Thursday, November 29, 2012

Akron Glass Works

Akron Glass Works is located in the Northside District, directly across from Luigi's.

Akron Glass Works
by Joanna Wilson

You may already be familiar with glass blowing demonstrations that you can watch at Akron Glass Works during the Art Walk each month.  But did you know that Akron Glass Works has extended their demonstrations throughout the holiday season to include every Saturday night from 6-9pm?

Here, Jack Baker works the liquid glass at the end of the long pipe, as he adds bits of colored glass.

At one of the demonstrations, you watch through a large picture window into the studio as a glass artist takes liquid glass from a 2100 degree oven onto a long pipe, adds color, and works the hot substance into a desired shape.  Right now, the studio is busy making blown glass bulbs--colorful light catchers to be used as Christmas tree ornaments or gorgeous window decorations.

Look how these bulbs catch the light! 

Akron Glass Works even offers workshops to make your own blown glass projects.  Though the current ornament workshops are already full, Jack shared with me that you can still take advantage of an open workshop day on Saturday, Dec. 15th from noon until 10pm--no reservations needed.  For more information, you can call them or check out the link to their website: Akron Glass Works.

Jack finishes this ornament with adding a bit of liquid glass at the top, creating a loop so the bulb can eventually be hung.

I first met Jack Baker, the owner of Akron Glass Works, at the Urban Eats Pumpkin Slaughter carving contest at Musica last Halloween.  Remember the Akron Empire/blimp pumpkin I carved?  This week when I stopped by the studio, Jack was kind enough to allow me to make my own glass blown ornament!  Several things I learned: gravity is a powerful force that is constantly tugging at the liquid glass--so you always have to keep the pipe level with the ground and slowly twisting to keep it attached to the pipe.  The multi-step process to create a glass ornament includes three ovens--the first one stores the liquid glass, the second is used to heat the pipe and re-heat the ever-cooling glass as you manipulate it.  And, the third oven slowly cools the finished glass ornament over a 12 hour period.  Yeah, it's warm in the studio!

The gift shop includes more than just ornaments.  There are bowls, vases, paper weights, and other glass delights.

This month's Art Walk is this Saturday, Dec. 1 and Akron Glass Works will be holding their glass blowing demonstrations from 6pm-9pm.  What an interesting way to spend a Saturday night!  If you're like me, you're keeping your eyes open for locally-made items to give as Christmas presents.  The gift shop at Akron Glass Works is certainly the place for that!

The gift shop is filled with these locally made, gorgeous glass ornaments-what a wonderful gift idea.

Akron Glass Works is located at 106 N. Main Street, Akron OH 44308
Phone #: 330-253-5888
Facebook page: Akron Glass Works

holiday hours: Mon-Thur 12pm-6pm, Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 12pm-10pm *glass demos from 6pm-9pm*

1 comment:

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