PGC Glass Collectors Travel to Murano

This month a group of Pittsburgh Glass Center supporters and glass art appreciators, led by Executive Director Heather McElwee and Operations Director Chris Clarke, traveled to Italy for a special glass art collectors' tour of Venice and Murano. Here is PGC Board Liaison Merriann Grant's account of her experience.

Virtual Glassblowing Is Real at Pittsburgh Glass Center

Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) have launched the first virtual glassblowing experience. PGC worked with a team of ETC graduate students over 15 weeks to design a virtual experience that educates, engages, and inspires middle and high students about the glassmaking process.  

Nothing Can Stop Us Now! We've Broken Ground On Our Expansion

Over 100 friends and glass art appreciators turned up to help us celebrate our groundbreaking on March 23.

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Celebrating International Women's Day

Over 62% of our instructors, students, and employees are women. Any day you walk into our glass studios you will find strong, smart, creative women leading the way. Happy International Women’s Day to all of the strong, creative, and talented women in glass. Where would we be without you?

We're Glowing Up! Pittsburgh Glass Center Breaks Ground On a $15M Expansion

Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) is glowing up and breaking ground on a $15 million renovation of its current 16,000-square-foot facility.

AK Kurtz's Self Portraits Explore Disability and Self-Image

AK Kurtz, a Michigan-born artist and PGC's Visitor Services Coordinator, is often the first person you meet when you walk into Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC). Now through February 28, you can view their screenprinting and glass sculptures across the street at Commonplace Coffee in an exhibition presented in conjunction with Evolve Coaching

PGC's Top 10 for 2022

Here's a roundup of our top ten hottest achievements over the past year!

See the Glistening Highland Park Mosaic in Sun or Snow

PGC artists and staff spent the summer creating collaborative glass mosaics with the community, which were incorporated into the new Highland Park Super Playground.

Our Holiday Glass Sale Pops Up at Handmade Arcade This Year

New this year! Our annual holiday glass sale will be a special pop-up shop at Handmade Arcade, the region’s largest holiday market! This is an exclusive opportunity to shop for one-of-a-kind handmade glass gifts from many different Pittsburgh glass artists, with many items made especially for Handmade Arcade. Plus, watch exciting live hot glass demos at our Hot Wheels mobile furnace.

If You’re a Pittsburgh Public Schools Sixth Grader, Glass is Free for You

Through a partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools, every PPS sixth grade class is invited to come get hands-on experience with glass free-of-charge. By the end of 2022 nearly 500 sixth graders in Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) tried glass here at Pittsburgh Glass Center. Next year, we’re expecting 900 more students! 


Meet the Voice Behind PGC’s Audio Tour

Meet Emmanuel Chumaceiro, the voiceover artist behind our self-guided audio tour featured in our mobile guide on the Bloomberg Connects app.

Translating Glass: ASL Interpreters at Pittsburgh Glass Center

At Pittsburgh Glass Center, we offer American Sign Language interpretation to help facilitate our live demonstrations. However, translating the names of the materials and processes used at the demonstrations can be an unexpected, yet fun challenge for interpreters. 

Explore More of Pittsburgh Glass Center with Our New Mobile Guide

Pittsburgh Glass Center is excited to announce the launch of our new digital guide on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and cultural app created by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Bloomberg Connects app, available for download from Google Play or the App Store, makes Pittsburgh Glass Center accessible for either onsite or offsite visits through photo, audio, and video features offering insights into the science, art, and history of glass in Pittsburgh. Download the free app now!

There's More to Hot Wheels Than a Souped Up Truck

Did you see our mobile glass studio Hot Wheels on KDKA last month? Even though we say that Hot Wheels can popup anywhere, anytime, it takes a lot of behind the scenes work to bring Hot Wheels out into the community. 

PGC Artist John Sharvin Competes on Netflix Hit Glassblowing Series Blown Away

The Netflix Original hit glassblowing competition series "Blown Away" is back for a third season, and we are fired up to announce that amongst this season's competitors is Pittsburgh Glass Center's own John Sharvin! Join us for a FREE "Blown Away" watch party and demonstration on Friday, July 22 from 5-9pm.

SEEN: Pittsburgh Glass Center Open House with Elliot Walker

Via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Elliot Walker, the winner of the second season of “Blown Away” on Netflix, demonstrated his glassmaking craftsmanship as he worked on a piece surrounded by 100 guests during a private open house Saturday at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. READ THE ARTICLE

Pittsburgh Glass Center plans major expansion for its Garfield headquarters

Via NEXTpittsburgh: "Demand for the center’s classes and equipment is so great that they have run out of room. So a major expansion is in the works, to be grafted onto the existing brick building. The new space will largely be floor-to-ceiling glass — of course — looping over the top of the parking lot, but preserving most of the parking behind the building."

PGC's Top 10 for 2021

Here's a look at our most notable accomplishments from 2021. 

Nikki Lau Explores Social Justice and Identity at Pittsburgh Glass Center Residency

Artist Nikki Lau talks about her art exploring identity politics and social justice, and her residency creating new work for our upcoming exhibition, Full Spectrum.

PGC and Pittsburgh Are Proud and Powerful with Google Arts & Culture

Today Google announced its partnership with 15 world-class Pittsburgh institutions to bring the city’s culture—past and present—online on its Google Arts & Culture platform and app at   

For the first time, everyone everywhere can engage with these organizations—including Pittsburgh Glass Center—across the city in one digital location and discover its unique culture. Through the Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful page, Google Arts & Culture hopes Pittsburghers can rediscover just how much their city has to offer, and that visitors will be encouraged to discover the city for themselves.  

What’s All the Buzz in the Hot Shop

Did you know that beeswax is an important part of a glassblower's tool kit? Glassblowers use beeswax to lubricate their tools. Beeswax makes the glass slide along more smoothly without leaving marks on the glass. It’s expensive to order and ship beeswax from across the country. That's just one reason we’re lucky to have Bedillion Honey Farm as a partner.

Call for Artists—Full Spectrum, an Exhibition of BIPOC Makers, Artists, Designers, and Craftspeople

Pittsburgh Glass Center would like to invite BIPOC craftspeople to apply for Full Spectrum, an exhibition brought to you by Crafting the Future, ORIGINS, and The Color Network. This exhibition will celebrate the diverse voices in the field and the myriad of approaches to a fully realized practice and career. We invite you to apply whether you identify as a maker, artist, designer, craftsperson, or anywhere in between. DEADLINE TO APPLY: August 1, 2021

Glass Goes First Class at Pittsburgh International Airport

Find this exciting display highlighting Pittsburgh Glass Center, our Penn/Fairmount line of glassware, and 5 local glass artists on the 2nd floor of the landside terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport. Learn more about the arts and culture programs at PIT

PGC Fires Up for Autism Acceptance Month

This First Friday, PGC partnered with Evolve Coaching to host a Hot Jam recognizing Autism Acceptance Month featuring Pittsburgh-based illustration artist Chas Chasler and his character Guber the Ferret. PGC glass artists collaborated with Chas and other staff from Evolve Coaching to help Guber the Ferret come to life. This event provided an opportunity to spotlight neurodivergent artists and Evolve’s support of individuals with disabilities in education, employment, and the arts.

You Can Enter To Win This Stunning Plasma Glass Art!

Enter our raffle for this vibrant plasma art by Harriet Schwarzrock, in conjunction with the LIT: Light In Transmission exhibition. Purchase tickets through July 18 to enter. Raffle proceeds will benefit PGC's artist residency program. Buy your tickets now!

LIT's Women in Neon to Gather for Artist Panel with She Bends

Join us on Friday, March 26 at 6pm ET on Facebook Live for a virtual artist panel and neon bending demonstration with Sarah Blood, Eve Hoyt, Danielle James, Leticia Maldonado, Harriet Schwarzrock, and Megan Stelljes, the women artists of LIT: Light In Transmission and members of She Bends, the first and only collective of womxn bending their own neon.

Take a Neon Tour of the Pittsburgh Area

We worked with Pittsburgh artist and photographer Charles Biddle to map out a self-guided neon sightseeing tour of Pittsburgh that will give you an opportunity to explore the city and all of its glowing neon light. Enter our Neon Tour Contest for a chance to win a Private Pod Workshop for 2!

Pittsburgh Glass Center and Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Call for Artists

Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) and Pittsburgh Botanic Garden (PBG) announce a call for glass artists from the Pittsburgh region to apply for "Second Nature," an exhibition at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s new welcome center in the fall of 2021.

Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Heather McElwee guest judges on hit Netflix show ‘Blown Away’ (link)


Via NEXTpittsburgh: "Awareness of the center just got a big boost after McElwee was a judge on the Netflix reality glassmaking competition show, 'Blown Away.' Her episode, the fourth in the show’s second season, debuted on Jan. 22." READ THE ARTICLE

PGC Unveils the Prettiest Little Free Library on the Block

The Pittsburgh Glass Center team was excited to unveil our new Little Free Library in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.