In light of Governor Wolf’s recent announcement to transition several Pennsylvania counties, including Fayette, to “green” status as of June 5th, we wanted to share some information regarding our plans.
Touchstone Center for Crafts is excited to be part of a group of museums and cultural institutions from across Southwestern Pennsylvania that is collaboratively preparing our organizations for safe re-openings.
The shared priority of the group is the health and safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers. We are working together to develop and share best practices, in conjunction with federal, state, and local recommendations. These best practices will reflect the unique needs of our institutions and will help to ensure you feel comfortable and prepared on your return to Touchstone and other Southwestern Pennsylvania museums and cultural institutions.
Our group started meeting in late March and now includes thirty different museums and arts organizations that span Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Fayette Counties. We are meeting digitally on a weekly basis to share plans and discuss key elements of re-opening, including visitor guidelines; our facilities; staff and volunteers; and diversity and equity issues. Although each institution is evaluating re-opening under their own schedule, we are confident that these shared conversations will facilitate safe and smooth re-openings across the region.
While this group convened for the purpose of collaborating on best practices for reopening our institutions, it has opened the door for other vital collaborative efforts, such as addressing our support for racial equity and ending the cycle of violence and oppression affecting people of color in our community. This group will continue to meet to listen to the needs of our community and discuss specific actions that can be taken by each institution to make a change.
Touchstone’s campus will remain closed to the public until further notice. We’ve made the decision to not hold any events or workshops on campus for the remainder of the 2020 season. Our staff is busy scheduling virtual programming for Teens and Adults, tackling some major administrative and maintenance projects, and preparing for our 2021 season. Until then, we are glad to continue connecting digitally and look forward to welcoming you back to campus again soon!
AUG 10-14 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Transformations in Paper
– A Workshop for Veterans
Instructor: Frontline Paper
No Experience Necessary
Materials List will be provided
FREE WITH SCHOLARSHIP!
Up to 15 Scholarships for Veterans and their family members (18yrs+) are available for this workshop thanks to the generosity of the family of Agnes & James Kinard.
Applications due March 15th. Notifications will be made by April 1st.
Please check our scholarship page for more details.
Veterans and family members are invited to join this unique workshop and learn traditional hand paper making techniques, transforming military uniforms into paper as a means for sharing stories and building community. This 5-day workshop begins with an overview and explanation of the papermaking process, seeing and feeling examples of the paper and previous art made, and beginning the process of ‘deconstructing’ the uniform. You will begin to form an idea of what you might like to put on the paper, in the form of images and words and move on to pulling sheets of paper, making pulp prints, drying the paper, and making art. The art made can and will range from pulp prints, letterpress, writing, and bookbinding. Whether the blank paper or a created image on the surface, each work of art tells a story through the language of papermaking. Uniforms, pulp, and paper with be provided but it is encouraged that the veterans attending, if they have them, bring uniforms of their own to transform into paper. It’s a powerful experience turning the uniform you wore into paper. No experience necessary – just a willingness to explore something new in a supportive environment! Provided for veterans and taught by veterans.
Frontline Paper began in 2011 as Combat Paper NJ. CPNJ was founded by veteran artists and activists, Eli Wright and David Keefe. With inspiration from master papermaker Drew Mattot, and Drew Cameron’s traveling project called Combat Paper Project, Eli and Dave built a unique community-oriented papermaking program that connects veterans and non-veterans from all eras through the transformational practice of making handmade paper from military uniforms, creative writing, and printmaking via the profound connection over making and telling stories together. Through a process of deconstruction, reclamation, and communication, Veterans connect with non-veterans, by sharing their personal stories through handmade paper, printmaking, and participatory artmaking. Combat Paper NJ became Frontline Paper in 2017.
Agnes & James Kinard Scholarship – NEW!
This scholarship provides 100% tuition for any adult-level workshop to veterans and immediate family members of veterans and/or members of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. Additional funds may be awarded to offset the cost of housing, meals, travel, and materials fees on a case-by-case basis. In 2020 most of these awards will be given to individuals seeking to participate in the Frontline Paper workshop for Veterans.
“During World War II, Agnes Dodds was one of the few female executives in the war effort while she served at the Lend Lease Administration in Washington, D.C. She met her first husband (Morton Frank), a Naval Officer, during the war. Her brother (Robert J. Dodds Jr.) and her second husband (James P. Kinard) also served as U.S. Army Officers.
Throughout her life, Agnes Dodds Kinard keenly championed efforts to help veterans, especially by enriching their skills and knowledge of arts and crafts. Her three children are thrilled that through her generosity, Touchstone, which she helped found more than three decades ago, will be able to pursue her vision of enabling veterans to receive artistic training they so richly deserve. She wanted Touchstone to offer veterans a sanctuary to enjoy nature and the outdoors as well as the opportunity to learn a new hobby, craft or skill.”
On Saturday, September 28th from 1:00-10:00 pm, Join Rivers of Steel for its signature event, the Festival of Combustion—a celebration of industrial arts and American crafts!
Showcasing the creativity and innovation of our region’s artists, makers, and builders, the daylong festival includes hands-on activities, craft demonstrations, live music, tours, an artisan marketplace, food, festivities, and much more.
New this year to commemorate its fifth anniversary, the Festival has expanded evening performances! Rivers of Steel and 91.3 WYEP are excited to present acclaimed Nashville singer-songwriter Nikki Lane headlining the show, with the throwback rock and roll sounds of the Ruen Brothers, an English duo from a blue-collar steel town, getting the evening started.
Fireworks, flame performances, an evening iron pour, and a host of arts activities will also light up the night in the western courtyard of the Carrie Blast Furnaces.
A family-friendly event, new hands-on activities this year include Fiestaware Mosaics and free kids zone workshops for the little ones. Live demonstrations include iron casting, blacksmithing, glassblowing, raku ceramics, welding, fabrication and more!
With craft beer, food trucks, live music, and an artisan marketplace, you won’t want to miss Rivers of Steel’s biggest event of the year!Click for more information
- 6 weekends – 2 and 3-day workshops
- 6 different studios – Blacksmithing, Ceramics, Glass, Metals & Jewelry, Painting & Drawing, or Special Topics
- 23 amazing instructors
- 23 inspiring workshops for beginner through advanced artists!
- Plus! The Sixth Annual Alchemist Picnic
You’ll come away inspired, restored, and rejuvenated!
JUL 8–12 | 5-Day (MON-FRI)
5 Introductory Weeklong Workshops: No Experience Necessary
$550 Member | $580 Non-Member
Plus Materials and Studio Fees
Affordable lodging and meal plans available
Introduction to Blacksmithing
with Anna Koplik
Learn how to swing a hammer at the anvil, work a coal forge, and have fun forging hot steel! Everyone will walk away with their own hand forged objects.
Only a couple of spots left!
Introduction to Wheel-Throwing
with Stacy Larson
Learn the basics of throwing, shaping, and trimming pottery on the wheel with Stacy as your guide. Then expand on your skills with altering and decorating techniques.
Intro to Stained Glass Copper Foil Technique
with Neile Cooper
Learn the fundamentals of creating stained glass pieces with the copper foil technique. You will have your first completed project on the first morning!
Introduction to Jewelry Making
with Erika Broas
Learn the basics of traditional metalsmithing while creating a variety of jewelry forms. You will fabricate pendants, chains, rings, earrings, brooches, and more, and leave with a great base of knowledge and multiple finished pieces!
An Introduction to Drawing
with Aaron Pickens
This intensive workshop is for participants who want to learn and improve the way they draw. Be ready to explore a range of techniques using various types of materials.