The “Hot” in Hot Shops
There are four anchor studios that make up the very heart of the Hot Shops Art Center. Each of these shops deals in various fiery disciplines to shape their artistic expressions, which require thousands of degrees to create. Their trades require crucibles of melted metals, forges of molten glass, and kilns of baked clay.
Crystal Forge glass studio has been operating for years at the Hot Shops Art Center. We are hard at work creating new pieces. You will find items ranging from unique glasses and vases, to stunning bowls and decoration plates, as well as one-of-a-kind “art glass” and intricate glass jewels. We also produce customized glasswork for architects and interior designers. Please check out www.CrystalForgeOmaha.com and browse through a collection of past works. If you want to see the most recent works, come on down to the forge!
The studio is located in the very southwest corner of the building, and is open to the public throughout the year. Sit down and watch demonstrations of glass blowing, and learn about the trade as the artists create their work right in front of your eyes.
We also offer periodic classes for those willing to give it a crack (pun intended). Crystal Forge offers glass blowing, lampworking, and glass bead and jewelry making on a regular basis. Torch rental is available at $10/hr., but you must bring your own glass and tools. Kiln rental also available at a flat rate of $5 (for bead annealing only).
Leslie Bruning was born in Syracuse, Kansas and was raised in Nebraska. After studying at Graz Center in Austria, he graduated with Bachelor of Arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University. In 1970 he was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree - Sculpture from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. Leslie also served as Chair of the Art Area of Bellevue University, Bellevue Nebraska and is a founding member of the Market North Hot Shops Art Center, Omaha, Nebraska. Leslie's studio and Bruning Sculpture, Inc., (a casting and fabrication studio to produce architectural detail and other artist's work) is located in the Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas, Omaha.
Bruning received his first sculpture commission in 1969 at the County-City Building, Lincoln, Nebraska and has completed over 30 commissions since that time. He has produced the Governor's Art Award for the State of Nebraska, given slide presentations at the Central Time Zone Sculpture Symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska and the 1990 International Sculpture Conference, Washington, DC, and received a Mentoring Grant from the Nebraska Art Council. His work is part of many permanent public as well as private collections including the MONA - Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska.
Bruning has participated in hundreds of juried and invitational shows throughout United States.
Past clients include Yoko Ono, Topher Delaney, John Himmelfarb, Katherine Ferguson, Pepsy Kettavong, Louise Bourgeois, Boys Town, and numerous architects. Bruning has also cast sculptures by Degas, Ellie Nadelman, and Louis Slobokin, to name a few.
Hot Shops Pottery is a clay studio located in studio #111 (north of Crystal Forge) at the Hot Shops Art Center. It is primarily made up of Tim Barry and Dan Toberer, with 50 years of ceramics experience between them. The pair produces pots of all shapes and sizes, custom orders, murals, tiles, and a variety of other projects.
Come down to the Hot Shops and check out our giant walk-in kiln, and our collection of pots and vessels, or maybe catch us on the potter's wheel!
Classes are also available.
Please contact us for information.