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.
I never tire of this
Loved watching the artists take a concept or idea an turn it into glass. There was nothing that didn’t make me go wow. At the half way point, the woman who eventually won, was unable to contain her negative attitudes towards many of the other contestants. I also didn’t like how every piece she made had to represent female inequality. Don’t get me wrong her art was impressive. There was no added value in her sexual politics or agenda.
Watching how such a fragile product was created was worth watching.
I hope they decide to make a follow up contest. It was amazing to watch
I agree with Al. We love getting blown away with each episode; although in the final analysis — disappointed with the judging, and judges. There appeared to be a bias from the judges; especially the woman judge; toward their ultimate winner. The judging criteria did not hold true when judging the woman who was selected as their winner. It didn’t matter what she produced it was the exception to the rule. I joked with my wife she could have produced anything; even the remnants of morning sickness. And judges would still have proclaimed its brilliance, daring symbolism, risk taking, and skill. For example, the task to generate a botanical exhibit; she produced a potato? Of course the winners primary theme was the oppression of women; in a world of men; solely because God, and mankind, are men and women — that’s Life. Yet, her futuristic rendition depicted a man in essence being pregnant; carrying the baby to term. The winner’s glass foot was stunning — a real wow factor. But the depiction of a female with a soft sunnyside up fried egg and man metaphorically the cast iron pan — an orifice (hole) with sausages strung through it and extended to the ground. What did the ham represent? Women, or men, working in the “end” bringing home the bacon? All in the kitchen of life — sexual disparities and hope for a matriarchial reality. The winner had an odd since of reality; and a skewed obsession with the epic battle between the sexes — men and women.
Need a different spokesman; or he should not have a judging role — as a neutral moderator only. And get rid of the woman judge she was too biased and did not understand the role of the judge. It wasn’t to influence the outcome, or winner. The judges were prejudiced.
If the judges were smart, they would have called a tie — both declared winners. But their goal was to vindicate her obsession and validate her eccentric battles that dwell deep within.
I hope that Blown Away will have a metamorphosis with a second season! Although we are for breaking the glass ceiling; judging should be fair, and not skewed.
And the $60,000. Should be a $100,000. Or $75,000. for the first place winner; and $25 000 for the second place.
I thought it was a great show with some amazing talent on display. Janusz did his glass degree in my home town it turns out!
Loved the show! Binge watched with my husband and daughter. Would love to see any of these artists at the museum.
Loved watching the artists. Reminded me of watching the glass blowers in Venice. The judging was really bad, biased by social correctness not merit.
Binge watched with my husband, as he has a friend who does beautiful blown glass work. Loved the show. Wanted Janusz to win, liked his style and work more.
I own a piece of glass blown by one of the Corning museum “assistants”, The piece is amazing and it was cool to see him on the show! Agree with the bias. It got old hearing Deborah belittle others.
Watched the series…
Found that I was constantly wondering about the editing. Were they attempting to create drama between the two ultimate finalists with all the trash talk outtakes? IMO people who are attracted to a glass blowing show are not without some critical thinking skills. It seemed particularly staged.
Artistic vision is a sticky wicket?? To be fair, i had a strong aesthetic appreciation for almost all the work artistically and technically. The judges seemed to denigrate the technical in lew of the vision.
Really loved this series. Our whole family has enjoyed watching the entire series numerous times. Would love to see more seasons and have those winners compete in a season finale.
I love glass, and lived briefly in Tacoma with its glass museum near where Chihuly worked in Washington State. “Blown Away” is Canadian-made about a new international competition, and a woman won the competition (spoiler). I was glad she won because she had the most to learn and best ability to relate with students, though I felt for the guy who represented the old traditions of fine blowing, Italian and other thin, thin glass that men have blown for centuries for “their” women and to demonstrate their skill. It was interesting to see the prize go to a woman who makes heavy, political work, and to see the man who does the fine stuff weep at the loss. He saw it as his own loss, but I saw it as the loss of place for the old, traditional, male-dominated styles. All of the women in the competition produced heavy, even gaudy pieces. Hmmmm.
Really impresive to see! I had never dealt with this topic before and was really surprised how exciting it is. The series is well done and I’m impressed every episode, what different artwork is created during the challenges.