Investigations inside the box, part 2

Caitlin Hyde displays her version of how the Blaschkas might have modelled the Chondrocladia lampidiglobus

Here is Caitlin with her display box of the
Chondrocladia lampidiglobus.

When Caitlin Hyde decided to investigate Chondrocladia lampadiglobus, more commonly known as the “ping pong tree sponge,” she found herself going through a process that might be similar to how Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka prepared to make their models. Chondrocladia lampadiglobus has only been known to science for the last 10 to 15 years — so the Blaschkas never made a model of it because no one knew it existed in the late 1800s.

“I wanted to learn something new in the same way the Blaschkas would have so that I could mirror their working process,” explained Caitlin. “And I wanted to choose an animal and make a model that would not only have a story to tell, but also convey scientific information.” And Chondrocladia lampadiglobus has an interesting story … this particular species of sponge is one of a group of about 30 in its genus that are carnivorous sponges. This innocent-looking sponge likes to dine on small crustaceans. Read more →

#AskAnArchivist Day is Wednesday, October 5

#AskAnArchivist Day is Oct. 5

#AskAnArchivist Day is Oct. 5

What’s the most popular collection in your archives? How old is the oldest object in your collection? Ask our archivists anything! The Corning Museum of Glass is joining archives, libraries, and museums around the world as a participant in #AskAnArchivist day on Wednesday, October 5. Ask your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist and our archivists at the Rakow Research Library will answer them. Meet the archivists from the Rakow Research Library who will be answering your questions for #AskAnArchivist day. Read more →

Telescope Quest: Day 28

Marvin Bolt, the Museum’s curator of science and technology, traveled to Europe last fall to research some of the world’s oldest telescopes. Read along to hear about his adventures and discoveries.

Back to London, and to an offsite storeroom, holding back my 70-pound rolling suitcase as we go down the hill at Greenwich, and lugging it up again at the end of the day. Who says scholarly work isn’t physically demanding?

As we are finding everywhere, the museum staff members at the National Maritime Museum are incredibly helpful and flexible. We find a suitable place to set up the optical gear, and rig up cloth and paper to cover the windows to cut down on stray light. Alas, a key component, a holder for the test mirror, has failed due to a stripped screw. Of course, it’s not a standard size, and getting it out challenges the ingenuity of the technician there. An hour later, and we’re off and running. I think he enjoyed the challenge; I hope so, because he’s given an hour to solving my problem rather than to working as he had planned. It’s a good lesson in how to treat one’s guests. I make a note to remember that for the future.

The signed lens of a unique John Cuff telescope.

The signed lens of a unique John Cuff telescope.

Today, we have just three items to examine, which is good, given that it’s taken longer than usual to set up. The first is a telescope made by John Cuff, known for his important innovations on microscopes; we have no other examples by him. And he did something very nice, signing the lens of the telescope. If only everyone did that! Don’t try that at home, though. Early telescopes are often signed at the edge of the lens, which is covered by a paper ring holding it in place. The signature doesn’t impact the quality of the lens or of the image. Read more →

The glass pumpkin is in season

As summer comes to a close and the colors of fall begin to spread across the forested canopy of Upstate New York, so too does The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) shift its focus from one season to the next. Preparations are underway for the Glass Farmers Market October 2 through 10.

CMoG gaffer George Kennard with a glass pumpkin.

CMoG gaffer George Kennard with a
glass pumpkin.

A staple at the Museum for many years, the Glass Farmers Market brings together the finest locally-made glass pumpkins under one tent, for all to see. Stepping inside you’ll find an arrangement of flowers, straw, hay, wicker, and of course, glass.

For the past year, local glassblowers have been hard at work producing an unrivaled crop of glass pumpkins, of all shapes, sizes, and prices. Using every free minute they can muster, before classes, between shows and even after hours, the pumpkin farmers are tending to their gather. 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 →

Thaddeus Wolfe Named 2016 Rakow Commission Artist

The Corning Museum of Glass has named Thaddeus Wolfe, a Brooklyn-based American artist known for colorful, multi-layered, highly-textured mold-blown vessels, as the recipient of the Rakow Commission in 2016.

Thaddeus Wolfe, Image by Joe Kramm, Courtesy of R & Company.

Thaddeus Wolfe, Image by Joe Kramm,
Courtesy of R & Company.

Situated at the nexus between art, design, and craft, Wolfe’s objects are refined explorations of the possibilities and applications of mold-blown glass, a technique with origins in ancient Rome. Employing new materials and aesthetics, Wolfe mines this ancient technique to create objects that appear futuristic and otherworldly.

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 →

Revealing the Mysteries of Venetian Glassmaking Techniques through new Online Resource

This morning, The Corning Museum of Glass released its first-ever scholarly electronic resource, The Techniques of Renaissance Venetian Glassworking by artist and scholar, William Gudenrath. A culmination of a lifetime of research, this digital resource details the techniques used to make glass on Murano, Venice’s historic glassmaking island, between about 1500 and 1700, a period known as “the golden age of Venetian glass.” Through 360˚ photography and high-definition video, complete reconstructions of Venetian glassmaking techniques unknown for centuries are now revealed.

Dragon-Stem Goblet, Venice, Italy, 1630-1670. 51.3.118.

Detail of Dragon-Stem Goblet, Venice, Italy, 1630-1670. 51.3.118.

Read more →