Category Archives: awesome

Middle Fork by John Grade


I saw this crazy piece by Sculptor John Grade on Colossal today and wanted to share it.

From Colossal:

Recently unveiled at the MadArt space in Seattle, Middle Fork is the lastest sculptural work by artist John Grade who worked with countless volunteers to realize this enormous scale mold of a 140-year-old tree.

The process began a year ago when Grade and a crew of assistants scaled a Western Hemlock tree in North Bend, Washington with help of a team of arborists. At nearly 90 feet in the air they created sectional plaster molds of the living tree which were carefully lowered and transported back to the MadArt space over a period of two weeks. Over the next 12 months, hundreds of volunteers (some who walked in right off the streets) helped to create a hollow sculpture of the tree using hundreds of thousands of small wood blocks. The final piece was carefully sanded down and is now suspended in the gallery. Watch the video below to see how it all came together.

Middle Fork is the first exhibition at the new MadArt space in Seattle and will be on view through April 25th before it goes on tour to galleries and art fairs around the U.S. In two years the pieces will be transported to the base of the living tree from which the mold was taken where they will decay and disintegrate back into the ground.



Images by John Grade from HERE

Shop shifters

Wood Shop

If you come into to PSG this week you may notice that our jewelry studio seems to have disappeared…! Not to worry jewelers, we carved you out a beautiful new dedicated space that I think you will love! AND as a result, we were able to enlarge the wood shop space. Just in time too as the wood shop has been getting some heavy use lately!

Jewelry Studio 1

We moved the jewelry studio to a cleaner and quieter location in the back (rather than having it right between the wood and metal shops!) All 8 work bench stations are accessible and we’ll be making some improvements to the process stations as well, including a larger soldering area, a better casting set up and more! A big thanks to Gus for all his hard work on this and to Phil and Jeff for helping to move everything over!

Jewelry Studio 2

The Insider’s Guide to New Classes: Forging Edition


So you’ve been dying to hit stuff with hammers, wanting to learn new things, and as a added bonus, you’d like to end up with some items that would be awesome holiday gifts, huh? And now you’ve found the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, where we have forges and hammers and anvils (oh my!) and some classes to teach you how to use these things. Now which of these classes to take to get the most bang for your buck…

Looking to make a small handmade gift quickly? Then our Forging I class would be a great fit. In this 2 hour class you will learn how to make a steel hook. It’s perfect for beginners and you walk out with something you can hang your hat on.

More interested in badass bling? Then the Bracelet Workshop is for you. In this 3 hour class you will learn how to make a steel bracelet. Nothing says love like making something for someone with a hammer and some fire. Great for beginners but also works for more experienced blacksmiths who want to get a little fancy.

Got beer? Then the Bottle Opener Workshop is what you’re looking for. In this 3 hour class you will make a steel bottle opener. We make sure to test them before class is over so you can be assured that it will work next time you need a cold one. This class works for beginners and more experienced blacksmiths.

Already know what you’re doing but not ready to forge it on your own? Then look no further than Forging II, a 6 hour intensive, where the basics are revisited but students are encouraged to kick it up a notch and make their own projects. An instructor will be there to help with questions and projects.

Instructor? You don’t need no stinking Instructor!  Just want some time and a place to mke stuff on your own? Well then come down for a Day Pass any Saturday from 11am-9pm where for $35 you can have access to the space for the day, and for $5/hour you can have access to the forge. Just make sure you’ve had a safety training first!

Don’t want any part of making, but know someone who would? That’s ok. We have gift certificates in any amount. Contact us at 215-901-1933 or by email at to order one!


Ch ch ch changes!


Well hello there! It’s been a while, I know. We’ve been working very hard to make PSG even more awesome than it already was. And we’ve recently made some changes to both the structure of PSG and the space that I want to share with everyone.

PRIVATE STUDIOS:  We are building 5 private studios that are part of our new resident artist program. We are seeking artists and makers that are interested in being a long term part of our community.  We still have our semi-private studios too, though there is a waiting list for those. To be added to the waiting list or if you are interested in the private studios, please contact me at

COMMUNITY DAYS: Saturdays are now our community days where the shops are open to non-members from 11am-9pm. Come on down and weld, cut, forge and more. We have monitors available in each department to help with advice on projects, questions, and more!

MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS: We’ve streamlined our membership options. PSG now offers two basic membership options: Monthly Memberships and Day Passes. Monthly membership are now $150/month for unlimited access to our shops during our hours of operation. Day Passes are $35/day and available for use on Saturdays or during the week with One-on One private instruction.

We’ve also added new equipment and are constantly improving the workshops. Come by and check it out!

PSG Pin Up Calendar Pre-Sale Ends Friday!

Thanks so much to everyone who bought a PSG Pin Up Calendar so far! 
We just wanted to let you know that we’ll be offering the pre-sale price of $20 until 5:59pm on Friday. At 6pm the price will go up to $30! If you order it pre-sale, we’ll have them available for pick up at the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym during Coldhearted III this Friday and Saturday (or can ship it to you if you choose the ‘ship it to me’ option at check out.) You’ll also have a chance to meet many of the lovely ladies as they will be out and about at Coldhearted III!
To order one now, click HERE and check out via PayPal. 
Thanks again for the support!!!

Pin Up photos by the amazing J. Kyle Keener of KeenerVision Studios!

PSG Pin Up Calendar

Miss January, Rebecca Collins by J.Kyle Keener

AHHHHH! I’m so excited! PSG Pin Up Calendars are HERE!
You have the option to pick it up at the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym OR have it shipped.

Use the PayPal link below to order. Chose whether you’ll be picking up or need it shipped and then click ‘Add to Cart’. You’ll be taken to a PayPal page where you can update the quantity if you’d like more than one. Any questions? Email Darla at

Thanks so much for supporting the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym!

Shipping Options:

18 Days left to sign up as a Charter Member!

18 days left to join this amazing bunch of crazy artists that make up the heart of PSG! We are 41 strong (!!!!) so far and I’m so excited to have such a great group to start the space off right. Interested in joining us as a Charter Member? Here is some info:

How does it work? Charter Memberships are being offered until our opening party on June 28th. If you sign up with by then, you will get a Full Time Membership at the discounted rate of $100/month for the life of your membership.  (The regular full time membership rate will be $225/month once we open.)

What does that mean? This allows you unlimited access to our woodworking, metalworking, mold making and casting shops during our proposed hours of operation, 11am-11pm, 7 days per week. 

Am I locked into a contract? Nope. You can stop your membership at any time. The only thing is that if your membership lapses and you decide to rejoin later, you’ll have to rejoin at the regular rate.

Well what about that safety training course? Charter members get the safety training course for free! (The safety training course is normally $50 and includes personal safety equipment.)

What if I’m a student? You get a 25% discount on our Charter Membership rate with a valid student ID. Your monthly rate will be $75/month until you graduate, then it will switch over to the regular Charter Member rate of $100/month.

What are some other benefits of being a Charter Member? Our Charter Members get a 10% discount on classes, lectures and storage, free entry into all juried shows, multiple member show opportunities per year, a 70/30 split for all gallery sales (60/40 for non-members),  access to free workshops, links to your website on our blog/website, inclusion in our member artist registry, a members only newsletter and a built in community of awesome co-members.

What if I don’t know how to use the equipment? We’ll offer multiple opportunities for you to get comfortable on the equipment, starting with the safety training course. Shop monitors will always be there to guide you when questions come up or assistance is needed. Or if you think you just need more time, there will be low cost, small group lessons on wood and metal shop basics. Or if you’d like more one on one time, you can sign up for low cost personal training sessions. We want to make sure that everyone is comfortable on the equipment and using it properly, so we’re always there if you need help!

Do I have to be a sculptor? Nope. Everyone and anyone is welcome…artists, crafters, makers, DIYers, hobbyists, and more. If you need a wood shop, metal shop or mold making and casting area to make whatever it is you make, or plan to make, come on down…

How do I sign up!?! Print and fill out the membership form. Send in the filled out form with your check or Pay via the Pay Pal link below (this covers your first month of membership) and we’ll sign you up! 

Have more questions? Send us an email at philadelphiasculpturegym[at]



SAVE THE DATE!!! The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym opening party will be on Friday, June 28th from 7-10pm!

All the fun and exciting specifics will be coming soon, but know that there will be food, beer, music and art!

Tickets are $20 each and you can buy them here :

PSG Opening Tickets 

This also means that you have only 23 days left to sign up as a Charter Member!!!

Weekend Recap!

PSG Charter Members!
This week/weekend was crazy and amazing…it was full of great events, like our first Charter Member dinner and Josh Raiffe’s opening, mysteries, like where did the scaffolding go (we figured it out), and work, work, work…and cookie breaks.

Fancy slide show at the Charter Member dinner

Bevan holding it down

Food and art and Charter Members

New layout!

Josh Raiffe
Josh Raiffe, Installation view
Josh Raiffe, People
Penthouse view at PSG
Oh hi, Brynn…

Making PSG more awesome…

Welcome Ryan! Thanks for jumping right in and helping out.

Joshua cutting unistrut

Brynn checking me for level
New studio partitions in progress!


We did it guys!!! WE DID IT! Thank you so much… so so so very much. Words are not enough to describe what I’m feeling right now… Thank you thank you thank you…

Support PSG on Lucky Ant!

Want a way to help get PSG finished and open while getting back a little something? Then check us out on Lucky Ant! Lucky Ant is a crowd-funding site geared towards small businesses and we launched a project with them to help raise the remaining funds needed to finish our space and open our doors to the public! As you may (or may not) know, the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym was started when I received a Knight Arts Challenge grant in 2011. The funding for PSG has come entirely from the grant and the funds we raised to match it. The work is done by a dedicated group of volunteers. And most of the tools and equipment are donated. We are working on finishing up and getting our doors open, but we need your help. Please consider a donation to PSG through Lucky Ant. We have a variety of donation levels available, all with amazing givebacks (aka fancy rewards!) including gift certificates, parties and events, and more! Check it out HERE. Thank you so much for your support!!!!