For the past three years, The Corning Museum of Glass has been honored to make the awards for the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Awards which honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life.
The 2014 awards were given out at a Gala last week, and glassmakers Eric Meek and Chris Rochelle and glass programs manager Steve Gibbs were on hand to meet the winners.
Created as part of the Corning Museum’s GlassLab initiative, which serves to explore new design concepts and push the boundaries of innovation and creativity, the National Design Awards trophy features significant optical interest and distortion in the glass.
Rather than pristine, pure glass without bubbles, the trophy’s glass striations offer a hand-hewn, raw quality that appealed to the Cooper-Hewitt team. The top of the trophy is cut at a 50° angle, which allows viewers to peer into the glass and see their reflection and also permits the trophy to be set on the cross-section of the asterisk, which is the original design concept for the trophy. Each trophy is hand-polished and takes six to eight hours to complete.