Glady West has been working with glass since 1982 as an independent artist. When The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass opened in 1996, Glady took her first flameworking class — and hasn’t left since.
What do you do here at the museum?
I am the Make Your Own Glass Workshop Manager. It entails keeping the workshops going, managing the employees, managing the supplies, and to help keep everything running smoothly.
What made you interested in this position?
I like to teach and this is a great opportunity for me to be able to work with people and share something that I love, making glass. For most people that come through it’s their first exposure to actually being able to make something. I just like to teach and it’s nice to do something that I like doing, and I can teach at the same time.
Tell me about your personal work. What inspires you and what do you like to make?
Nature is a big theme in my work, especially florals and landscapes. Organic material is very interesting to me. Sometimes I go for the abstract and whimsical, but my dominant body of work is florals: flowers and fruits.
If you could have any one superpower what would it be?
If you were in a circus what act would you want to be?
I would want to be someone on the flying trapeze.
What is a common question you get from visitors?
“Why does the glass have to stay overnight?”
Is there a type of glassmaking you would like to try?
I’ve taken classes here, mostly flameworking, and I’ve done some furnace working classes here, too. I wouldn’t mind doing more casting, I’ve taken some classes in it before but I would like to get a little more involved in three-dimensional casting.
What is your favorite part of the museum?
The contemporary gallery.
Do you have a favorite piece?
I do. It’s Susan Plum’s piece. (Woven Heaven Tangled Earth, Susan Plum, Brooklyn, New York, 1999. 2001.4.70) I actually had a chance to TA for her when she was here many years ago so I really like that piece.