To reach out to the community and provide a morning of fun, creative activities, Lakeside Artisans of West First Street in downtown Oswego hosted an event called “Say it with Class, Say it with Glass.” From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Feb. 1, Oswego local Diane Chepko-Sade led a class of eight people through a Valentine’s Day-themed craft-making session of fused glass to give as a personal gift to loved ones.
Fused glass is the result of glass that has been exposed to temperatures ranging from 590 degrees Celsius to 816 degrees Celsius in a thermally insulated kiln. Glass fusing is thought to have begun as early as 2000 BCE in ancient Egypt and has been seen in many other societies since then. Glass fusing is a popular hobby, and is also used in the world of fine art. Like the tile designs that were made by the participants in Lakeside Artisans’ fused glass class, many pieces of jewelry and beads are created with glass fusing.
Saturday’s event, held for the first time at Lakeside Artisans, featured creative designs from mosaic hearts and stars to figures of snowmen. The participants were of all ages, which contributed to a variety of designs.
They began by stacking thin sheets of glass of various colors in order to create patterns and images. After putting together their designs, they handed over their masterpieces to be baked in a kiln at temperatures of 590 degrees Celsius and higher. While in the oven, the colored glass fuses together to create a smooth, beautifully finished product. The members of the class were all excited about and rightfully proud of their work.
Lakeside Artisans is a local business that began as a result of the actions of a few artists with big dreams. Tim Ames and Michele Southgate, the founders of Lakeside Artisans, formed a coalition with other artists, wrote a successful business plan, and won a prize of $25,000 from the Oswego County Business Plan Competition, which would allow a store to be opened in Oswego. Their establishment is a retail store and gallery, with displays of the fine arts and crafts of several local artists. Lakeside Artisans provides the community with a great source of unique, high-quality gifts and decor.
Inspired by their wide range of hand-crafted products available for purchase, Lakeside Artisans often hosts community-geared classes and tutorials for fun arts and crafts to do yourself. “Say it with Class, Say it with Glass” is just one of the many creative classes that are offered, so stop in to find more. Customers can be sure that their gifts from Lakeside Artisans have been made with love.