January 8—A Penn Hills local is pouring her pastime for artwork into her Oakmont trade, one glass at a time.
Amanda Lee, 42, of Oakmont, has determined to carve out a occupation in artwork since she may hang a crayon.
However now not everybody shared his enthusiasm.
“My father used to be a unmarried father and did not bring to mind artwork as a occupation. I used to be self-taught,” Lee stated. “Everybody in my existence advised me it is onerous to dream giant.”
Lee opened Amanda Lee Glassware in 2013.
The 9,000-square-foot store and studio is at 931 3rd St., around the boulevard from the Oakmont Bakery and tucked at the back of the Speedway fuel station.
When he used to be 27 years previous, he enrolled at Slippery Rock College to check artwork historical past.
“I sought after to be an artwork historical past instructor. I did not really feel challenged sufficient,” she stated.
Lee’s instructor inspired her to observe her pastime for artwork and driven her to check in another country.
She used to be permitted on the Academy of Superb Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Keen to start out her Ecu journey, Lee, who’s part Slovak on her mom’s facet, started promoting her hand-painted wine glasses to generate income for school.
“I used to be so excited, and to save cash for the travel, I began portray glasses for family and friends as a result of I really like giving fabulous presents. That is how it began,” Lee stated.
Running as a bartender, Lee pawned her glassware to consumers and was a house trade.
“The glasses pay the expenses, however my collage artwork is my pastime,” Lee stated.
Lee’s authentic collage paintings constituted of recycled mag items is located all over the shop.
From Marilyn Monroe to the Pittsburgh skyline, his assortment features a collage of the celebrated Oakmont Nation Membership.
“That took me two years to finish,” stated Lee, who used to be introduced $25,000 for the golf-themed piece.
He stated his inspiration for the design comes from artwork historical past and from his thoughts.
“I simply get a hold of concepts, Cezanne, the Impressionists, there is numerous affect there. If I may do that all day, I might find it irresistible, however I am very happy with my glassware,” Lee stated.
Lee’s industry tagline: “Hand-painted with love and perhaps a bit wine” is correct.
Fashion designer collections painted on pilsner, wine, stemless, and highball glasses come with Pittsburgh-themed units known as the Yinzer, Metal Stemless, Black and Gold, The Hat Trick, Christmas Pickle, and Pittsburgh Snowman.
Different topics come with the Pitt/Penn State, Birds and Insects, Canine, Plants, Golfing, On the Seaside, Nighttime, Teal, and Rose Gold collections.
Consumers 21 and older are invited to experience a pitcher of wine from the complimentary wine bar and peruse the loads of custom-painted glasses on show.
Guests too can input the open studio and meet the artists as they paint.
“It is like an revel in right here, now not simply buying groceries,” Lee stated.
Clinton Township buyer Lyn DiSanti took a sip of wine lately whilst searching for a present trade.
“I really like its area of expertise. I used to be in search of one thing Pittsburgh, and that is precisely what I sought after,” stated DiSanti, who purchased a number of glasses. “That is my favourite position for a customized gift.”
Lee has spent the closing 4 years fine-tuning his paint components to seek out the right combination that is difficult and long-lasting.
“Our design used to be nice, however we would have liked sturdiness,” Lee stated of his largest trade problem.
Hand washing is beneficial, however all glassware, even the ones with glitter, can pass within the dishwasher.
“That is what units us aside,” Lee stated of paints that closing. “They’re very, very sturdy.”
Easiest-selling glasses come with the Metal Town assortment, adopted by way of Merry and Shiny, a Christmas-themed illuminate design and frosted snowflakes.
Customized orders of 12 or extra glasses are permitted and normally take one week.
All shipped orders are packaged with a novel wine cork with a tiny “fortunate” ladybug hooked up, a element impressed by way of Lee’s past due grandmother, Carol Conrad, whom Lee discovered ladybugs with when she used to be little.
“My nana used to be an artist and my largest strengthen,” Lee stated. “She died a number of years in the past earlier than I began portray glassware.
“Ladybugs stay her shut and we like to proportion how fortunate we’re.”
Lee employs a number of younger feminine artists as painters.
Nora Weitzel, a senior at Riverview Top College, is the youngest painter on body of workers.
“It is like not anything I have ever skilled earlier than,” stated Weitzel, who wears paint-splattered denims and boots from earlier shifts.
Weitzel plans to primary in artwork after commencement.
Penn Hills Top College alum Kaitlyn Thorn started portray at Amanda Lee seven years in the past.
“I love to create artworks. My favourite factor to do is paint and bundle,” Thorn stated. “It is one design at a time right here.”
Amanda Lee Glassware ships to all 50 states and dozens of nations.
“That is my dream studio. And it is all mine,” Lee stated proudly.
Joyce Hanz is a body of workers creator for the Tribune-Evaluation. You’ll achieve Joyce by way of e-mail at [email protected] or by means of Twitter.