Hands-on Handmade

Our 2014 Hands-on Handmade lineup of interactive programming is nearly complete! Check out our list of amazing craft artists, arts organizations and demonstrators who will be on-site this year – continuing our tradition of bringing consumers and creators together for a captivating and educational craft experience. Hands-on Handmade features day-long, half-day and two-hour activities.

Please note: Hands-on Handmade is designed as a space for intergenerational hands-on exploration, where adults, children and teens are invited participate in art and craft activities together. It is not a drop-off program. Children must be accompanied by an adult.



Opening Ceremony Puppet Parade featuring Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band:
Don’t miss Handmade Arcade’s exciting opening ceremonies at 11 a.m., as Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band leads shoppers into our hall filled with vendors! This year, the local marching band will be joined by a colorful collection of giant dancing puppets created by Pittsburgh artist Cheryl Capezzuti, and worn by Brentwood Girl Scout Troop 51168. The puppets are loaned free of charge to the community through Capezzuti’s project Puppets for Pittsburgh. To find out more, visit www.studiocapezzuti.com.


Day-Long Activities: 

Pop des Fleurs:
Participate in a citywide outdoor installation of handmade pop-up flower gardens planned for the winter of 2016 that will bring delight and color to Pittsburgh neighborhoods during the dark season and promote the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh’s Fibarart International 2016. Learn to make beautiful and durable flowers to decorate the city of Pittsburgh during the winter months and find out how you can get involved in the Guild’s test installation set for February 2015. All-day activity (11 am – 7 pm)

The Sky’s the Limit with Bandy Woodworks:
Local woodworker Christopher Bandy hosts a contest using a big box full of miscellaneous wood scraps that challenges participants to create the highest possible stable structure. The event consists of timed races that will encourage fast and inventive thinking. All-day activity (11 am – 7 pm)

Chutz-Pow! Superhero Mask and Cape Making Zone:
The Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh leads an interactive learning experience featuring its comic book “Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust, Volume 1” and its exhibit “Chutz-Pow! International Superheroes of the Holocaust.” The Center’s team will spearhead a day-long learning and craft activity that will highlight the idea that everyone has the capacity to be a Superhero and an UpStander. All-day activity (11 am – 7 pm)

Artists Image Resource (AIR):
Join Artists Image Resource to create unique and inspiring pennants using screen printing. Participants will learn about the process of screen printing and will make their own pennants. All-day activity (11 am – 7 pm)

Creative and Performing Arts High School (CAPA):
CAPA students hosts an interactive and educational creative happening for attendees. All-day activity (11 am – 7 pm)

The Apothecary of Esoteric Panacea:
Artist Maggie Negrete hosts her interactive art installation, Apothecary of Esoteric Panacea. Participants will identify intangible problems and crowd-source solutions, illustrating our ability to solve our own problems together. All-day activity (11 am – 7 pm)


Half-Day Activities: 

Chromatography Snowflakes and Winter Wonderland Photobooth:
Join artist-educators from Assemble Gallery to make colorful chromatography snowflakes, and then step into the Winter Wonderland photo booth to create a keepsake picture.  Half-day activity (11 am – 3 pm)

Loop Creation with Sunburst School of Music:
Using different musical instruments, participants will create a sound loop that will be layered over other sounds. Once an interesting sound loop is created, Sunburst will email it to participants for a unique make-and-take sound experience.   Half-day activity (11 am – 3 pm)

Note Card Designing with Tree Pittsburgh:
Create note cards based on illustrations from Tree Pittsburgh’s new book, If We Were to Plant a Tree, and discover how taking care of trees can improve quality of life by maximizing the substantial environmental, social and economic benefits that trees provide.  Half-day activity (11 am – 3 pm)

Girls Rock! Pittsburgh:
Imagine you are a world-famous rockstar! What is your band’s name? What does your platinum album cover look like? Join Girls Rock! Pittsburgh as they help you design a band logo and/or album cover. Learn about design, image and branding while letting your imagination run wild.  Half-day activity (3 – 7 pm)

Live Caricatures by artist Robert Sage:
Join artist Robert Sage as he creates caricatures for participants using an illustrative, line-art style with color. Drawings will be live-streamed, allowing both participants and those watching to see caricatures as they are being created, comment on the drawings and make suggestions for customization. Live-streaming will also allow people to watch the caricatures being created online from anywhere in the world. Half-day activity (3 – 7 pm)

Puppeteer Mike Mascaro:
Keeping the day lively and entertaining will be a 10-foot-tall dancing puppet making his way throughout the convention center. Half-day activity (2 – 6 pm)


Two Hour Activities: 

Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer:
Feeling nostalgic for a simpler time when playtime involved you, paper, scissors and your imagination? Join Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer organizers in cutting out vintage paper dolls. Two-hour activity (3 to 5 pm) 

Copper Key Chain Making with Contemporary Craft:
Make a personalized copper key chain with Contemporary Craft. Using stamping tools and copper tags, participants will hammer names, messages and/or textures onto copper tags. Two-hour activity (3 to 5 pm)


Continuum Dance Theater:
Enjoy a live performance by Continuum Dance Theater. (Time to be announced.)


Please note: Hands-on Handmade is designed as a space for intergenerational hands-on exploration, where adults, children and teens are invited participate in art and craft activities together. It is not a drop-off program. Children must be accompanied by an adult.