Fired Up! Family Day Saturday at Piedmont Arts


Ryan Gothrup works in his mobile glassblowing studio

Families to get ‘fired up’ about glass at Family Day

On Saturday, area families will get the chance to see a live glassblowing demonstration by glass artist Ryan Gothrup during Fired Up! Family Day at Piedmont Arts.

The museum will host the free family day from 1 – 3 pm, featuring crafts and snacks with a glass theme. Glassblowing demos will take place on the museum’s front patio.

Gothrup, who lives and works in Richmond, will be on-site with his mobile glassblowing studio—a hot glass studio that travels across the country for live demonstrations at events and festivals.

In his mobile studio, “Families will witness the process of glassblowing from start to finish,” said Gothrup. “From the creation of small drinking glasses to large vases.”

For safety, kids and parents are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes and long sleeves when visiting the mobile glassblowing studio. 

Kids will make tissue paper
luminaries that look like stained glass
Kids will also have the chance to create glass crafts to take home, including a tissue paper luminary that looks like stained glass and a glass bead picture frame with the help of Studio 107 artist Lynn Berry. Berry has worked in glass for over 10 years and loves imparting her passion for the medium to kids.

“Children have a beautiful sense of wonder,” said Berry. "Their eyes light up, they smile. They enjoy learning; especially in a fun atmosphere. Stained glass is, with the play of light, an ever-changing constant. It is fun to share with them the wonderful magic of our world."

In addition to crafts, families can decorate their own glass-themed snacks. Cupcakes from Uptown Sweets make the perfect backdrop for colorful icing designs inspired by stained glass windows.

“We wanted to carry the glass theme throughout the event,” said Piedmont Arts Director of Programs Barbara Parker. “Glass is so colorful and fun, who wouldn’t want to try their hand at decorating a cupcake to look like stained glass? It’s a great way to play with your food.”

Fired Up! Family Day is held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibits, which all feature works in glass.

“Glass is a fascinating and ubiquitous medium,” said Piedmont Arts Director of Exhibitions Heidi Pinkston. “There really isn’t anything you can’t do with it. We hope that families who join us for family day will view our exhibits and really be inspired by the power of glass.”

Guests can view the exhibits Fired Up! Works from Chrysler Museum of Art Glass StudioUnbreakable and Local Glass during family day or during the museum’s regular business hours through October 3. Exhibit admission is always free.

Fired Up! Family Day is made possible by event sponsors River Community Bank, N.A. and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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