Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Field trip to Tech Shop!

Tech Shop Pittsburgh

It was an art-filled weekend, and I am just getting caught up with posting. Friday started off with a trip to the Carnegie International. I am still sorting out my thoughts about that, but on the way there, my friend and I made an impromptu trip to Tech Shop Pittsburgh, in East Liberty.

As an artist, there are always ideas that you have in the back of your mind. Sometimes they come to fruition, and sometimes you know you can't get there from here. You don't have the right equipment, or you don't have the know how to even approach what you want to do.

This is where a resource like Tech Shop comes in.

It seemed like whatever material you might want to work with, Tech Shop had the appropriate machines available. Plastic, vinyl, metal, wood and textiles all had dedicated workrooms with specialized equipment. Equipment that would never make an appearance in home workshops or studios. Like this machine that cuts material with high-pressure water.

Tech Shop

This wouldn't fit in any basement, right?

A lot of the equipment is directed with computer generated files. The shop also has a bank of computers with appropriate software already loaded. You can generate everything that you need right there, all you have to bring are your ideas.

The staff were really helpful. When we walked in, I honestly thought that we were just going to pick up some literature and get more information than they have on their website. A staff person gave us a guided tour, which really showed off the scope of what the facility offers.

Tech Shop offers classes on all of the equipment, including software. They have dedicated meeting space, worktables where you can assemble your projects, and a small break area where you can grab a snack or some coffee.

Tech Shop is joining forces with the Pittsburgh Glass Center for a fun project that could be a great introduction to both organizations. The workshop for making your own stamped glass coasters takes place over a two-day period. You'll leave with a nice little item for your home and the inspiration to come back with your own ideas.

Tech Shop is located in East Liberty in Bakers Square. If you haven't been, the complex houses offices, street-level shops and restaurants and a hotel. Very, very active place, even on a cold day at the end of January. The facility is also open from 9am-12am, so they can accommodate almost any schedule.

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