back from a fantastic time in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania, USA. I was invited to stay with my friend and fellow flameworker Leslie Kaplan (Rush Creek Designs). Leslie was one of the main organisers of Embodiment - a juried jewellery and wearables exhibit put on by the Pittsburgh Glass Centre and 3 Rivers Glass Beadmakers. An amazing experience.
She and her husband Peter were great hosts and showed me a wonderful time sightseeing in and around Pittsburgh. One of the highlights was a trip to the Frank Lloyd Wright house Fallingwater. If you ever get a chance to go I would highly reccomend it.
Another day we went up an old incline, there used to be lots of them twenty-three is total carrying passengers, coal and freight up and down Mount Washington. If you'd like to read the history of them here is a link http://www.brooklineconnection.com/history/Facts/Inclines.html
There was a fantastic view from the top.
Friday was RADical day ( (read: Regional Asset District) invites Pittsburghers of all ages to enjoy free admissions, performances and special programs all around town. The 35 participating destinations include art museums, parks, libraries and more.) Pittsburgh Glass Centre was one of those taking part so Leslie and I popped down and did some demonstrating on the torch for the morning so that some of the local visitors could see what flameworking is all about.
I also helped Leslie with some of the organising of the exhibition which meant I got a sneek preview of the other entries ;-) Friday night was the opening night of the exhibition - very exciting. My first with one of my pieces in. Here are some photos of the room taken before too many people arrived.
Here are my two entries on display
I spent some of the time chatting to guests and also doing some demonstrating on the torch. It was during this time that Leslie came and said I needed to come into the exhibition room. So I followed her and to my amazement i found that my Helios necklace had a red rosette next to it which meant I had one second place from the flameworked entries! I was overwhelmed with joy. The funny thing is that I made the rosettes myself - I never expected to get one back!
This was the winning entry by Floor Kaspers of The Nederlands. Well deserved.
Here are just a few of my favourites among the other amazing entries: I don't know all the names but if you hover over the photo I've added the ones that I do know,
A big thankyou to all the organisers for their hard work in putting on such as event.
I had the pleasure of meeting Caterina Zucchi who came all the way from Italy. Her piece (shown above) was one of my most favourite. Leslie, Caterina and I went out for lunch and then to a museum called the Mattress Factory. Stupid me thought that it was a museum about - well - mattresses! It turned out to be an art installation. Not my cup of tea as I found most of it very weird! Makes you wonder what is inside some peoples heads! It was lovely to spend some more time with Caterina and I now have another new friend.
On my last day :-( Leslie took me to Phipps Conservatory to see the wonderful glass flowers by Jason Gamrath. I stupidly left my phone at Leslies house so I don't have any photos to share so here are some from the web.
There were some displays left over from the Dale Chihuly exhibit and this was one of my favourites
Some definate necklace inspiration here!
So I had a fantastic time in Pittsburgh and my win made it all the more worth while going. I'm so glad I did.
Thanks for looking.