Not Just for Kids: Using Comics to Bring the Jalame Workshop to Life

John Swogger’s avatar in the comic book for Dig Deeper, as illustrated by the artist.

The Museum’s Publications Department typically publishes a book or exhibition catalogue to accompany the annual special exhibition. This year, Dig Deeper: Discovering an Ancient Glass Workshop exhibition curator Katherine Larson paired up with United Kingdom-based archaeological illustrator John G. Swogger to make a 36-page comic-style book about the glass workshop at Jalame and the archaeologists who study it. Swogger is an archaeologist who makes comics for museums and research excavations. He also works with local and Indigenous communities to tell stories about their archaeology, history, and heritage. 

For Larson, the question she was asked most often when telling people about the exhibition publication, was how she got the idea for a comic in the first place. Larson had come across Swogger’s work as she was starting to think about a publication to accompany the exhibition and immediately sensed it would be a great fit. There were not a lot of existing images that helped put ancient glass into a human context. Larson felt a comic could help fill that gap and bring these objects back to life to tell the story in a more fun, narrative way.

Swogger joined Larson for a special Connected by Glass event in April to discuss how they worked together to create Dig Deeper: Discovering the Ancient Glass Workshop at Jalame.  

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Glass is in My DNA: Museum Welcomes Quincy Houghton to Board of Trustees

Quincy Houghton

In May, The Corning Museum of Glass continued to expand and diversify its Board of Trustees with the announcement of two additional members: Quincy Houghton and Shawn Markham. Following the earlier appointment of glass artist Corey Pemberton in February, the Board is now composed of 15 members.

Quincy Houghton is the Deputy Director of Exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York City, where she leads the museum’s program of groundbreaking loan exhibitions, oversees installations of its encyclopedic collection, and supervises key international initiatives. Shawn R. Markham has a career at Corning Incorporated spanning 32 years and was recently named a Corporate Fellow—a title bestowed upon Corning’s most experienced and respected experts in their fields.

In this week’s blog, we’ll learn a little more about Quincy Houghton, but you can read more about Shawn Markham in an earlier blog post. Please join us in welcoming them both.

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Glass and the Language of Virology: An Interview with Luke Jerram

In this week’s blog, I interview British artist Luke Jerram. Refer back to last week’s post for a more detailed look at Jerram’s career working with glass and our unique connection.

When the time comes to sit down and interview Luke Jerram (virtually) he’s in a hotel room on the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago 28 miles west of the Cornish coast and the most southerly tip of England. A peek out his window reveals a beautiful half-moon bay with a white sandy beach and endless blue skies stretching away across the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly not what you imagine when you think about the United Kingdom. “Not too shabby,” he says about his location.

Luke Jerram with Luna at the Community Observatory, St Martin’s on the Isles of Scilly.

Jerram has just finished installing “one of my moons,” he continues, referring to Luna, a 1-meter diameter sculpture designed using extremely detailed NASA imagery and topographical data of the lunar surface, that is now on permanent display near the island’s observatory.  Jerram has an interest in astronomy and has been making celestial bodies of varying sizes since 2016.

Once the unveiling is complete, he’ll be boarding the ferry for the choppy ride back to the mainland, but first, he’s chatting with me, and I can’t wait to get started.

Luke, tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from.

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Artist Profile: My Obsession with British Artist Luke Jerram

In this week’s blog, I explore the history and work of British artist Luke Jerram, recipient of the Museum’s 25th Rakow Commission in 2010. Next week I’ll share extracts from my recent conversation with Jerram where we discuss his career and love of glass.

It’s always gratifying to delve into the Museum’s collection and discover new stories, whether about an artist, an object, a connection, or something else entirely. Things become even more interesting when you find yourself part of that story, even though you didn’t expect it.

That’s how it is with me and this story, and it’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for almost as long as I’ve worked at The Corning Museum of Glass. It was an everyday moment that served as the catalyst, a casual conversation with a colleague about an artist and where they were from, which, as it turned out, was the same place I’m from—the city of Bristol in the southwest of England.

Bristol is known for it’s colorful houses, hilly streets, and the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the Avon Gorge. (Photo: Shutterstock)

I’ve always thought of Bristol as a small place, but perhaps that’s just because I grew up there. In truth, it isn’t. It’s big and loud and busy. And there’s always lots to do, especially if you like art. A popular activity for tourists and locals alike is to hunt for an original ‘Banksy’—graffiti by an unknown artist synonymous with the city. But when I think of Bristol now, I also think of another artist who has gained worldwide recognition: Luke Jerram.

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Amy Schwartz & William Gudenrath Honored with 2023 James Renwick Alliance for Craft Award

The Studio’s Amy Schwartz and William (Bill) Gudenrath were honored on Saturday, May 6 in Washington DC with the James Renwick Alliance for Craft (JRA) Distinguished Craft Educator Award for excellence and innovation in education. The biennial award was celebrated at the JRA Spring Craft Weekend with a Symposium, Gala, and Awards Brunch. Recognized for their influence on future artists and significant contributions to American education in the craft field, Amy and Bill’s selection as honorees was the first time in the ceremony’s 20-year history that both makers and educators were honored at the same time.

William (Bill) Gudenrath and Amy Schwartz with their award at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, May 6, 2023. Photo courtesy of the James Renwick Alliance.

Amy and Bill are the latest on a long list of distinguished honorees—the JRA Award has recognized some of the most influential craft artists in American history. This year, the other nominees included ceramic artist, social activist, and spoken word poet Roberto Lugo (the youngest artist to ever receive the Master of the Medium award); furniture maker Kristina Madsen; and curator, quilter, author, art historian, and aerospace engineer Carolyn Mazloomi.

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CMoG Named One of the “7 Glass Wonders of the World”

Capping a truly momentous year for glass, The Corning Museum of Glass has achieved a new distinction: being named one of the “7 Glass Wonders of the World.”

The announcement was made during the closing festivities of the United Nations International Year of Glass (IYOG) 2022. The year officially concluded with a Conference and Ceremony at the University of Tokyo, Japan, on December 8-9, which was attended by our very own President and Executive Director Karol Wight. This event was followed by an official debriefing held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on December 14.

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Blown Away is Back! Season 3 Contestants Share Their Experiences

It has been over three years since the phenomenal launch of Blown Away on Netflix and now we’re back for Season 3! Joining host Nick Uhas and resident evaluator Katherine Gray, are 10 new contestants all competing to be crowned Best in Glass and awarded the coveted Blown Away Residency at The Corning Museum of Glass.

Join us as we check in with this season’s glassblowers to find out what makes the show so special.

The ten contestants from Blown Away Season 3 are joined by judges Katherine Gray and Nick Uhas at the start of episode 1. Photo courtesy of Netflix © 2022

What expectations did you have going into season 3? 

“In all honesty, I didn’t expect to go as far as I did, especially with the all-star lineup they had this Season.” Trenton Quiocho – Tacoma, Washington (IG: amocat_lowlife)

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The Maestro’s Farewell Tour: Corning Celebrates Lino Tagliapietra’s Impact on Glass

Lino Tagliapietra in the Museum’s Amphitheater Hot Shop, May 13, 2022.

Lino Tagliapietra may be retiring, but not before one final visit to The Corning Museum of Glass. Last weekend was a monumental one for Lino, the glassblowers and staff at the Museum, and all the guests who filled the Amphitheater Hot Shop to see the Maestro at work during what will be his final performance in Corning.

To celebrate Lino’s enduring legacy, we asked those lucky enough to know and work with him, to describe the impact he has made on the glass world. To no surprise, the response was fervent and unanimous: Lino’s impact is, and will always be, extraordinary!

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