Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teaching My 14-Year-Old Niece to Blow Glass

I recently had the pleasure of teaching my 14-year-old niece to blow glass at our studios in Brooklyn. It was such a delight to share one of my greatest passions with her, and to see her enjoying herself so much. She's a natural!

Blowing a Bubble
Rolling the Pipe

The First Bubble

Blocking Glass

Using the Tools

Making a Jack Line

The Sculpture!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mazel Tov Glass Weddings: Hersh and Rachel

At Mazel Tov Glass, love seeing our customers' wedding photos, and we really love getting positive feedback after they receive their Mazel Tov Glass product made from the glass that they stepped on at their wedding ceremony.

Rachel and Hersh got married on December 28th, 2013, and the keepsake they chose to turn their wedding glass shards into was our Mazel Tov Glass Flowers! 

Congratulations, Rachel and Hersh! 

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Off Centre

This Spring, UrbanGlass, the studio where we make our Mazel Tov Glass products in Brooklyn, is hosting an exhibit of glassblown works by two local artists, Romina Gonzales and Edison Zapata. 

Be sure to check it out if you're in the neighborhood! 

OFFCENTRE by Romina Gonzales and Edison Zapata
    March 27th - May 17th, 2014


UrbanGlassware is pleased to present the work of artists Romina Gonzales and Edison Zapata. This show will coincide with the first Spring season UrbanGlass studio is open to the public after 2 years of major renovations. These two artists are presenting their work and ideas as OFFCENTRE, a new design collective, that takes advantage of situations that can be seen as mistakes and exploits them to create a distinctive visual language.

Off-center, in glassblowing vocabulary, refers to a shape displaced from its axis, which is considered a fault that needs immediate solution. By allowing glass to spontaneously wrinkle, drip, collapse, wave and fold, these two artists create functional and decorative pieces that challenge the established conventions of glass and design. Their belief in what they make comes from their own critically informed experience and dialogue within art and design. Gonzales, a graduate from the Studio Art program at New York University, encourages an unconventional deconstructive but playful methodology. Zapata, who graduated with an MFA from Tama Art University, Tokyo in 2007, compliments Gonzales’ style of working by adding a firm understanding of glass making processes.
Together, these artists strive to circumvent traditional processes, and approach “making” with naivety and experimental abandon. OFFCENTRE’s approach is raw and instinctive with the overall intention to give the viewer a more subversive, and fresh aesthetic experience.

Edison with Mazel Tov Glass co-founder Andrea

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Making of a Glass Tap Shoe

This week, NYC's best tap dancers will be strutting their stuff at Rhythm in Motion, a fundraiser for the American Tap Dance Foundation.

In honor of the late great Jimmy Slyde, we decided to make a glass tap shoe cast from one of Jimmy's tap shoes, borrowed from the ATDF collection. This glass tap shoe is now up for auction at the ATDF Gala & Silent Auction celebrating Gregory Hines, at 1pm on Sunday, April 13th.

Here's the story of our glass tap shoe!

Jimmy Slyde, world-renowned tap dancer, 1927-2008

Jimmy's tap shoes
The Process:

The glass shoe took 12 hours to create, from mold to kiln.

On the left is the wax shoe in black, and on the right is the original tap shoe!

Preparing the wax shoe for the plaster mold

Then it spent 7 days in the kiln, which was heated for 24 hours to 1500 degrees to melt the glass, and then the temperature was decreased 2 degrees an hour over the next 6 days.

The molten glass shoe cooking for 7 days
 After the 7 days, the shoe was freed from the plaster mold...

And voilà! A one-of-a-kind clear glass replica of Jimmy Slyde's tap shoe.

Minimum bid: $500

Value: Priceless

Made at Urban Glass (you can also bid on a discounted glass-blowing class at the silent auction!)

Made with the love of tapping by mother daughter team Andrea Osnow and Carly Levin, 
and coached by glass artist Victoria Calabro

Be sure to check out our glass shoe at the ATDF Rhythm in Motion Gala, and don't miss the tap performances, every night @ 7pm & 9:30pm through Saturday, April 12th! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Our Favorite Hamantashen Recipe

Purim begins at sundown on Saturday, March 15th this year, and we're going to be all ready with freshly baked hamantashen!

What are hamantashen, you ask?

hamantash (or hamentasch, see: Other namesYiddish המן־טאַש, pl. hamantashen or hamentaschen) is a filled-pocket cookie or pastry in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine recognizable for its three-cornered shape. The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough, with a filling placed in the center. It is traditionally eaten during theJewish holiday of Purim. Hamantashen are made with many different fillings, including poppy seed (the oldest and most traditional variety),[1] prunes, nut, dateapricotapple, fruit preserves in a lekvar style, cherrychocolatedulce de lechehalva, or even caramel or cheese.[2] Their formation varies from hard pastry to soft doughy casings.  - Wikipedia

 Everyone has their own favorite recipe, and today we're sharing ours with you! 
Our favorite fillings are chocolate and apricot, but you really can't go wrong. 


From: “The Jewish American Kitchen” Raymond Sokolov, via The New Shul

Cookie Dough 
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
8 TBSP (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBSP grated lemon peel

• Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
• Work in the butter using a pastry blender or two forks, one held in each hand.
• Add the eggs, mixing in with the pastry blender.
• Add the lemon peel.
• Form the dough into a ball and wrap in wax paper
• Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (overnight is even better)

1 recipe dough
1 recipe filling
1 egg, beaten with 1 TBSP water
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Divide dough inot portions you can easily roll out.
• On a floured board, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inc.
• (It rolls out best if placed between 2 sheets of waxed paper, or just heavily flour the board and rolling pin.
• Cut the dough into 3- to 4- inch circles, using the top of a glass or a cookie cutter.
• Fill each circle with a heaping sp of filling and pinch the dough around it into a triangular shape.
• Brush the dough with the egg wash and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes (20 minutes in my oven)
• When the cookies are done, they will look done – appealingly brown.

Makes about 30 Hamantaschen


Apricot Filling
1/2 lb dried apricots
1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar (less)

• In a small sauce pan, over medium-low heat, cook apricots in wate until very soft.
• Mash or process in food processor.
• Add sugar to taste.
• Simmer over low heat until thick – about 10 minutes.
• Cool before using.

Apple Filling
1 cup(+) applesauce
(less than) 1/2 cup raisins (plumbed and drained)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped and toasted)
1/8 tsp cinnamon

• Combine all ingredients.
• Blend well.
• Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate Filling
1/2 cup coco
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk, cream or coffee
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

• Combine all ingredients.
• Blend thoroughly.

Caramel Pecan Filling
3/4 sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cup toasted chopped pecans
7 TBSP unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup honey

• Bake a single layer of nuts at 350 degrees
• Turn or shake frequently until evenly browned – 5 to 10 m

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Clio Garland, Wedding Coach

While wedding planning is an exciting and joyful time in your life, it can also be a very stressful experience. 

From the flowers to the officiant, the bridal party to the guest list, it seems that everyone has an opinion.

In moving from “YES” to “I DO”, are you or your partner experiencing stress in any of these areas?
• Relatives
• Guests
• Wedding Party
• Re-marriage
• Same sex marriage
• Religious tradition
• Cultural differences
• Venue (destination or not)
• Expenses

Our friend Clio Garland, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years experience counseling families and couples, is a Wedding Coach and specializes in helping couples navigate these uniquely challenging experiences. 

Clio can help you resolve conflicts leading up to your big day so when you walk down the aisle, you will be happy and content, ready for your new life ahead!

Here are some of the ways Clio can help:
• Resolve conflicting ideas about size and scope of wedding
• Negotiate differences in expression of cultural and religious traditions
• Facilitate communication with difficult family members and friends
• Provide consultation with family members if needed
• Develop strategies to respond to people challenging your wedding     
• Foster greater understanding of your new role as a married person
  and its impact on others
• Resolve differences positively to form stronger bonds with your
  partner, family and friends

To give you a better idea of Clio’s unique Wedding Coach process, here a few challenges she has helped brides and grooms deal with in the past:

Problem 1: The Bride is upset with her mother because she wants to choose her wedding dress.

Interpretation: The mother is trying to exert her influence and hold on to the close relationship she has with her daughter, while the bride is trying maintain independence.

Solution: The Bride needs to be sensitive to her mother’s struggle, while realizing she is an independent adult who is able to make her own decisions, in spite of what her mother wants.

Task: The Bride should try on some of the dresses that her mother likes and listen to her feedback, without being negative. Let Mom know you appreciate her suggestions but you really love the dress you have selected. Offer to go with her to pick out her own dress.

Problem #2: My fiancé doesn’t like my best man, who is my best childhood friend.

Interpretation: Marriage requires tolerating people who you might not choose to have in your life.

Solution: Help your fiancé understand she doesn’t have to have a relationship with your best man, but she needs to respect your friendship and the choice you have made.

Task: Talk to your fiance about the importance of this person in your life.

Problem 3: The bride is angry because her future sister-in-law is trying to control her wedding.

Interpretation: The future sister-in-law is worrying about her changing relationship with her brother and his fiancé. Where does she fit in?

Solution: Have the groom talk to his sister and assure her that though he is now part of a couple, his marriage won’t get in the way of his relationship with her.

Task: The couple is instructed to give the sister-in-law the responsibility for organizing a wedding event, ie rehearsal dinner, shower, brunch. This gives her a specific role in the wedding planning.

If you are experiencing challenges with any aspect of planning your wedding, be sure to visit Clio at or contact her at and find out how she can help alleviate the stress of wedding planning!

Good luck planning your big day, and remember to take time to enjoy this special time in your life!