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Published: 7/27/2009

Toledo Museum of Art's Glass Fest puts shine on visitors' designs

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Steve Cothern, assistant studio manager at the Glass Pavilion, demonstrates the art of glass-blowing for visitors. Sunday's Glass Fest was part of a day of family activities at the museum. Steve Cothern, assistant studio manager at the Glass Pavilion, demonstrates the art of glass-blowing for visitors. Sunday's Glass Fest was part of a day of family activities at the museum.
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Melissa Hansen and her daughter Hannah, 11, of Curtice learn to make glass beads. Visitors could also make glass magnets, craft a chandelier, and watch glass-blowing demonstrations. Melissa Hansen and her daughter Hannah, 11, of Curtice learn to make glass beads. Visitors could also make glass magnets, craft a chandelier, and watch glass-blowing demonstrations.
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Twelve-year-old Ashlan Schwarck was thinking about school when she drew a No. 2 pencil to submit as a design at the Toledo Museum of Art's Glass Fest.

Master instructor Leonard Marty was thinking of a universal, unpretentious object that he and his fellow glassblowers could make into something big.

He scanned over about 75 children's drawings at the museum's Glass Pavilion yesterday afternoon before choosing the simple yellow pencil. An hour later, Ashlan's sketch was transformed before a live audience into a 30-inch glass sculpture.

"For these demonstrations, we like to go all out," said a heavily perspiring Mr. Marty as he prepared for the second round: turning an adult's sketch into a glasswork.

The demonstrations were part of a day of family activities at the Glass Pavilion, where visitors could make glass magnets for their refrigerators, create a chandelier like the one at the pavilion out of recycled materials, and watch glassblowers pop corn in a blown-glass cylinder and make stir-fried vegetables on a glass "cookie."

Nine-year-old Makayla Burkett of Toledo and her two younger sisters created two glass magnets: one with a bear under the glass, the other with a snowflake. She drew a flower she hoped the glassblowers would choose to turn into a glass sculpture but stayed to watch when they decided on the pencil.

Mr. Marty showed the audience a snail the glassblowers would create if time allowed, but the pencil took an hour to complete. Mr. Marty was assisted by Steve Cothern, assistant studio manager, and Mary Lane, studio technician.

Ten-year-old Reagan Shull of Toledo submitted the snail. "Actually, I made two," she said. "I made a fairy, but I thought if that was too complicated, I'd just draw a snail because I love snails."

Ashlan, a seventh grader at New Knoxville Elementary in Auglaize County, drew the pencil at home and colored it at the museum before submitting it. "I was letting the dog out and trying to think of a design," she said. "I was thinking of school."

Her mother, Poncheena Schwarck, said her daughter's art teacher had hoped to bring her class to the Toledo Museum of Art last year, but the trip was

canceled because of budget cuts.

Ashlan, who admitted she thought the glassblowers would make the pencil in a standard pencil size, found out she gets to take the glass sculpture home when it's finished in a few days.

Although she wasn't sure where she would put it, she knows her art teacher will want to see it. "My art teacher talks about the art museum all the time," she said, adding that yesterday was her first trip to the museum and her 12th birthday. "It's pretty cool."

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-724-6129.



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