There is a story in this: one of my jobs is working in the American Craft Council Library, which is in the Grain Belt Brewery building in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Grain Belt beer was first brewed in 1893, and it was made in the Minneapolis building until 1976. It is still being made, now by August Schell in New Ulm, Minnesota.
The symbol of Grain Belt? See the sign below. No, this is not photoshopped. This is a huge bottlecap next to the Hennepin Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi, in Minneapolis. According to Historic Minneapolis Signs, this is one of at least three huge Grain Belt advertising signs; this one first graced the top of a ballroom.
So, I work in the Grain Belt Brewery building — and next week, the American Craft Council Library is hosting a Salon featuring Fulton Brewing Company and Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts. Titled “An Evening of Craft Brewing and Glassmaking,” it’s a conversation about the relationship that brewing and the production of glass drinkware have had through the centuries. Members of Fulton will be telling their story, what goes into making an excellent craft beer, and what they see for the future of the craft beer industry. Artists from Foci will talk about glassmaking, and the history of glass drinkware production. On hand to view will be glasses made by Foci artists, and on hand to taste will be samples of Fulton’s brews.
So here’s where I started in making a necklace for the event:
Shapes that reflect back on that Grain Belt symbol. I think it’s missing something!
I found this bead a couple years ago, made of two bottlecaps (likely shaped with something like a dapping block), and soldered at the seams, with a hole left for stringing. I’ve been making components, now I need to assemble them before the Salon on Thursday. If you come, I’ll be the one wearing the Grain Belt bottlecap necklace. For more information about the event, see the ACC Library Salon Facebook page.