There at the Beginning: Early Studio Glass from the Parkman Collection

Head up the escalators in the Courtyard Lobby to the West Bridge and you’ll be met with six cases of vases, perfume bottles, platters, and sculptures. These colorful and exquisite examples of early Studio Glass from 1971 to 1982 are recent gifts from Ennion Society members Paul and Elmerina Parkman. The Parkmans began collecting contemporary Studio Glass more than 40 years ago, and have been involved with The Corning Museum of Glass for almost as long.

The couple began collecting after Paul’s mother passed away and left them several pieces of antique glass. They started to research the glass and, in the process, fell in love with contemporary glass.

The 24 works in the Parkmans’ 2016 donation, which are joined by Harvey Littleton’s Blue Twist donated in 2015, provide a snapshot of the earliest days of the Studio Glass movement. During this period, artists were just beginning to learn how to work directly with hot glass. As they honed their glassblowing skills, early Studio Glass artists experimented with color and new ways to manipulate hot glass such as cutting, pinching, and stretching. The objects in the Parkmans’ gift showcase the diversity of these approaches. Particularly notable among this group—and just in time for Women’s History Month—are several works by women artists. Read more →

Top 10 cleaning challenges in the CMoG collection

Big Bear (98.4.16): It took two conservators 16 hours over several weeks to clean this sculpture by Sherry Markovitz.

Cleaning objects in the collection is an important part of their care. Dusting and light cleaning (which can be a challenge itself; read about it in this recent blog post, Maintaining the shine) is usually done by the preparators, while the more complete and complicated cleanings are done by the conservators. Most objects will only need to be cleaned by the conservators once after entering the museum’s collection. Read more about how and why we clean our glass in this previously published blog post about Washing Glass.

Here are 10 of the most difficult cleaning challenges found in the glass collection (click on each image for descriptions): Read more →

The Nobel Prize, microscopy, and nanoscopy

The entrance to the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

The entrance to the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Nobel Prizes in the sciences are awarded for significant achievements and discoveries that have held up over time. The Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, does a wonderful job of explaining the science behind those prizes and their impact, but you don’t have to go to Stockholm to learn about one recent award. Instead, you can go to The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., to see the exhibition Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope. But hurry — the exhibition closes Sunday, March 19!

It seems that everywhere we look these days, we see topics related to very tiny worlds, sometimes called nanoworlds. The word “nano” means one billionth, versus “micro” meaning one millionth. The ordinary world is one million times bigger than the microworld, and the microworld is still 1,000 times bigger than the nanoworld. The cutting-edge microscopes of the past have given way to today’s nanoscopes that can see viruses, proteins, and even nanomolecules. Read more →

Shades of green glass

Green Salt Dish (detail)

As we celebrate all things Irish for St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few green glass objects in the Museum’s collection.

If you like these, you might want to check out our Green Glass Pinterest board. Erin go Bragh!

The Studio Announces 2017 Artists-in-Residence

Martin Janecky
February 13-March 20; Public lecture on March 9

Study of the Dia De Los Muertos, at Corning Museum of Glass 2016. By Martin Janecky.

Study of the Día De Los Muertos, at Corning
Museum of Glass 2016. By Martin Janecky.

Martin Janecky began his career with glass at the age of 13 and later explored sculpting methods in the Czech Republic. Janecky teaches and demonstrates around the world, including at The Studio. In March 2016, he was an Artist-in-Residence, during which time he experimented with opaline glass made at The Studio to further his sculptural work. The following week he was a Guest Artist in the Amphitheater Hot Shop, and created a body of work inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). Read more →

CMoG to make waves with GlassBarge

Here at The Corning Museum of Glass, our mission is to tell the world about an incredible material that captivates and excites us all—namely, glass! In order to fulfill that mission, we don’t wait for the world to come to us—although 460,000 visitors made their way to Corning last year—we take our story out into the world.

The Corning Museum of Glass Road Show in Seattle, Wash.

The Corning Museum of Glass Road Show in Seattle, Wash.

In 2002, we launched the Hot Glass Roadshow, a project that converted a semi-trailer into a fully-functioning glassmaking studio on wheels. We also transformed a standard shipping container into a studio space. This unique equipment and its small footprint make it possible for CMoG to deploy glassmaking to nearly any environment. Our first deployment was the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and, since then, our mobile hot shops have traveled the world stopping in places like Paris, Seattle, South Australia, and New York City. We’ve even circumnavigated the globe aboard Celebrity Cruises, a partnership that began in 2008, and one that enables us to tell the story of glass at sea. Read more →

Corning Museum of Glass Unveils 2016 Rakow Commission by Thaddeus Wolfe

Stacked Grid Structure by Thaddeus Wolfe

Stacked Grid Structure
Thaddeus Wolfe (American, born 1979)
Made in United States, Brooklyn, New York, 2016
Mold-blown glass with brass inclusions
2016.4.9, 31st Rakow Commission

The Corning Museum of Glass unveiled Stacked Grid Structure, this year’s Rakow Commission by Brooklyn-based American artist Thaddeus Wolfe.

Wolfe creates multi-layered, highly-textured, angular mold-blown vessels, sculptures, and lighting fixtures. Stacked Grid Structure, like Wolfe’s other objects, was made by blowing glass into a one-time-use plaster silica mold cast over a carved Styrofoam positive. Creating his molds in this way enables Wolfe to force the material into structures that are at odds with the fluid nature of molten glass.

Stacked Grid Structure is the perfect artifact of its time,” said Susie Silbert, curator of modern and contemporary glass. “A bold and inventively made object, it bridges craft, design, and art in its production, conception, and ambition, exemplifying the blurred boundaries that make contemporary glass such an exciting field today.” Read more →