The land of waterfalls

taryn_04Norway’s beauty is unparalleled. The Hot Glass Demo at Sea on the Celebrity Eclipse visited several Norwegian ports where travelers could explore city life at places such as Stavanger, Ålesund, and Bergen, while other ports, like Geiranger and Flåm, brought you straight to nature’s doorstep. Our Hot Glass Team took every opportunity we could to get lost in these amazing landscapes (okay, not literally).

Geiranger has a quaint town center with a magnificent waterfall, just a short, accessible walk down the road. You don’t have to travel far to see this powerful body of water or feel its icy mist. However, stemming from this point are many trails through the mossy green forests, working their way up to greater sights and expansive views. Just past the visitor center of this World Heritage site, we found a trail map that set us on the right path with the time we had. We decided to set out for Storsæterfossen, a waterfall that had a foot path build into the rock underneath it. The hike up was moderate but long, as most of it was on the road to reach the actual trailhead. Walking underneath this massive waterfall, you never knew you could feel so alive. It was stunning! Despite the cold, the dampness, and the hour-long downpour as we headed back down to sea level, the adventure well out-weighed the wet Norwegian weather! Read more →

Best of Instagram: November

From beautiful architectural shots to Blaschka-inspired prints, our visitors shared some great photos this month. We’ve gathered nine of our favorites for our monthly round-up. Thank you to everyone who shared their unique images of the Museum!

Want to share your photos? Tag @corningmuseum, use #GlassApp or tag your location at The Corning Museum of Glass. Your photos could be featured in our Best of Instagram: December post.



From left to right, row by row: @meekhotglass, @pespy723, @zseibold, @an.dre.a_pecora, @haleyellenart, @kmadamek, @laksheyk, @doohberry, @tomokoakiba

Investigations inside the box: Ulactis muscosa

Flameworker Vincent Desparrois with his Ulactis muscosa box.

Flameworker Vincent Desparrois with
his Ulactis muscosa box.

Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka’s model of Ulactis muscosa, also known as a sand anemone, is quite photogenic. A large-scale photo of the model is featured on the entrance wall to the exhibition Fragile Legacy: The Marine Invertebrate Glass Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, welcoming visitors in to see the glass models. It was Ulactis muscosa’s prominent place in the exhibition that led Museum flameworker Vincent Desparrois to investigate this particular sea creature. That and, from a design standpoint, Vince thought he could easily deconstruct the specimen for visitors in his flameworking demonstrations.

In studying Ulactis, Vince discovered that the Blaschkas used a sort of assembly-line process for creating the different elements of their models. “They would make many individual components and later assemble them as a finished model,” he explained, “Such was the case for the Ulactis muscosa.” By using this process, the Blaschkas could create a sizable inventory of pieces from which they could choose the best allowing them quality control over their work. “Remember, to them it was not about making a perfect glass piece from beginning to end all in one go, it was more an effort of patience and perfection.” Read more →

Fins of fire

Octopus salutii (Blaschka Nr. 573)

More than 500 miles from Corning, at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, graphic artist and science illustrator Catherine Miller fell in love with Octopus salutii (Blaschka Nr. 573), one of the marine invertebrate models featured in Fragile Legacy: The Marine Invertebrate Glass Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Catherine loves cephalopods and, as a science illustrator at the Aquarium, was immediately intrigued.

Catherine Miller's illustration of Mena the zebra shark.

Catherine Miller’s illustration of Mena the zebra shark.

“The Blaschka models represent what I aspire to as an illustrator of our natural world: art that educates people while also being beautiful,” explained Catherine. So she did what came naturally—she pulled out her colored pencils and started sketching. Her subject was one of the Aquarium’s favorite residents, Mena, an adult zebra shark. Her drawing landed in the hands of the Aquarium’s deputy director, Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis, who grew up near Corning and whose mother is a long-time volunteer here at the Museum. Read more →

Ennion Society acquires 14 English scent bottles for the Museum

The Woodall team working on The Great Tazza and a two-handed vase, 1891

The Woodall Team working on the Great Tazza and a
two-handled vase Amblecote, England, 1891. CMGL 97796.

An exquisite collection of late 19th-century English scent bottles are the most recent gift to The Corning Museum of Glass from the Ennion Society, the Museum’s patron group. The 14 bottles represent a wide variety of cameo glass styles produced by Thomas Webb and Sons, a prolific and innovative glass house based in Amblecote, England. This collection of bottles demonstrates the variety of techniques used in the production of carved cameo glass, from the simple to the spectacular. Work by artists and engravers Jules Barbe, Harry A. Davies, and Fridolin Kretschman, who worked under the supervision of brothers Thomas and George Woodall, is included. Read more →

How To Clean Pyrex

Stephen Koob is the chief conservator at The Corning Museum of Glass and is responsible for the care and preservation of the Museum’s collections.

Editor’s note: Stephen Koob works in a lab where he takes seriously all safety precautions when dealing with chemicals. Please note that we strongly recommend using the precautions noted below before using lye. Should you experience any adverse effects, please contact your local Poison Control for information.

How To Clean Pyrex from Corning Museum of Glass Conservator Stephen Koob

Cleaning your beloved Pyrex — whether clear, colored, decorated, or plain — can be a challenge and should be done with care.

First, never, ever put any Pyrex through a dishwasher. This is the fastest and most damaging thing that you can do. It will slowly etch the Pyrex, and probably will not even do a decent job cleaning it. I generally recommend that you never put any glass through a dishwasher.

Second, never use any scrubbing sponge, even if it says “safe for glass,” or “non-scratch.” This includes wire wool cleaning pads.

Also avoid using sharp implements to clean off caked-on or burnt food. Glass can easily be scratched.

So, what do you use? Read more →

Blaschka Glass Marine Creatures Exhibition Opens May 14, 2016

Specimen of Blaschka Marine Life: Ulactis muscosa (Nr. 116), Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, Dresden, Germany, 1885. Lent by Cornell University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. L.17.3.63-54.

This May, The Corning Museum of Glass will present Fragile Legacy: The Marine Invertebrate Glass Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, an exhibition featuring nearly 70 exquisitely detailed glass models of marine invertebrates made by the legendary father-and-son team. Created as scientific teaching aids in the late 19th century, the models capture the diversity and splendor of aquatic life more than 100 years ago. Read more →