As a mom of three kids under 5, it can be tough for me to get quality one-on-one time with each of my kids. So last weekend, my husband took the younger two to the Oakley Library, and I got to spend some special time with my soon-to-be five year old, Julian. Our day-date choice? Brazee Street Studios.
Located in Downtown Oakley, Brazee Street Studios is the renovation of Oakley Tool and Die, a factory that operated from 1930-1980. In fact, J noted (and admired) the bright orange ceiling beams, large garage doors and concrete floors of this former factory.
Brazee Studios offers a variety of classes for kids and adults, all of which work with glass as the main medium.
I know what you’re thinking: kids and glass? (And, in the spirit of full disclosure, there is also live flames, glass cutters and other sharp tools.)
I wouldn’t take my 19-month King Kong Toddler to Brazee; however, Julian really impressed me with how responsible he was with everything — and I think I could definitely take my craft-obsessed preschooler Mary, too. The kids’ classes at Brazee all have recommended age ranges based on the difficulty of the project — and everyone there has to wear closed-toe shoes and safety goggles.
Plus, everything is explained really clearly, and there is an instructor there to assist with anything. Our instructor was Mandi, and she was amazing. She did a great job explaining our craft (a Valentine’s Day heart) and answered all of the questions I had. She helped us with the various tools and even encouraged J to try bending some glass over a candle!
Julian really got into it, and picked out all the glass he wanted from the “Glass Buffet.” He decided on an “American Heart Valentine”, and hand-picked all of the red and blue pieces, which he later placed and glued, as well.
Afterwards, we got to see the inside of a real kiln, which was full of large bowls ready to be fired. Julian commented that we needed a kiln in our house, “to make pizza.”
Afterwards, we walked over to the library to meet the rest of the crew. We talked about how we’d get to pick up the heart next weekend and how we should go to the toy store since we were close. As we walked, J grabbed my hand and asked if we could have “just Mommy and Julian time” again soon. So, I’d say this was a very successful afternoon — and we’ll soon have the coolest American Heart Valentine to show for it!
Brazee Street Studios is located at 4426 Brazee St., Cincinnati, OH 45209. The schedule of kids’ classes can be found here, and if you’re interested in making a Valentine’s Day Heart, there’s another class this Saturday (2/13)!