Glass Menagerie

The 20-30-40 Glass Society of Illinois has put together what looks to be a smashing exhibition of historic American-made glass for its 37th annual Antique American Glass Show and Sale at the Midwest Conference Center in Northlake this weekend. The society was founded to foster education and preservation of glassware of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s (in case that’s not, well, clear from its name), and has an active membership of passionate glass enthusiasts. There will be experts on Depression Era glass, art glass, and early American pressed glass on hand at the event to offer appraisals and identification of objects (two per person) as well as glass repair services. Admission is eight bucks, and special guests this year include Illinois glass master Charles Lotton.

Candy Land

If you’ve visited the Ukrainian Village home and garden shop Sprout Home, or if you happen to live with a tween (or are a tween at heart—a twart?) who watches the Nickelodeon show iCarly, you’ve probably seen some cute, rubbery little Gummi Bear table lamps prowling around, adding chewy, kitschy ambience to the design scene. They were designed by Kevin Champeny for the NYC-based company Jellio, whose fun-loving owner Mario Marsicano recently sent snaps of new products, including this Candelier, made of almost 5,000 hand-strung acrylic Gummi Bears. The calorie-free orbs are 31 inches in diameter and will be made in a limited edition of ten, with price upon request. Jellio is just too cool for school with its through-the-looking-glass creations, such as benches that look like ice cream sandwiches or sheets of button candy and cupcake tables and stools. The company also welcomes custom projects, and recently completed a massive 400-pound wall display of 4,400 Hot Wheels cars as a gift for a car enthusiast, and a U.S. flag for an army base crafted from more than 50,000 plastic toy soldiers. Chewing over some project ideas of your own? Shoot an email to and they’ll hit the sweet spot.

Class Action

American Idol seems pretty lackluster this year, so why not get up off of that couch, call a friend or two, and schedule some quality learning and laughing time by signing up for classes at the Lillstreet Art Center? Spring sessions start March 22, and the respected thirty-something arts organization in Ravenswood is offering an eclectic roster of affordable, short-term, hands-on classes and seminars for all levels of experience. When I think Lillstreet, I think ceramics. “Bowl Mania” doesn’t leave anything to the imagination; other options include tile and totem making, ancient Korean potting techniques, a make-your-own-Seder-plate session, and wheel-throwing workshops (dress for the mess). But clay is just one of the disciplines in Lill’s crafty curriculum—I have friends who rave about their glassmaking and metalworking facilities. Printmaking, textile arts, and digital photography—the newest department—are growing in popularity as well. Students can take advantage of generous open studio time to hone their crafts, 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Market Appeal

In a couple of months it’ll be a cinch to find pop-up produce markets dotting the city, but for the time being they are few and farm between. The Logan Square Chamber of Commerce recognized a void, and organized a weekly indoor farmers market of specialty vendors selling house plants, handmade candles and soaps, organic meats and cheeses, canned, dried, and fresh vegetables, and baked goods. It’s held every Sunday, all winter long, in the lobby of the Congress Theatre at 2135 North Milwaukee Avenue, from 10 a.m.-til 2 p.m., until the end of March. This week they’ll have on-site knife sharpening, a fresh juice station, and fresh eggs from Tempel Farm Organics.