Visitors try their hand at the arts during the GoggleWorks Festival

Karen McNulty of West Lawn works on her ceramic light fixture during a class at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on Sunday. (MIKE URBAN – EAGLE READING)

According to Hot Glass Studio Director Scotty Krenetsky, two types of people take glassblowing lessons at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading.

The first guy sees the lesson as a choice list item he wanted to try and finally likes being able to do it.

The second group is falling in love with the glassblowing process and want to do a lot more of it, he said.

“You can see they are mesmerized,” he said, speaking of how excited they are with the glow of the fire and the shimmer of the glass objects they make.

Over the weekend, a number of people got to try glassblowing for the first time at the centre’s annual arts festival, which it combined with its holiday market, where artists could sell their creations.

Both are annual events but were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GoggleWorks director Levi Landis said the center had considered canceling again this year due to recent COVID variants, but decided to go ahead while taking the recommended precautions by health officials, such as mandatory masks for visitors and artists.

Although some performers have backed off their concerns about the virus and attendance appeared to be suffering, Landis said community feedback helped convince the center to host the event.

“The community told us they needed it,” he said of the festival and the holiday market. “They were really looking forward to this. “

A number of those who participated said they were glad they did.

Among them were Kim Solsky of Sinking Spring and her daughter Annie, who both took glassblowing lessons.

Kim subsequently looked a lot like the people Krenetsky described who quickly fell in love with the practice.

“It’s cool,” she said after she and Annie made the glass ornaments. “It makes me want to sign up for classes.

Karen McNulty of West Lawn and Wendy Ferrero of Shillington were also thrilled to have participated as they enjoyed taking a ceramic lesson with studio director Ben DeMott.

DeMott said it was an important weekend for GoggleWorks, not only to give the public a beautiful holiday event, but to connect them to the arts.

Speaking of his ceramics workshop, for example, he said it was a great place to experience material culture.

“It’s so basic here, with fire, clay and natural materials,” he said. “It’s a real celebration of the world.

Jivan Deglise Hawkinson, left, makes a Christmas ornament at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on Sunday with help from hot glass studio director Scotty Krenitsky. (MIKE URBAN – EAGLE READING)


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