Craving Dole Whip

Disney & museum obsessed, homeschooling mom of 3, parenting to focus on experiences, not possessions. Sharing Disney tips, educational adventures and a few reviews. Constantly craving Dole Whip.


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Amazing Glass Blowing Experience At The Hot Shop Glass Studio

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The Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a modern art gallery, open to the public and free of charge.  It showcases the work of local artists and craftsmen while offering interesting and creative classes.  Across the street is the Chihuly Collection, a structure built specifically to display the amazing glass work of American artist, Dale Chihuly.  Read a review of the museum here.

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Housed behind the Morean Arts Center facility and located in the hip and upcoming Central Arts District of downtown, the Hot Shop is a covered, outdoor art studio dedicated to the unique and exciting art of glass blowing.  Live glass blowing demonstrations take place daily and bleachers are available for spectators, as long as a ticket to the Chihuly collection has been purchased.

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On New Year’s Eve of 2016, my daughters each participated in the individual glass blowing experience offered at the Hot Shop.  The 30 minute experience cost $75 per person.  I purchased the tickets and made reservations online several months in advance (and gave it to my girls as a Christmas gift).

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Each daughter got 30 minutes of one-on-one attention and instruction from a knowledgeable and patient glass blowing expert.  They learned the fundamentals of glass blowing, the history and the process, while receiving step-by-step instructions to create their own pieces of art.

First, participants choose which project to create from a few sample pieces.  Individual color choices are made next.

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With the help of the professional glass blower, participants heat up the glass and gather colored crystals while swirling the molten glass on the tip of a rod.

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Some movements are made tandem-style for safety reasons, but most of the work is completed by participants with clear and concise directions coming from the artist.

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Once the colored piece is heated properly, the process of shaping begins with twisting and turning.   Forged tools are used for pulling and stretching and additional heat sources (which my youngest daughter loved!) help to keep the glass malleable.

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Once the piece is completed, the master glass blower removes it from the rod and places it inside a safe container for cooling.  The unusual art pieces are ready for pick up the next day because it takes time to properly cool the glass.  If participants can not return the next day, the artwork can be shipped home for a small fee.

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The personal glass blowing experience was amazing and very interesting.  My husband and I both wish we had bought 2 additional reservations for ourselves to participate.  But, we loved having a front seat to watch our girls create their own unique glass pieces, and that was super cool!

The professional artist was friendly and more than willing to answer all of the questions my daughters threw his way.  This was a great experience and we learned not only the process of making glass art but also gained an appreciation for the time, talent and effort put into the creation of glass pieces.

 

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Quick little side tidbit:

My daughter’s experiences were reserved for 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  We arrived early and were delighted to find a cozy, modern coffee shop right next door to the Morean Arts Center.

The Banyan Café and Catering, Central location, offers super yummy, fresh breakfast sandwiches, burritos, waffles, fruit, granola and pastries.  Made with local ingredients, the inventive and unique menu changes often.  Breakfast and lunch are both served daily.  A weekend brunch is also served and there are several delightful tables providing indoor and outdoor seating.

The address is 701 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, Florida and phone number is 727-896-6600.  Check out their daily menu at www.banyancoffee.com.

Hours of operation:

Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


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The Morean Arts Center is located at 719 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701.

The main website is www.moreanartscenter.org

For more information, call 727-822-7872.

The art center is free and open to the public.

Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Sunday 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.


You need to know:

The personal glass blowing experience is $75 per person for 30 minutes.

The minimum age requirement is 11 years old.

Participants need to wear closed-toed shoes, cotton clothing and no dangling jewelry, rings or bracelets.


After the personal glass blowing experience, we spent several hours viewing the Chihuly Collection across the street.  Read a review of the Chihuly Collection here.

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We leisurely walked Central Avenue for the rest of the afternoon, enjoying a quiet, delicious lunch at the Iberian Rooster, ice cream treats and perusing many local shops in the Central Arts District.

I recommend spending an entire day (or 2!) enjoying this eccentric and eclectic area of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Going to Oklahoma soon?  Check out my review the best history museum in OK here.

Read my top 5 reasons for homeschooling our daughters here.

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Chihuly Collection At The Morean Arts Center

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Dale Chihuly is a world -renowned, American glass blowing artist.  Born on September 20, 1941, in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly’s large scale, contemporary creations are unique and inventive.  His breathtaking environmental art and gravity defying installations create a sense of wonder and amazement.

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Within the Central Arts District of downtown St. Petersburg, the Morean Arts Center includes a building designed specifically to display a permanent collection of Dale Chihuly’s glass creations.

We visited this amazing exhibit in December of 2016.

The Morean Arts Center is free to the public and showcases the work of local artists.  Across Central Avenue is the spectacular building containing the Chihuly permanent collection.  To view the Chihuly collection, buy tickets online or inside the Chihuly building.  Tickets are $19.95.

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As a pioneer in the artistic glass movement, Dale Chihuly is creating stunning, fragile artwork completely made using different glass blowing techniques.  His sculptures range from enormous, complex outdoor installations to ornate and breathtaking colorful bowls.

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Because this is a permanent exhibit, the architecture of the building and the glass pieces were designed to work in harmony, creating an unique visual journey and a peaceful experience for visitors.  The intricate and very deliberate placement of lighting showcases and highlights the dancing colors and delicate artwork.  It is purely breathtaking.

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We spent at least 2 hours enjoying the collection and near the exit, we found a Dale Chihuly biographical movie playing in a small theater with benches for seating.  The film was a little long, but very informative and worth the extra time.  My daughters studied Chihuly several months before our vacation, but learned quite a bit more from the movie at the museum.

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My family and I were completely mesmerized by the glass work of Dale Chihuly.  If you find yourself near St. Petersburg, put this museum on your “Must-Do” itinerary.

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The Morean Arts Center is located at 719 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701.

It is free and open to the public.

Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Sunday 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m.

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The Chihuly Collection is located at 720 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701.  The main website is www.moreanartscenter.org  For more information, call 727-822-7872.

Ticket prices are $19.95 per adult and include entry into the Chihuly Collection, The Morean Arts Center, live glass blowing demonstrations at the Hot Shop and docent lead tours Monday-Friday.

Senior, military and student discounts are available.

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If you love the beautiful glass work created by Dale Chihuly, check out this post to find out how you can experience glass blowing and make your own piece of artwork, right across the street from the Chihuly Collection!


Click here to read about the Dali Museum is St. Petersburg, Florida.