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.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
The craftsmen at New Dimensions Frame & Mirror do not mess around when it comes to custom framing. Not only do they handcraft each frame in-house, they use museum standards and conservation materials to protect prized pieces. They also boast a constantly rotating collection of artwork to fill empty frames, as well as custom mirrors that range from ornate to contemporary.
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.
Presented as a gift to Seattle residents from Charles and Emma Frye, two philanthropic Seattleites, the Frye Art Museum in the First Hill neighborhood is lean and low when viewed from the street. The building’s stark mid-century concrete profile belies the rich collection of artwork and airy galleries held inside. Opened in 1952 as a home for the couple’s private collection of 232 paintings, entrance is free in perpetuity for Seattle residents. And while the Frye founding collection focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, visiting exhibitions have expanded this content and routinely feature contemporary artists such as Mark Mitchell, Joshua Kohl, Jason Hirata, Henry Darger and Helmi Juvonen, among others. The museum also hosts a gift shop and small cafe with outdoor seating in warm months, but is closed on Mondays.
A nationwide department store with a prominent outpost in Downtown Seattle, Macy’s is the place for one-stop shopping for the family and the home. The longtime retailer carries brand name and private label clothing and shoes, and have extensive furniture and housewares departments for any upscale homeowner looking to bring their look up a few notches. Even better, they are known for their frequently-occurring sales, which means even mid-level folks can splurge on great pieces for their home or their closet. The stately 1929 building takes up a city block and spans six floors, plus a basement, and holds an annual holiday parade with inflatable floats, marching bands and costumed characters, which ends in the lighting of the huge Macy’s star on the corner of the building.