The Pittsburgh Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show, Sat., Dec. 7 at the Teamsters Local Union 249 Banquet Hall, will showcase a variety of unique, eclectic local artists and crafters. Launched in 2011 as a series of year-round art and craft events held throughout the Midwest, the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows also serve to raise money for nonprofits, with proceeds from the Pittsburgh show benefiting Girls on the Run, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles for pre-teens.
One of the many vendors on display is Dawn Glassworks. Run by Pittsburgh native, Dawn Wallhausen, the business specializes in stained glass mosaics, ornaments, and lampwork beads, which are handmade by blowing and shaping molten glass over and through a torch.
Pittsburgh City Paper spoke with Wallhausen ahead of her appearance at the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show.
How did you get into doing glass art? What attracted you to it?
When I was a kid, we had a family friend who made glassware for laboratories. One Christmas, he made me a glass bulb ornament with my name on it and ever after that, I was fascinated by glass.
When did you launch your business?
I have been doing glasswork for over 25 years, but I think the first Handmade Arcade was my first real craft show. I've done a number of I Made It! markets, too, and a few smaller, very local markets in the past.
What are your most popular pieces?
Popular pieces seem to go in waves. Most recently, I would say that people have been loving mosaic treasure boxes and custom house numbers, but sometimes people seem to gravitate more towards items made with my lamp-worked beads.
Do you get a lot of custom orders? What do people usually request?
Mosaic house numbers have been my most requested custom pieces, by far. I wouldn't say I get a ton of custom orders, but when I do, it is usually a house number.
Are you selling anything special for this holiday season?
I always do some ornaments for the holiday season. They are fun to make!
Pittsburgh Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show at the Teamsters Local Union 249. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4701 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $3. avantgardeshows.com