Glassblowing is one of those art forms that people appreciate, but think they could never do it themselves. FOCI Minnesota Center for Glass Art, a nonprofit glass studio and education center, wants to change that.

FOCI’s mission is to engage the Minnesota community in the study and appreciation of glass arts, accommodating beginners to experts enrolling in one of its many classes. For those just starting out, Office Manager Kelly Nezworski suggests the Glass Discovery or Crash Course classes first. 

For those who are interested in working within a group and making a night of it, the Pint Glass Social or Hot Glass Social are the best options. In both classes, teamwork is a vital part of the experience. “Everything about glass is a team exercise,” Nezworski says. “Groups work together to help create individual and unique pieces.” Students make a paperweight in Hot Glass Social and a pint glass in Pint Glass Social. 

The actual glass blowing process is similar in both classes. “Essentially we have a large molten pot of glass. This glass is gathered on a hollow pipe (a blow pipe) much like honey,” Nezworski explains. “The glass is then reheated to keep it fluid, while it is shaped into the desired piece. After the piece is in its final shape, it is placed in the kiln to slowly cool down to room temperature. This process takes almost 18 hours. After this, the piece is ready to go home!”

The end result is a unique, molten piece of artwork that is unlike anything you could ever create at home. The colors are vibrant and otherworldly, bleeding across each other and fusing in the most fantastic way. You won’t be able to help but marvel at it once it’s removed from the kiln. 

FOCI can accommodate one to 40 people for hands-on experiences, and for a viewing demonstration it can accommodate up to 75. FOCI allows outside food and beverages at classes or demonstrations. 

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.