Pajama Factory hosts Open Studios for February First Friday

Find a piece of your heart at the Pajama Factory, 1307 Park Ave., for February’s First Friday event, “Open Studios,” as local business owners open their studios to the community 6-9 p.m. Friday.

There is so much to see and do at the Factory — explore the tenants open studios, art exhibitions, workshops, and product launches. Among the variety of skills one can see at the Pajama Factory are woodworking, painting, fiber arts — including quilting and garment-making, photography, screen printing, pasta-making, metalwork and pottery/ceramics. Visitors can also meet yoga teachers, computer gamers, writers, printers, sculptors and coffee roasters among others.

Stop into Building 6 for a coffee and some tunes at Way Cool Beans, which will be hosting live acoustic music.

The Looking Glass Gallery will also finish up their current installation with a closing event in Studio 239.

Steve and Rita Bower, of Mars and Venus Studio (248), will be showing their artwork and offering light refreshments. Stop in and learn about their new class offerings.

Additionally, Keeley Loy Photography, Studio 206, will be displaying Valentine’s Day themed work (boudoir & wedding) and offering winter promos.

Factory Works Gallery will be launching their 2018 Season in Studio 210N with the return of The Graphite Gang and their exhibition “Graphite Gang III,” February 2-22.

The Graphite Gang started in the winter of 2014 to get all the artists working in graphite that had studios in the Pajama Factory to put on a group show of all graphite works. Only two of the original Gang remain, artists Jordan DeArment and David Becker. Factory Works Gallery welcomes their fellow graphite artists and new gang members: Diane Hollis, Brian Spies, and Niki Winner, and returning from the second graphite exhibit Joanne Landis.

Clear Sphere Yoga, a yoga and meditation space located in a beautiful light-filled studio, will provide yoga demonstrations in Studio 218, along with early bird discounts when signing up for one of their February workshops: “Couples Love Yoga Class for Valentine’s Day” and/or “Awakening the Chakras through Sound & Music: A Yoga lecture-workshop presented by Ashley and JP Tobin.”

“Some people may not automatically think of yoga as a creative practice — more like fitness or a workout — so we want to demonstrate how yoga is a practice of connecting with our most authentic, highest self,” said Annelise Latini, owner of Clear Sphere Yoga. “It is about unlocking and moving energy, creating and allowing sensations and emotions while being fully present with it all. Yoga can facilitate tapping into our true nature and desire to express ourselves in our unique ways, which may or may not include a traditional art form. When we expand our consciousness, we open up to infinitely more possibilities!”

Make What You Wear, a fashion design maker-space devoted to teaching clothing and accessory-making skills, will host a “Cut Up a Sweater Workshop” in Studio 217. They offer sewing and pattern-making workshops in all skill levels and also coach entrepreneurs in product development. Come see what they are creating or bring a sweater with you and dive in.

Classes are in the new Community Sewing Lab, which offers a variety of workshops each month and memberships by the month or per day to use the space and machines for individual projects. There is a coach on hand to assist with machines.

Classes are led by Valerie Beggs, owner and director of Make What You Wear, and a lifelong design professional who is inspired to pass on her craft.

“Visitors can watch us work or BYO their own sweater and have us coach them on transforming it into an entirely different piece,” Beggs said. “There is no charge for watching or participating — it’s a celebration of creativity and our Pajama Factory community.”

BATHVS, an artisan handmade soap company, creates handmade bath, body, and hair care items in their studio at the Pajama Factory, which includes soaps, bath bombs, shampoo and conditioner, and much more. Customers have been able to purchase their goods online and in small, local retail locations and salons, as well as large corporate locations, such as Urban Outfitters.

“Our First Friday open studio is a great opportunity for people to come see where it’s all made and to get to know us,” said Shana Eichenberg, owner of BATHVS. “At our open studios, we typically release the next season of products; this First Friday we will be launching our spring collection.”

Winter may seem like it’s a long way to go, but spring is just around the corner. So, be sure to check out BATHVS on the 4th floor, Studio 411 and the launch of their new spring line of handmade bath and body products. Each soap from their spring collection incorporates unique botanical elements to help spring you into spring.

“We are springing into spring with a botanical theme this year that features many natural elements,” Eichenberg said. “With many other open studios, we encourage the curious and inquisitive to come wander the building with an open mind.”

“Open studios give visitors an opportunity to meet the artists and creators and understand more about their inspiration, their processes, and techniques,” Latini said. “Open studios also give visitors a chance to participate in their own endeavor.”

“The Pajama Factory’s Open Studios lets the public get a look at literally dozens of artists and makers doing what they are most passionate about — creating, expressing themselves, experimenting and developing their techniques,” Beggs said. “There is almost nothing as fascinating as watching someone working!”

Many of the Factory’s studios offer classes and workshops to the public, not just on First Friday but throughout the month.

“We always have something going on here,” Latini said. “It’s a fantastic way to be part of a community and try out many things that may interest you in one place!”

Beggs said there are fewer art programs offered in our public-school curriculum than ever before and that it leaves a gap in personal development of our next generations.

“Art communities like the Pajama Factory fill this gap and offer adults of all ages opportunities to develop new creative outlets affordably and locally,” she said. “The camaraderie of art workshops is another very positive aspect of pursuing new skills in a group setting. The Pajama Factory is a tremendous asset to our greater Williamsport population.”

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