(Making waves:) The truth about light

It’s not unusual for a piece of art to be controversial. Historically, some of the greatest artworks of all time have been. What makes Olafur Eliasson’s piece space resonates regardless of our presence (Wednesday) so unique, isn’t that it’s inherently controversial, but that to fully understand it means discovering one of the most controversial moments in scientific history.

space resonates regardless of our presence (Wednesday),
Olafur Eliasson, 2017. © Olafur Eliasson. 2017.3.16.

Now on display at The Corning Museum of Glass, (Wednesday) is modest in construction and comprised of just four parts – an LED light, a thin opaque disk, a prismatic glass ring, and the wall-mounted arm that connects them all. The light from the LED is blocked by the disk, and the lens magnifies the ensuing battle between light and dark onto the wall. Despite this simplicity, (Wednesday) elicits an unexpected experience in the viewer. At once awed by the beautiful, concentric rings of shadow that appear on the wall, it’s also possible to be confused by the very things that excite and stir the senses.

Hidden in the simplicity is a mystery that reveals much more than meets the eye. Read more →

Failure to launch: The American glass casket industry

The Industrial Revolution in America altered nearly every part of life, including death. Until the late 1800s, burial in a hand-worked wooden coffin was common. Unfortunately, the coffin and the body inside were known to quickly succumb to the teeming array of life below ground. Their wood construction didn’t do much to discourage graverobbers either, but grieving loved ones had few other options.

American industrialization changed that. Machines produced goods that replaced many hand-crafted items, like wooden coffins. As U.S. labor shifted from farm to factory, burial options followed suit.

Glass first appeared on U.S. coffins when small clear panels were added to the lids of caskets for viewing the deceased. The window also would alert onlookers that the occupant had been accidentally buried alive if breath condensation appeared on the inside of the glass.

Eventually inventors experimented with making entire coffins of industrial glass and produced plenty of controversy in the process. Read more →

Five glass mysteries to thrill you this fall

Murder has never been more marver-lous, suspense never as shattering, as in these thrilling reads. Whether you like your mysteries classic, cozy, or kid-friendly, there’s a glass-related story for you in the Rakow Library’s collection.

Here are five books to add to your fall reading list:

The Purloined Paperweight by P.G. WodehouseThe Purloined Paperweight by P.G. Wodehouse

Originally published as Company for Henry, this zany tale of romance and intrigue follows paperweight collector J. Wendell Stickney on his quest to liberate a distant relative of a magnificent family heirloom.

Read about the history of paperweights and browse images of paperweights in the Museum’s collection.

Read more →

Photographing glass, part 3: Lighting techniques for transparent glass objects

This is the third in a series of blog posts addressing photographic lighting techniques for transparent glasses. It builds on the techniques discussed in the first two posts, Photographing glass, part 1 and Photographing glass, part 2.

In the first two posts, I used colorless engraved glasses to demonstrate how we can reveal detail by exploiting the ways glass interacts optically with its surroundings in a carefully controlled lighting environment.

In this third post, I use two different objects without engraving to demonstrate how the same lighting principles can be used to capture more subtle elements like tooling marks and optic ribbing. I also present a few techniques used to define edges and introduce controlled reflections. My goal is to capture details that provide insight into the process of making the objects as well as the properties of the glass itself.

As with the first two posts in this series, all objects are photographed on a translucent white acrylic surface (PlexiGlas 2447 with a P95 matte finish). Read more →

The Corning Museum of Glass Surveys Global Contemporary Glass in Special Exhibition Opening in May 2019

Today The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) announced that 100 artists—representing 32 nationalities and working in 25 countries—have been selected to exhibit in New Glass Now, a global survey of contemporary glass and the first exhibition of its kind organized by the Museum in 40 years. The show, which will be on view from May 12, 2019, through January 5, 2020, will include works ranging from large-scale installations and delicate miniatures to video and experiments in glass chemistry, all of which demonstrate the vitality and versatility of this dynamic material.

Problematica (Foam Rock), Sarah Briland

Sarah Briland
United States, b. 1980
Problematica (Foam Rock)
United States, Richmond, Virginia, 2016
Foam, Aqua Resin, glass microspheres, steel, concrete stand
With stand: 96.5 x 52 x 45.7 cm
Photo: Terry Brown

In spring 2018, CMoG welcomed submissions of new works, made between 2015 and 2018 in which glass plays a fundamental role, for consideration by a panel comprising Susie J. Silbert, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at CMoG, and three guest curators, including: Aric Chen, curator-at-large, M+ museum, Hong Kong; Susanne Jøker Johnsen, artist and head of exhibitions at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark; and American artist Beth Lipman. More than 1,400 artists, designers and architects working in 52 countries—from Argentina, Australia, Indonesia and Japan to the United States, United Kingdom, and beyond—submitted works, which draw upon flameworking, glassblowing, casting, neon, carving, and kilnworking techniques, among others. Read more →

Photographing glass, part 3: Lighting techniques for transparent glass objects

This is the third in a series of blog posts addressing photographic lighting techniques for transparent glasses. It builds on the techniques discussed in the first two posts, Photographing glass, part 1 and Photographing glass, part 2.

In the first two posts, I used colorless engraved glasses to demonstrate how we can reveal detail by exploiting the ways glass interacts optically with its surroundings in a carefully controlled lighting environment.

In this third post, I use two different objects without engraving to demonstrate how the same lighting principles can be used to capture more subtle elements like tooling marks and optic ribbing. I also present a few techniques used to define edges and introduce controlled reflections. My goal is to capture details that provide insight into the process of making the objects as well as the properties of the glass itself.

As with the first two posts in this series, all objects are photographed on a translucent white acrylic surface (PlexiGlas 2447 with a P95 matte finish). Read more →

The Studio Announces 2018 Residency Recipients

2018 Artists-In-Residence at The Studio

Anne Vibeke Mou
March 22-April 20; Public lecture April 12

Anne Vibeke Mou, Diamond Window

Anne Vibeke Mou, Diamond Window

Originally from Denmark, artist and engraver Anne Vibeke Mou has been studying and working in the United Kingdom for almost 20 years. Her interests lie predominantly in the connections between glass and environment, object and place, and the medieval history of both regions has helped to shape her work in rich and revealing ways.

Mou practices a meticulous stippling process (engraving a surface with numerous small dots) using a handheld solitaire diamond tool. She is excited to access the Rakow Research Library’s resources to further her research into waldglas (forest glass) and historical sites of relevance. During her residency in March and April 2018, Mou will produce a series of delicate objects “containing traces of organic material from carefully chosen locations,” she says.

Read more →