May 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, one of the foremost teaching schools for glass in the world. To celebrate, we are featuring 20 artists in the 20 weeks leading up to the birthday. These artists have studied, taught, and created at The Studio. Each Saturday, we’ll share words and work from the artists who have formed a connection with our Studio and our staff.
Giles Bettison received a bachelor’s degree from the Canberra School of Art in Australia. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards for his intricate murrine vessels. Bettison’s Cell No. 59 was acquired by the Museum in 2009. His works are represented in the collections of the American Craft Museum in New York, NY; the Australian National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; as well as other museums and private collections.
What has your involvement been with The Studio over the years? I had been aware of The Corning Museum of Glass since I began my glass studies in 1992. By 1994, I learned that CMoG was building a studio. I knew of the historic research that Bill Gudenrath had done, and heard that Amy Schwartz and Bill were going to be involved in The Studio at CMoG. In early 1996, I applied to take a class with Lino Tagliapietra, and was accepted. I attended the first-ever glassblowing class in June 1996. The Studio was brand new and had just been installed. People were still there putting the finishing touches on things. I met many people there that I have had ongoing contact with over the years. In 2002, I was invited to teach at The Studio and taught there for the first time the following year. I have been to The Studio once as a student and three times as an instructor.
What do you like about working at The Studio? The studio runs very efficiently and I find everyone who works there very helpful. Being able to visit the Museum and the Rakow Library is fantastic. They are great resources. I know a number of people in Corning, and it is great to catch up when I visit. Watching The Studio, the Museum and the Library grow and change over the last 20 years has been great and inspiring.
As The Studio celebrates its 20th birthday, what would you say about its effect on the glass community? I think the opportunity to engage with The Studio and The Corning Museum of Glass as a glass student or instructor is a great opportunity. To see all the resources there being used and directed with care and insight is inspiring. There are examples of many things on so many different levels to see and contemplate. The support that has been given to so many artists is inspiring.