Halfway Across the World: The Journey to Glass Education

Mia Esteban is an aspiring young glass artist from the Philippines. A hobbyist fashion designer, Mia was pulled in a new direction when a chance encounter introduced her to the world of glass. Armed with a passion for learning, Mia crossed the world this summer to begin her glass education at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, where she studied the theories and practices of flameworking and coldworking.

Mia Esteban practices flameworking at The Studio.

Before returning home, Mia was kind enough to join me for a conversation about her experience pursuing glassmaking, her plans for what’s next, and what motivates her to keep pushing forward.

“I’ve always been into the arts. I love everything about fashion. I still visit Vogue Runway to see the newest collections of every designer and what they’re taking inspiration from. But since there are so many people in the space, it’s so hard to differentiate yourself,” Mia said. “Because of that, I was in a conundrum where I didn’t know what my next steps should be. Then, I saw this piece by a designer brand called Coperni, and it was this glass bag. It was just art. It was so cool to see fashion expressed in a different medium. It was so new to me. I started researching glass, and I ended up becoming friends with Anna Orlina.”

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At the Rakow: A Different Type of Residency

Each year, artists and scholars alike apply for a unique residency at The Corning Museum of Glass. But instead of time at The Studio working with glass, these residents will be hunting in the stacks or pouring over materials at a desk in the Rakow Research Library. Known as The David Whitehouse Research Residency for Artists or Scholars, these ‘non-making’ opportunities offer up a much different Corning experience.

Named for David Whitehouse, a former executive director at the Museum and a highly regarded scholar who worked to build the resources of the Rakow Library, these residencies are open to artists and scholars who want to utilize the Museum’s resources, including the permanent collections and the holdings of the Library, to inform their artistic practice or scholarly research.

This year, four individuals were granted The David Whitehouse Residency and we spoke with two of them, Kim Harty and Rachel Wood, to find out what makes this particular opportunity so worthwhile.

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Getting Started: New Curator Amy Hughes Hits the Ground Running

Amy J. Hughes, PhD

Amy J. Hughes, PhD, joined The Corning Museum of Glass as assistant curator in October 2022. In her role, Amy assists in the exhibition planning, research, and maintenance of the Museum’s collections. She is also the curator of the current exhibition Local Color: Secrets of Steuben Glass on view through January 7, 2023.  

Since joining the Curatorial team last fall, Amy has been quite busy—but still found the time to sit down with us to reveal more about her background, glass research, and role as the Museum’s newest assistant curator.

Amy’s research explores affect as a political strategy in modernist glass and monumental sculpture in postwar Communist Central Europe. She spent seven years in Prague, Czech Republic, immersed in archival research, analysis, and oral history interviews for her groundbreaking dissertation, “Refracted Trauma: Dissent, Memory, and Affective Politics in Stanislav Libenský’s and Jaroslava Brychtová’s Public Glass Sculptures in Communist Czechoslovakia, 1968-1975,” which explores intersections between dissent, trauma, and modernism in the artists’ monumental public glass sculpture made in the early 1970s.

Amy’s work has garnered support from prestigious national fellowships and grants, including the Fulbright, Dedalus, Mellon-Wisconsin, and FLAS Fellowships, the Czech Academy of Sciences, along with CMoG’s own Rakow Grant for Glass Research.  

Join us in getting to know Amy Hughes.

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A Fugitive Color: Frederick Carder’s Mandarin Yellow

This week’s blog post comes to us from the Museum’s 2023 conservation intern, Theresa ‘Terri’ Costello. Terri is originally from New Hampshire but has spent the last eight years studying in Europe. Terri has a Bachelor’s degree in ancient history and archaeology from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in conservation and restoration of glass and ceramic cultural heritage objects from the University of Amsterdam, and is currently finishing up a two-year post-Masters in Amsterdam. During her internship at Corning, Terri carried out practical treatments of objects and conducted research into the composition of Carder’s Mandarin Yellow glass. You can follow Terri’s conservation journey on Instragram: t.costello.conservation

Having an object come apart in my hands was not something I expected to happen during my internship, but there are always surprises when working closely with museum objects. As the conservation intern for the summer, one of my tasks was to conduct condition checks on objects being moved to different locations within the Museum or going on loan. One such object was a Steuben Glass vase, which was being relocated from the Carder Gallery to make way for the StudioNEXT project. Handling fragile objects is an important part of a conservator’s work, so I was careful when holding the vase. However, during the condition check, the bottom half suddenly separated from the top. This unfortunate incident prompted my investigation into a fascinating and rare type of glass.

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Amy Schwartz & William Gudenrath Honored with 2023 James Renwick Alliance for Craft Award

The Studio’s Amy Schwartz and William (Bill) Gudenrath were honored on Saturday, May 6 in Washington DC with the James Renwick Alliance for Craft (JRA) Distinguished Craft Educator Award for excellence and innovation in education. The biennial award was celebrated at the JRA Spring Craft Weekend with a Symposium, Gala, and Awards Brunch. Recognized for their influence on future artists and significant contributions to American education in the craft field, Amy and Bill’s selection as honorees was the first time in the ceremony’s 20-year history that both makers and educators were honored at the same time.

William (Bill) Gudenrath and Amy Schwartz with their award at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, May 6, 2023. Photo courtesy of the James Renwick Alliance.

Amy and Bill are the latest on a long list of distinguished honorees—the JRA Award has recognized some of the most influential craft artists in American history. This year, the other nominees included ceramic artist, social activist, and spoken word poet Roberto Lugo (the youngest artist to ever receive the Master of the Medium award); furniture maker Kristina Madsen; and curator, quilter, author, art historian, and aerospace engineer Carolyn Mazloomi.

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CMoG Named One of the “7 Glass Wonders of the World”

Capping a truly momentous year for glass, The Corning Museum of Glass has achieved a new distinction: being named one of the “7 Glass Wonders of the World.”

The announcement was made during the closing festivities of the United Nations International Year of Glass (IYOG) 2022. The year officially concluded with a Conference and Ceremony at the University of Tokyo, Japan, on December 8-9, which was attended by our very own President and Executive Director Karol Wight. This event was followed by an official debriefing held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on December 14.

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Blown Away is Back! Season 3 Contestants Share Their Experiences

It has been over three years since the phenomenal launch of Blown Away on Netflix and now we’re back for Season 3! Joining host Nick Uhas and resident evaluator Katherine Gray, are 10 new contestants all competing to be crowned Best in Glass and awarded the coveted Blown Away Residency at The Corning Museum of Glass.

Join us as we check in with this season’s glassblowers to find out what makes the show so special.

The ten contestants from Blown Away Season 3 are joined by judges Katherine Gray and Nick Uhas at the start of episode 1. Photo courtesy of Netflix © 2022

What expectations did you have going into season 3? 

“In all honesty, I didn’t expect to go as far as I did, especially with the all-star lineup they had this Season.” Trenton Quiocho – Tacoma, Washington (IG: amocat_lowlife)

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The Maestro’s Farewell Tour: Corning Celebrates Lino Tagliapietra’s Impact on Glass

Lino Tagliapietra in the Museum’s Amphitheater Hot Shop, May 13, 2022.

Lino Tagliapietra may be retiring, but not before one final visit to The Corning Museum of Glass. Last weekend was a monumental one for Lino, the glassblowers and staff at the Museum, and all the guests who filled the Amphitheater Hot Shop to see the Maestro at work during what will be his final performance in Corning.

To celebrate Lino’s enduring legacy, we asked those lucky enough to know and work with him, to describe the impact he has made on the glass world. To no surprise, the response was fervent and unanimous: Lino’s impact is, and will always be, extraordinary!

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