Every framer certified by the Professional Picture Framers Association must prove his or her knowledge of preservation, math, mechanics, and mounting. Fewer than 4,000 people worldwide hold this certification, and one of them is on staff at Rossier’s Art Gallery. Clients can bring their own artwork, family portraits, or sports memorabilia to be framed or find a suitable setting for a piece from the gallery, which houses paintings and prints by local and internationally recognized artists. Pieces feature a range of subjects, from landscapes, florals, and wildlife to sports and vistas of Pittsburgh’s sweeping savannahs. The staff also curates an extensive collection of household decor, such as wire sculptures, glass art, and paperweights.
Though they've been open for only three years, Backstage Guitars has already amassed an impressive collection of equipment and instruments from renowned brands such as Zildjian, Ludwig, Fulltone, and Remo at their two locations. An amiable and skilled staff can educate visitors on the stash of harmonic accoutrements on the store floor or lead them through private lessons in drums, guitar, and guitar-related instruments such as the ukulele or a field-hockey stick wrapped in spaghetti. Backstage's Rock Band Academy helps musicians to develop an even deeper appreciation of their chosen instrument, creating a band for similarly inclined students and culminating in a live set at Hard Rock Cafe.
More than 50 loose-leaf teas line the shelves at Iris & Ivory Teahouse & Cafe. To provide suitable pairings for these brews?which range in flavor from subtle and earthy to fruity and complex?the caf? serves traditional accompaniments, including quiche and made-from-scratch scones with lemon curd and devonshire cream. An array of house-made sandwiches, such as cranberry-chicken salad and roast beef with wasabi-horseradish mayo, round out the menu. The teahouse also holds special-event dinners and formal teas in its lushly appointed Iris Room.
Painters, graphic artists, and architects have found the tools of their trade at the one-stop Top Notch Art Centre since 1971. A floor-to-ceiling picture window beckons passersby on Craig Street, where shade trees shelter a block of historic buildings and small businesses, including a rare bookshop and a cobbler for broken dreams. Inside, the staff leads 2-D artists toward the right brush for watercolor or oil from their selection of Winsor Newtons, or printmaking papers from Arches Cover and BFK Rives lines. The store also makes an effort to seek out artisanal brands, such as Gamblin Artists Oils and Mt. Vision Handmade Pastels. Bookbinders can pick up screw posts and glue, and drafters can run their fingers over delicate, smooth vellum and curl them around the curves and angles of nine types of stylus guides. Past the tall, narrow aisles, a framing shop encases completed works of art in glass and caution tape to prepare them for display.
Knit One focuses on the communal and therapeutic aspects of knitting, welcoming new or established lovers of the fiber arts to practice their craft in a space dedicated to camaraderie and companionship. Whether they're knitting scarves or crocheting a new motorcycle cover, guests can stock up on high-quality needles, yarns, and supplies within the open, airy shop.
Materials are only one part of life at Knit One, though. Guests frequently bring projects with them, settling into comfortable sofas for an afternoon of work and idea swapping. Balls of yarn also unravel in small classes, where students let the day's stress melt away as socks, headbands, and tea cozies come into fruition. No matter what the reason for their visit, customers can count on the shop's knowledgable staff for everything from expert knitting tips to customer service assistance.
For more than 30 years, Dreadnought Wines’ staff of wine connoisseurs has helped customers navigate an ever-expanding selection of vinos through regular tastings and classes. The shop stocks boutique wines from around the world, with an emphasis on bottles from France, Italy, Australia, Argentina, and the United States. Customers can request a custom sampling via a personal tasting, or can drop in for one of the shop’s themed classes to get a definitive answer to the question of whether wine is considered a food group.