Braddock Bread Oven


Staffski went to Braddock on Saturday with the Bread Oven Committee and Our Friend. It was lovely evening, clear skies and warm weather. It was even warmer near the bread oven. Pictured above is Josh Tonies, an amazing artist and master baker. Josh made pizza for us in the Braddock Community bread oven. It was a much appreciated opportunity to see the bread oven in action and talk to some of the people involved in the operation of the operation. And of course, everyone wanted their picture taken with Our Friend.



From top, that’s Sean, Andrew, Terry, Mary Lou, Leah Myra and Brian. The pizza was absolutely wonderful in all of its variations.


There was quite a crowd at the bread oven. Mayor Fetterman was great about answering questions and was very enthusiastic. That’s John Fetterman in the black t-shirt.


We had a bonus while we were in Braddock. The bread oven is on the UnSmoke Systems compound. UnSmoke Systems is a repurposed school and convent that has become the home of a gallery and workspace for artists. The closing reception for Wear and Tear was planned for the same evening. After we finished our delicious pizza, we stuck around while Gavin Kenyon and Heather Powell set up a demonstration of hot metal pouring.


You can see Gavin Kenyon (above)  starting work while we sipped on out beverages and filled in the stomach corners. It was a really wonderfule evening. Thank you, Mayor Fetterman and UnSmoke Systems, for being such wonderful hosts. We hope you join us when Polish Hill has built its bread oven.

From weeds to Honey


Last night at the Sprout Fund Summer Social, there was an exhibit about bees.  Particularly, Pittsburgh Bees.  There was the opportunity to sample honey from the different seasons from the Pittsburgh bees.  The spring and summer honeys were more of what one would expect from honey.  The fall honey was the deep, dark flavorful honey.  The big contributing factor to the fall honey’s taste is the blooms from the knot weed.  Can anyone imagine that there would be something positive about the knot weed?  This fall honey has an almost molasses taste which is a result of the bees going to the blooms on the knot weed. Pittsburgh Bees want people to know that the clover and dandelions and other “wild flowers” that we consider weeds help to make some delicious honey. To get more info about the bees around Pittsburgh,  checkout their web site:

Guest post from Polish Hill neighbor, Josie Ramsey. Thanks Josie!

PHCA Field Trip to A.I.R.

Last night, several of us went over to Artist Image Resource for their open studio. Much fun was had by all! And we met our newest resident there! How about that?


This is Jenn. No, not the little guy in the green, the lovely young lady holding the little guy in the green. She was the AIC (Artitst in Charge) at Artist Image Resource last night when the PHCA field trippers descended on the facility. Really, she just took us under her wing, was very patient in explaining silkscreening to a bunch of newbies and made a pleasant outing exceptionally fun.


We started out in the darkroom, waving our transparencies  around and asking questions like “Hey, is that a timer” and “I really have to lift that?”


Finally, we were all ready to print! Terry Doloughty had brought two transparencies and was really raring to go. We were the first ones there last night, so we were actually ready to start printing be fore 8:00. The open studio starts at 7pm, but it takes time to expose, burn and rinse your screen. So, if you are planning on going to the open studio, plan on at least an hour of preparation. Longer if there is a line for any of the processes. Also, word to the wise: Bring your own transparency.


Above are some of the T-shirts that Terry printed last night. Nice, huh? We really had a good time last night and I am sure that we will be back! Stay tuned for announcements about this and other field trips out and about the city.


AIR’s Open Studio offers emerging artists and students access to equipment, ideas and a community of working artists every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7:00 to 11:00 PM. For a nominal fee artists can access printing screens and workspace.

Participants at the Open Studio are encouraged to become part of the Open House component of the program where they can exhibit their work and develop skills presenting and teaching. They are often invited to become part of AIR’s Open Study program which provides greater access to the studio’s artists and resources.

More information about the open studio as well as about A.I.R.’s other programs are available on their site.