Much like professional skydivers, wily coyotes, and other careers that involve a degree of danger, most professional glassblowers aren’t self-taught. Joshua Poll, however, learned to harness the glass furnace all by himself, today imparting more than a decade of self-taught experience to Zen Glass Studios, where he and fellow glass smith David Walker create custom works of art by hand. Together they shape glass into authentic and unique pieces, including custom glassware and jewelry to wear while meeting a spouse’s goldfish for the first time.
Within their studio, Joshua and David teach workshops and classes, during which students survey basic to advanced glass-blowing techniques, crafting their own handmade objects such as ornaments, beer glasses, and vases. The duo also runs a full glassblower training program, which follows a syllabus structured to arm all students with all the necessary skills to set out on their own in the industry, just as Joshua did all those years ago.
The third annual St. Pete Oktoberfest, hosted by the Grand Central District Association, is St. Petersburg's largest beer festival, featuring craft-beer tastings and live music. Attendees can tipple samples from dozens of breweries, including Bell's Brewery, Dogfish Head, Sam Adams, Angry Orchard, and many others. A home brewer's challenge on Friday tests out homebrewed beers against old favorites, so home-beer enthusiasts can test out their recipes on actual people instead of the wild deer that show up in their backyards.
In addition to the extensive selection of microbrews and iconic beers, the two-day street festival also features live music, including performances from singer-songwriter John Kelly on Friday. Saturday's music merges rock, blues, jazz, and funk, with performances from Florida-native Damon Fowler, Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, and Serotonic.
Since 1922, St. Petersburg Museum of History has preserved the heritage of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula with expansive collections and four galleries that host annually rotating exhibits. Its permanent exhibits, meanwhile, trace the area’s history from Native Americans to the present day through artifacts such as a cannonball fired by Union sailors and replica of a parlor car from the Orange Belt Railway. Elsewhere, the World's First Commercial Airline Gallery charts commercial aviation history with a full-size working replica of the Benoist Airboat and the first-ever pterodactyl to earn a commercial-flying license. Visitors looking to delve deeper into the past can explore more than 32,000 artifacts in the museum archives or partake in one of its educational programs such as tours, community classes, and camps.
At being, owner Amy Bromley draws on her two decades of professional design experience to help shoppers convert their spaces into breathtaking expressions of style. Throw pillows burst with geometric and animal-print designs in the show room, which also holds kiln-dried hardwood furnishings and handmade jewelry and accents. Like the formal plaid suit of a lumberjack, pieces in the show room express both an elegant gentility and rustic, rough-hewn ethos. Shoppers peruse vases carved from driftwood, tables made from twisted roots, and candleholders made of silvery deer antlers. The attentive staff at being works hand in hand with homeowners to help make over living spaces with in-home appointments and full-scale consultations from professional designers.
Physical activity from playing video games can help improve children's cardiovascular and overall health, as well as keep kids happy and entertained during hospital stays for cancer treatments. Cure on Wheels's goal is to purchase a gaming system for each room on All Children's Hospital's oncology floor, which has about 100 rooms. Until the organization can raise enough funds to purchase all 100 systems, single gaming systems will be placed on carts so they can be wheeled from room to room.