In central New York, the artisans at Brennan Stained Glass Studio work with extreme heat and traditional techniques to craft elaborate stained-glass windows and art pieces. In addition to producing the stained-glass dome atop Alexandria Bay's Boldt Castle, the team has designed and installed windows for thousands of churches, temples, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and office buildings. The team also instructs students in the art of stained glass with its own unique approach. Lessons include basic instruction in the copper-foil method to create window panels and sun catchers. Students may also learn how to design their own custom fused-glass plates so they can stop arguing over dish ownership with their dogs.
At Create Art Studio, owner and instructor Karyn equips prospective paint-slingers with the instruction and inspiration to realize artistic dreams during step-by-step classes, private parties, and open-studio sessions. The studio seamlessly combines two of Karyn's greatest passions, drawing on both her art-education degree from Purdue University and more than 10 years of classroom experience as a teacher.
During the two-hour step-by-step sessions, she and other instructors equip aspiring artistes with all of the necessities to create an original masterpiece, including smocks, easels, canvases, paints, brushes, and haughty French accents. In addition to the instructors' aid, creatively challenged participants can glean clever ideas from the inspiration wall, which helps pupils explore art-worthy subjects beyond traditional bowls of fruit and sunsets. Like conscientious speakeasies, the studio invites guests aged 21 and older to bring along their own snacks and alcohol.
While some artists gravitate toward certain media, Ilene Layow—or “Eye” to her friends since childhood—unabashedly loves them all: glass, pencil, clay, pastel, metals, acrylic. Her body of artwork is staggeringly diverse. She has designed murals for both homes and businesses, painted family portraits, created silver jewelry, formed intricate candleholders out of clay, and fused glass to form night lights perfect for scaring off closet monsters that hate beauty. She has even developed her own art form she calls “formscapes,” which combine the gentle contours of landscapes with abstracted shapes. In flexible classes tucked into a tidy ranch house, she introduces many of the crafts she loves to teen and adult students.