Telling a story in glass: Celebrity Scholarship recipient Elizabeth Fortunato

Elizabeth Fortunato began studying glassblowing at the Pittsburgh Glass Center through a high school program. She continued working with glass through college, exploring kiln working at Kent State. This summer, she was awarded a Celebrity Cruises Glassmaking Scholarship to take Erica Rosenfeld and Leo Tecosky’s class, Cross Pollination at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass.

In this class, students designed patterns out of Bullseye glass murrine and fused the glass into a solid block. This type of glass, typically used for kilnforming applications, was brought into the hot shop where it was heated, rolled up onto a blowpipe, and formed into objects.

As a kiln working glass artist, Elizabeth doesn’t generally blow glass to make her pieces. Instead, she recreates found objects in cast glass, making molds from everyday objects like hats, tools, houses, and suitcases – “anything I can tell a story with.” The tradition of storytelling is an inspiration to her, and her work is her “rendition of a true or fictional story.” Her classwork was primarily formed by slumping in the kiln.

While in Corning, Elizabeth sought to meet other artists and aimed to “see how much I can learn.” In the week-long class, she absorbed knowledge and exchanged ideas with other students from various backgrounds. The techniques she learned have provided her with new elements that she now has the option to incorporate into her style.

Elizabeth Fortunato

Elizabeth Fortunato at The Studio

“Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t be here,” she says. At the post-collegiate stage in her life, the receipt of the scholarship enabled her to take the “fun, fast-paced class” in a well-maintained studio with multiple ovens and a state-of-the-art hot shop. Elizabeth also took advantage of the other perks of taking a class at The Studio, including a tour of the eleven large-scale glass sculptures in the Corning Inc. Headquarters building, free admission to the Museum, and the use of the Rakow Research Library.

Learn more about the Celebrity Cruises Glassmaking Scholarship Fund, and others.

See the 1-hour Live-Stream demonstration from Erica Rosenfeld & Leo Tecosky’s course – Cross Pollination at The Studio: