Live flameworking demonstrations have been a part of the experience we have shared every day with our guests for several decades at The Corning Museum of Glass. Traditionally, our flameworkers have created wonderfully detailed animal sculptures with borosilicate glass rods to the delight of guests of all ages. As the techniques and results of flameworking continue to grow, so too do our demonstrations. Nowadays you might see our flameworkers creating everything from borosilicate goblets to soda-lime glass sculptures and ornaments.
Last week, the city of Corning, NY hosted the International Scientific Glassblowers Exposition. This annual event is a gathering, produced by The American Scientific Glassblowers Society, dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and techniques in the realm of scientific glassblowing. For many years, glassworkers have used lamps and torches to create scientific laboratory-ware to be used in experimentation and research. This approach to glassmaking has been an important catalyst to the advancement of all facets of glassmaking, and this annual conference is a great opportunity for scientific workers to share information.
Here at the Museum, we saw this timing and location of the International Scientific Glassblowing Exposition as an opportunity to share more of this facet of glass-making with our guests. We invited internationally renowned artist, scientific glassblower, and conference co-chair Sally Prasch to demonstrate for our guests.
Sally first began to learn scientific flameworking in 1970 when she took advantage of the opportunity to apprentice with Lloyd Moore. As the scientific glassblower at The University of Nebraska, Mr. Moore took Sally under his wing at the tender age of 13. Since that early start in glassmaking, Sally continued to study artistic glassblowing with several world-renowned artists. She also pursued her formal art education, completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus in glass and ceramics at The University of Kansas in 1980. In 1985, Sally completed her Certificate in Scientific Glass Technology from Salem Community College in New Jersey. Since 1986, she has continued to work as both a scientific glassblower and glass artist.
Sally has a well-earned reputation as an outstanding scientific glassblower, artist, and educator. She has taught hundreds of appreciative students over the past few decades and continues to share her expertise with and passion for glass. She demonstrated some of her expertise for our guests at the museum Wednesday, June 27. Sally created a beautiful glass daffodil in our demonstration booth. This piece combined her skills as both a scientific glassworker and glass artist. The daffodil involves the technical challenges of intricate attachments of both hollow and solid borosilicate with the natural beauty of a delicate plant form. Our guests were thrilled to gain such insight into the world of creating scientific laboratory-ware, and Sally’s ability to translate those technical challenges into such an aesthetically pleasing floral piece.
We appreciate Sally’s generosity in sharing her skills and talents with our staff and guests, and we look forward to the opportunity to bring in additional guest demonstrators in the future.