Blown Away Contestants Talk About Their Time on the Hot New Netflix Show

We’ve been binge watching Blown Away on Netflix, and we hope you have, too. Has the fiery cast of amazing glassblowers inspired you to see glass in a new light?

We recently asked the contestants what being involved with Blown Away has meant to them. They also weighed in on the potential impact of broader global awareness of this material they all love, and what it means for artists who make a living working in glass.

Photo Credit: David Leyes, courtesy of marblemedia

What has being involved with Blown Away meant to you?

“I was ready for an adventure related to my work because I have been shifting away from design-oriented projects toward art endeavors. I knew that working on Blown Away would be demanding in unpredictable ways and was curious where that would take me creatively. I wanted to innovate new ideas through the challenges.” Deborah Czeresko – New York City, New York

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Blown Away Launches on Netflix Today!

Glass is about to get its big break! Today Netflix launches Blown Away, the first-ever competition show featuring glass in the starring role. The groundbreaking 10-episode series will bring the art of glassblowing to millions of people across the world, as the competition pushes the contestants to creative extremes in search of the “Best in Blow.”

Blown Away now streaming on Netflix
Blown Away now streaming on Netflix

The show follows a group of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America who have a limited time to fabricate beautiful works of art that are assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist is eliminated in each 30-minute episode until a winner is announced in the tenth and final episode.

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Donor Profile: Dorothy Saxe

Since the early 1980s, Dorothy Saxe and her late husband, George, have been enthusiastic art collectors. Their comprehensive collection combines many different materials, compositions, and nationalities, but Dorothy holds a special place in her heart—and home—for glass.

Dorothy Saxe with Susie Silbert, curator of modern and contemporary glass.

“We are very lucky to live with all these treasures,” Dorothy said, having collected and supported artists such as Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, William Morris, Dale Chihuly, and Toots Zynsky among others, from a very early stage.

Originally from Michigan City, Indiana, on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, Dorothy was interested in art at a very early age and attended art history classes at nearby Northwestern University.

“This was lovely,” she recalls, “instead of looking at slides of masterworks, I could go into Chicago to the Art Institute and see all the masterworks in person!”

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The Snowflake Warrior Vase: A glass object inspired by the Chinese Beijing Opera

美国康宁玻璃博物馆藏霏雪地套红“八大锤”雕刻玻璃大瓶

The history of Chinese glassmaking can be dated back to the Western Zhou period (1046-771 BCE) of the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE), but the glass of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) represents the highest level in terms of technology and aesthetics. The museum’s Snowflake Warrior Vase, named for the special background glass with white inclusions and air bubbles that resemble falling snow (this unique Chinese glass will be discussed in a later blog post). The battle scene depicted on its body is one of the masterpieces of the Qing dynasty Chinese glassmaking.

Snowflake warrior vase, possibly Beijing, China, about 1825-1875. Gift of Benjamin D. Bernstein. 57.6.10.
Click the image to view in 360°.

The Snowflake Warrior Vase is part of a group of cased and cameo-carved objects, all using a snowflake glass base and a very thick red glass overlay and all with a similar round bodied, long-necked shape. This technique showcases the craftsmanship and material knowledge of glassmakers in the Qing dynasty. In each case, the three-dimensional carving tells a story based on historical events with different, but related, stories on the body and the neck. Our vase is the largest of this group at nearly twice the size of similar objects found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (U.K.), and elsewhere.

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The Corning Museum of Glass Partners on Glass Competition Show Blown Away 

The Corning Museum of Glass is thrilled to share news of an exciting collaboration on the forthcoming Netflix series, Blown Away, which will bring the art and beauty of glassblowing to television screens around the world. A visually compelling process often described as “mesmerizing” and “captivating,” glassblowing has never been the subject of any major TV programming—until now.  

The art glass competition show created by Marblemedia, an award-winning entertainment company based in Toronto, Canada, Blown Away features a group of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America creating beautiful works of art that are assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist is eliminated each episode until a winner is announced in the tenth and final episode. A co-production with Blue Ant Media of Toronto, Blown Away will air on the Makeful channel in Canada before coming to the Netflix platform worldwide later this year.

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The Studio announces 2019 Residencies

Today, The Studio announced the 2019 Artists-in-Residence recipients: twelve artists from around the world who will each spend one month at The Studio, researching and experimenting with new techniques to further their work. Additionally, two artists and two scholars have been selected for the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Artists and the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Scholars, respectively. These recipients will spend up to three weeks in the Rakow Library, utilizing the vast holdings to inform their practice or area of research. Each resident will provide a public Lunchtime Lecture during their time at the Museum, describing their inspirations and work at The Studio and the Rakow Library.

2019 Artists-In-Residence at The Studio

Shinobu Kurosawa & Jim Butler
February 24-March 24; Public lecture on March 14

Shinobu Kurosawa, Happy Christmas.
Shinobu Kurosawa, Happy Christmas.

Translated literally, the Japanese word tonbodama means dragonfly ball. Since 2000, flameworker Shinobu Kurosawa has been making tonbodama beads that depict traditional Japanese landscape and nature scenes in glass.

In her March 2019 residency, Kurosawa will use The Studio’s resources to continue her research on tonbodama and expand her flameworking skills as she explores new possibilities in Japanese beadmaking.

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The Corning Museum of Glass Surveys Global Contemporary Glass in Special Exhibition Opening in May 2019

Today The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) announced that 100 artists—representing 32 nationalities and working in 25 countries—have been selected to exhibit in New Glass Now, a global survey of contemporary glass and the first exhibition of its kind organized by the Museum in 40 years. The show, which will be on view from May 12, 2019, through January 5, 2020, will include works ranging from large-scale installations and delicate miniatures to video and experiments in glass chemistry, all of which demonstrate the vitality and versatility of this dynamic material.

Problematica (Foam Rock), Sarah Briland

Sarah Briland
United States, b. 1980
Problematica (Foam Rock)
United States, Richmond, Virginia, 2016
Foam, Aqua Resin, glass microspheres, steel, concrete stand
With stand: 96.5 x 52 x 45.7 cm
Photo: Terry Brown

In spring 2018, CMoG welcomed submissions of new works, made between 2015 and 2018 in which glass plays a fundamental role, for consideration by a panel comprising Susie J. Silbert, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at CMoG, and three guest curators, including: Aric Chen, curator-at-large, M+ museum, Hong Kong; Susanne Jøker Johnsen, artist and head of exhibitions at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark; and American artist Beth Lipman. More than 1,400 artists, designers and architects working in 52 countries—from Argentina, Australia, Indonesia and Japan to the United States, United Kingdom, and beyond—submitted works, which draw upon flameworking, glassblowing, casting, neon, carving, and kilnworking techniques, among others. Read more →