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.”
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.
The series was filmed in the largest glassblowing studio ever built in North America, designed specifically for the scope and scale of the competition. The space allows 10 artists to work simultaneously, using two large glass-melting furnaces, 10 reheating furnaces, and 10 individual work stations. The Craft and Design Glass Studio at Sheridan College in Toronto consulted on the studio design and aided the competitors for the first nine episodes.
For the final episode, Blown Away invited The Corning Museum of Glass onto the set and into the spotlight. As a key consulting partner on the entire series, the Museum not only assisted off-screen but on-screen, too. Six talented glassmakers from the Museum’s Hot Glass Demo Team assisted the finalists with a multi-part installation that ultimately determined the winner of the series, and the Museum’s senior manager of hot glass programs, Eric Meek, served as the final guest judge.
” I hope the glass community sees Blown Away for what it is: a love letter to glass.”Eric Meek
“The more people who know about glass, the more people will respect it as a medium for artistic expression, said Meek. “I believe people will see that glass is a difficult material to work with, but in the hands of a skilled craftsperson, there are so many things you can do with it.
“When I first started blowing glass, PBS was airing a documentary series on Dale Chihuly, and it changed my attitude and showed me that glass could be a good path for me. It’s been 25 years, and people consume content differently now. Technology has allowed us to really dive into obscure subjects. As both the platform of today and the channel for how people learn about the world, Netflix is the perfect platform at the perfect time. For glass to have a global stage like this is so exciting.”
What’s Happening at the Museum:
This summer, CMoG is displaying the exhibit Blown Away: Glassblowing Comes to Netflix, which tells the story of how the Museum found its way into the global spotlight. Visitors can see work created on the show by each competitor and watch a behind-the-scenes documentary with interviews conducted on the set and footage captured of the Museum’s Hot Glass Demo Team taking part in the finale.
The winner of Blown Away is awarded a prize package valued at $60,000, which includes a week-long Guest Artist appearance at CMoG. During the winner’s “Blown Away Residency” (October 14-18) they will participate in glassmaking demonstrations for the public in CMoG’s Amphitheater Hot Shop.
Check out all our related content:
- A video series created by host Nick Uhas and resident judge Katherine Gray: https://www.cmog.org/blownaway
- Glass experiment videos related to Blown Away and New Glass Now created by Nick Uhas for his science YouTube channel, Nickipedia: The Unbreakable Exploding Glass Egg and Melting Glass in a Microwave
We hope you enjoy Blown Away! Leave us a comment and tell us what you think.