Get to Know a Gaffer: Annette Sheppard

Annette SheppardAnnette Sheppard first studied glassmaking at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass while earning her B.S. in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. Upon graduation, Annette studied with world-renowned glass artists teaching at The Studio, including Pino Signoretto and Shin-ichi and Kimiake Higuchi. She has worked and traveled with the Hot Glass Show at sea on Celebrity Cruises and the Hot Glass Roadshow for many years. Annette spends the majority of her time focused on sculpting glass, but also enjoys making functional objects.

What do you do here at the Museum? 
Primarily I’m a glassblower. On the ships I manage the demonstrations on board and also perform the Hot Glass Shows at the Museum and around the world with the Roadshow and GlassLab.

What is the focus of your personal work?
I enjoy sculpting glass in combination with functional forms.

What are you currently working on in your own projects?
Vessels with sculptural details: vegetables, animals, solid colors, incorporating sculpture into the function of an object such as animal handles and such.

What inspires your work?
The places I’ve been and things I’ve seen.

Rudolph mug and elf candy dish by Annette Sheppard

Rudolph mug and elf candy dish by Annette Sheppard

Favorite food?
Tough to say, I’ll try anything once and generally like everything.

Coke or Pepsi?
Soda water. But, if on a desert island and there were a case of Coke and a case of Pepsi, I’d drink the Coke first.

Favorite TV show?
I don’t own a TV, but do own all the episodes of Big Bang Theory and Ken Burn’s National Park series from PBS. NOVA is also fantastic.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Tough to say. I think the company you keep plays a huge part in how you view the places you’ve visited; I’ve been lucky to always have great company. So many of the places we visit are amazing for different reasons it makes comparing them a difficult task. That being said, I do have a soft spot in my heart for France; it combines the best of all worlds: great food, great wine, amazing culture, and a beautiful country.

Vase by Annette Sheppard

Vase by Annette Sheppard

Lino or Pino?
Lino and Pino are the best artists in their field of glass work and it would be like trying to compare apples to oranges; I think they are both amazing.

Bicycle or Motorcycle?
Bicycle, it’s how I get to work every day.

Batch or Cullet?
I’m used to spectrum, since it’s the type of glass we use on the ship, but do love the extended working time of Spruce Pine.

Newspaper or steam pad?
Newspaper, hands down. It doesn’t stick to the glass, costs a fraction of the price, and has never given me a steam burn.

See more images of Annette at work, and read about her experience Making History in Glass.

This post is part of the Get to Know a Gaffer series, highlighting the Museum’s talented team of glassmakers. See them in action at the Hot Glass Show at the Museum, on the road, and at sea on Celebrity Cruises.

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