Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
Featured in the Kent Reporter, Renaissance Yarns gives knitting newbies the chance to stitch their own scarf or world's largest sock. In the Knitting 101 workshop, yarn spinners mingle with fellow dexterous divas while learning to fashion a scarf from scratch. Give fingers a break from manipulative touchscreens as Renaissance Yarns’ friendly instructors teach how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. Throughout, various stitch combinations are demonstrated for future projects, such as knit hats or woven hotplates.
Inside Children's Bookshop & Teaching Supplies, one can find literature for adolescents and infants just as easily as shelves and tables overflowing with colorful games and toys. Though the full-service bookstore's two retail locations focus on educational materials, such as school and art supplies, they also aim to give kids equipment that inspires fun. The store proffers a rainbow of glitter, crayons, and pastels; colorful picture books accompanied by CDs; and a range of modernized and classic board games such as bingo, dominoes, checkers, and mancala. To facilitate creative learning and instill children with an early understanding of zoning codes, the store carries interlocking-piece construction sets. Store staffers also arrange a wooden railway table and a Calico Critters Play Table.
It all began with a chowder competition. Shortly after Larry Mellum and his business partner opened Charlestown Street Cafe, pretty much everyone in the kitchen was convinced they had the ultimate chowder recipe. So they decided to put each version to the test. Every Friday, they let customers sample a different chowder recipe and gave them the final say in which one made it to the menu. The smooth-as-silk winner––a creation of one of the kitchen's line cooks––became so popular, people from all across Seattle would come to wait in line just for a taste. Inspired, the restaurant decided to take the recipe on the road, entering (and winning) chowder competitions up and down the West Coast. But the real victory happened 3,500 miles away in Newport, Road Island. There, Mellum and company's chowder took home the grand prize at the Great Chowder Cook Off––the first non-New England contender to do so in the competition's 20-year history. After taking home the grand prize three years in a row, and being inducted into the chowder hall-of-fame, the recipe officially retired from competition and now spends the majority of its time watching golf. When it's not in the kitchen, that is. Today at Pike Place Chowder, guests can taste that award-winning chowder––made using freshly picked vegetables and herbs from Pike Place Market––or sample one of seven other chowders, including a smoked salmon chowder, seared scallop chowder, and a vegan chowder. For those who hit their chowder limit, there's also dungeness crab rolls flavored with top-secret seasonings and fresh salads topped with Oregon Bay shrimp, while a second location in Pacific Place Center has earned a following for its made-to-order fish 'n chips, made with either Pacific cod or wild salmon.
The craft masters at Seattle Glassblowing Studio & Gallery guide pupils to artistic bliss by expounding on a spectrum of steps needed to create intricate pieces. Whether joining 10–25 fellow artisans in a group workshop or forming a clique in a one- to three-person private class, students turn provided materials into bowls, cups, and decorative piles of glass shards. Professional glass wielders safely impart etiquette and basic techniques such as gathering glass on a rod and shaping it into colorful geometric forms.
The shop's instructors also offer their own artistic services, including custom commissions such as functional lighting and installation pieces. Damaged glass heirlooms undergo repairs in the cold-working shop, where artisans restore shattered pieces and polish away dullness left behind by covetous pawing.
West Seattle Fabric Company's sewing emporium extends to the new Stitch and Sew Studio, which is located down the street from the fabric store. Within this creative haven, guests are encouraged to flex their imagination with the studio's collection of easy-to-use sewing machines and ample work surfaces. In the bright, open studio, instructors teach patrons of all skill levels—during classes, events, and parties—sewing and quilting tips and tricks. From alteration lessons to quilt binding and mending, new Stich and Sew Studio provides clear and simple instruction in a friendly and casual atmosphere. And during open sewing sessions and sewing classes, staff members dispense pro tips as students harness the studio's patterns and tools to whip up pillow shams, dresses, and curtains to shade their stuffed animal cloning lab.