Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘glassblowing’

Visit The Works in Newark for Science Exploration

School groups and families enjoy exploring The Works in Newark.

Let your imagination soar at The Works in Newark. Everyone from children to adults will find something they enjoy either in the world of science or the history of Newark. Winter is the perfect time to visit this indoor facility filled with experiments and fun.

The Works began in the early 1990s when Howard LeFevre and a group of local citizens were searching for a way to preserve Licking County’s rich industrial heritage. He wanted to use history to provide the foundation for educational programs.

Earliest exhibits were in the Scheidler Machine Works, an 1800s business.

The first exhibits were located in The Scheidler Machine Works, a business from 1882. However, it wasn’t long before several additions were necessary and before you know it The Works Complex filled 6 acres and 11 buildings – an entire city block – very close to the courthouse in downtown Newark.

Youngsters learn about electricity in the Zap Lab.

Today the complex is filled with fun and education. On the first floor, there are simulated cars to drive and Legos to build and race, A multitude of craft supplies help kids use their imaginations to make a piece of art they can take home with them. It’s a great place if your child enjoys science with many special labs for hands-on activities for learning and fun.

A glass-blowing exhibit amazes young and old.

A glassblowing exhibit is a favorite of many. A well-supplied room with all the tools needed for blowing glass has adults and children oohing and aahing. Pre-register on certain dates to complete a glass project while visiting. In January and February make a glass heart!

Become a flight simulator in a replica of the Spirit of Columbus.

The second floor overflows with history of the area. Learn about glassmakers Heisey Glass and Corning Owens. See old telephones and typewriters as you explore replicas of local shops that were in the area over a century ago. Some were previously at COSI’s old home. Hear the story of Newark native, Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world. There’s an excellent display of canal history as well.

Don’t forget the Art Gallery featuring national and local artists in a variety of mediums. Gallery exhibits change quarterly to keep artwork fresh and exciting.

Workers assemble a Mastodon skeleton when digging a pond in Heath.

An amazing exhibit displays parts of a mastodon skeleton discovery in 1989 near Buckeye Lake when they were digging for a new pond on Burning Tree Golf Course in Heath. It’s called the Burning Tree Mastodon, the most complete mastodon skeleton ever found, and is estimated to be 13,300 years old. The original sold in 1993 for $600,000 and now resides in Japan.

Step into an original interurban car outside the building.

There are places to explore both inside and out. Outside there is an original interurban rail car open for touring or even a birthday party! If you enjoy music, try your hand at the outdoor Pipe Organ where you can perhaps create a tune of your own. The Works’ mission is to enrich people’s lives by providing interactive opportunities that inspire creativity and learning.

SciDome is a planetarium featuring space-based learning for all ages.

SciDome planetarium is a combined effort between The Works and Ohio State University. A visit is included with your admission so you can enjoy a trip through the nighttime sky, a visit to the solar system, or a journey to Mars. This 30-ft., 4K Projection planetarium includes live planetarium shows as well as full-dome SciDome films. Programs vary so check their schedule before visiting.

They have a traveling program that goes to over fourteen different counties and they provide professional training for area teachers. There is a heavy emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) as it is found in everyday life from measuring ingredients while cooking to launching rockets.

Go Lab encourages building your own vehicle and then racing them.

It’s a great place for a school field trip to learn more about the history of the area as well as experience many hands-on science activities.

See a historical horse-drawn fire hose wagon.

Children especially enjoy the downstairs section, while adults prefer the history on the second floor. Everyone enjoys having a lunch break at the deli, which is connected to the museum by a walkway.

The Works is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., which gives them access to many exhibits and resources not otherwise available. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 – 5 and on Sundays January through March from noon -5 at 55 South First Street in downtown Newark. Admission is very reasonable at $8 for children 3- 17, $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors 55+. There is free and convenient parking in their visitors’ lot very near the front door.

During these winter months, The Works would make a great family outing where there is something everyone would enjoy. Check their calendar of events on their website – . It’s the perfect place to spark your children’s imagination.


Oglebay Institute Glass Museum Sparkles

Fire Art!  Hot! Hot! Hot! From the days of the early Romans to today in West Virginia, the art of blowing glass hasn’t changed dramatically. Inspire your imagination while visiting Oglebay Institute in Wheeling, West Virginia.

In the lower level of Carriage House Glass, the Oglebay Institute Glass Museum demonstrated the art of making various objects using glass blowing techniques.  A young man showed visitors how to form bowls, bottles, and paperweights using his many artistic skills.

Imagine working day after day in front  of an oven where the temperature was 2400 degrees F.  Yes, that figure is correct. Would feel like heat from an erupting volcano! That is the temperature needed to melt the raw materials used in the manufacture of glass.

After the glassblower gathered a ball of glass on his blowpipe, the pipe was placed into the heating drum to get the glass to a temperature of at least 2200 degrees.  This is one hot job! He then took the glass and placed it in a mold to shape the glass into the object he wished to turn out. Several trips were necessary between the furnace and workbench to shape, finish off the rough edges, and flatten the bottom before he could break the newly formed object from the blowpipe.  He just hoped he had used the right temperature, and the correct strength of tapping to remove the object, or else his work would have been in vain and there would be a pile of broken glass.

But this time all went well and the glassblower, who had been doing this for five years now, put the bottle in a cooling tank, called an annealing oven, where the temperature would slowly be reduced to prevent cracking. In a regular glass factory, this cooling process would take place on a cool-down conveyor belt. In the picture at the left, you see examples of some of the beautiful paperweights, cups, and containers made using the art of glassblowing. Individuals can also make their own paperweights here…with a little help from the glassblower!

The glassblowing demonstration was just a small corner of the Glass Museum, where over 3000 pieces of Wheeling Glass (1829-1939) were on display as well as Northwood carnival glass, Victorian art glass, and many more.  Display cases glistened with the sparkling handcrafted glassware, as well as Ohio Valley pottery.

Among the popular pottery pieces, stands  a magnificent Flow Blue Jardiniere and Pedestal that belonged to Admiral Dewey.  Made by the Wheeling Pottery Company, it features a scene of Spanish American War naval hero, Admiral George Dewey. It was presented to the Deweys on a visit to Wheeling in the late 1800s. The Jardiniere stands about 3 1/2′ high and would originally have been used to hold flowers in a well-to-do Victorian home. This is thought to be the only Dewey Jardiniere of this size still existing.

in 1849, the Sweeney brothers, Michael and Thomas, designed the largest cut glass crystal punch bowl ever made.  Sweeney Punch Bowl weighs 225 pounds and stands five feet tall, nearly as tall as the young man in the picture. After a disagreement occurred between the brothers,  Michael claimed the piece as his own work,  and for seventy four years it sat glass encased on his grave in Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling, West Virginia. As you might imagine, when Thomas returned to the area and found the work claimed by Michael alone,  he was speechless. Today this priceless work of art is the centerpiece of the Oglebay Institute Glass Museum.

Back upstairs, Carriage Hill Glass Gift Shop was filled with unique, decorative gifts made of glass and pottery. There was everything from stained glass pieces to beautiful dinnerware, and their popular Glass Rain Drops. As a single raindrop raises the sea, so each of us makes a difference in the world – some cause storms and others grow flowers. Handcrafted glass continues to make a big difference in the world as people create their individual masterpieces.

The Museums of Oglebay Institute are located in Wheeling, West Virginia just off I-70 at Exit 2A. Then follow the Oglebay Park signs. Admission for both museums is a reasonable $10 per person. 

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