Virtual Journeys into the Collection: Waiting for the Moment of Spectacle

This recurring blog series will feature virtual gallery walks with staff members from The Corning Museum of Glass. Everyone at our Museum interacts with the collection in different ways depending on the job they do and the perspective they bring. Hear from fascinating people and learn about their favorite objects as they provide a virtual peek at some of the treasures in our collection—and make plans to come see them in person when we reopen! This next comes from Nick Simons, Guest Services Supervisor.


 
Nick Simons

Witnessing the moment of ‘spectacle’ is one of the most rewarding aspects of working with our guests at The Corning Museum of Glass. The reactions to spectacle can be very different; some people gasp, some people laugh, and some focus intently. Other times you will hear someone say, “Hey, come look at this!” or, “Whoa!” Likewise, the pieces that elicit these responses are just as diverse: some are large in scale, others are more delicate; some pieces have extravagant color schemes, while others are more minimalist. As a member of the Guest Services Team, I find myself privileged to directly interact with the Museum’s guests and share in their reactions to our immersive collection. Here are some of my favorite pieces that never fail to cause spectacle. 

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Virtual Journeys into the Collection: Through a Social Media Eye

This recurring blog series will feature virtual gallery walks with staff members from The Corning Museum of Glass. Everyone at our Museum interacts with the collection in different ways depending on the job they do and the perspective they bring. Hear from fascinating people and learn about their favorite objects as they provide a virtual peek at some of the treasures in our collection—and make plans to come see them in person when we reopen! This next comes from Amanda Sterling, our social media and photography specialist.


 
Amanda Sterling

Museums can be an incredible place of respite and peace, even for museum workers. At The Corning Museum of Glass, I am notorious for my daily walks through the collections. Even though my job is digitally based, I am constantly inspired by the works just upstairs from my office. Nothing is better than hearing my footsteps resonate through the cavernous Contemporary Art + Design Galleries during an early morning walk and having time alone to study the objects. Or to catch snippets of a discussion between visitors as they discuss a piece on a busy day. Every time I walk through the galleries, I learn something new! I frequently take pictures of details of objects or labels, walk back to my office, and start drafting new social media posts. It’s always delightful to share the cool things I learn with the world on our social media channels.

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An Oft Forgotten Legacy of Flameworking: The Lost Art of Nevers Figurines

As a flameworking demonstrator at The Corning Museum of Glass, I am often asked how far back into history the process goes. Our guests see us working with a futuristic-looking over-sized blowtorch, and they cannot help but assume the process is a recent development. This could not be much further from the truth, however, as some of the oldest objects in our collections possess details that suggest a small, focused flame must have been used. There are a few periods throughout flameworking history that greatly highlight the potential of using a focused flame, but one, in particular, grabs my attention the most.

This Pendant in the Shape of a Man’s Head (68.1.15, possibly Tunisia/Carthage 400-500 BCE; dimensions overall H: 3 cm, W: 1.6 cm, D: 1.6 cm, Diam (max): 2.8 cm) exhibits several details that indicate the use of techniques similar to what flameworkers would use today. The use of stacked dots for the eyes, the white dot on the forehead, the addition of small amounts of material for the nose and lips as well as the small, mandrel-wound beads that make up the base of the headdress all suggest that a small flame would have been used.

From the middle of the 1500s through the end of the 1700s, there was a movement of sculptural flameworking throughout the Loire Valley of Central France. It centered around the little town of Nevers, so many historians refer to the work produced there as Nevers figurines or Verres de Nevers.

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Extra, Extra! Get Your Blown Away Extras!

Could there be a better time to discover Blown Away, the hottest show on Netflix? Oh, you already have! Well, then now’s the perfect time to ‘re-binge’. Is that a thing? It should be!

Blown Away now streaming on Netflix
Blown Away is streaming on Netflix.

Season one of Blown Away has 10 thrilling 25-minute episodes positively bursting with excitement, talent, sweat, and just a little competitive bickering. Not to mention, quite a bit of broken glass. But we know you’ll be hooked as, week by week, the contestants get whittled down to one deserving winner, crowned “Best in Blow!”

And, did you know that, like any good DVD, we have plenty of extras to keep you entertained! From interviews to behind-the-scenes footage to science experiments exploring the nature of glass, we’ve got it all in one easy-to-find place: our YouTube channel.

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From CMoG with Love: Five Feel-Good Stories

The Corning Museum of Glass may be closed temporarily to guests and staff alike while the COVID-19 pandemic affects our community, but that doesn’t mean the work stops. Our staff and their families have been hard at work in many wonderful ways to ensure that they are doing everything they can to protect our institution, our collections, our communities, and ourselves while maintaining our position as a world leader on glass.

Here are just a few of the things that we’ve been up to.

Masks and gloves boxed up and ready for donation.

1. When the Museum temporarily closed to the public on Monday, March 16, 2020, and asked its staff to work from home, an assessment was made of ways that we could continue to operate and send aid to the local community. Our Operations team searched the campus and located 2,000 masks, 1,000 gloves, and some safety glasses, that could all be donated.

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CMoG Keeps You Busy: Things You Can Do at Home

Are you at home and in need of new sources of inspiration? Have you already exhausted your to-do list of house projects, cleaned the kitchen multiple times, finished several books, and asked everyone you know what’s good on Netflix? Well, don’t worry, The Corning Museum of Glass has some fresh ideas for you and the whole family.

We’ve searched our blog archive for a selection of unique things you can do from the comfort of your own home while still practicing social distancing, so let’s see what’s on the agenda for today.

 

Perhaps it’s time you dusted off all the old Pyrex you have stored away in various cupboards and hidden in the attic and gave everything a thorough clean.

Read this blog about how to correctly clean your Pyrex collection and restore everything to its former glory. Maybe you’ll want to start baking afterward!

 
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Connect with The Corning Museum of Glass from your Couch: A Guide to our Digital Offerings

Dear blog readers,   

We are in the midst of an unprecedented moment for museums and cultural institutions across the country. With widespread closures due to COVID-19, our most direct way to reach the public is no longer a viable option. We are all doing what we can to make sure the visitors who would normally walk through our doors know that they can still engage with us from the comfort of their homes.  

The Corning Museum of Glass

Currently, The Corning Museum of Glass is closed, and all scheduled classes, events, and programs are canceled until further notice. It’s vital that we do our part to promote social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19. And while you’re doing your part to stick close to home, we know you’ll be in need of some educational entertainment.   

With our vast and myriad collection of online resources, we’ve got you covered.  

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The Corning Museum of Glass Partners on Glass Competition Show Blown Away 

The Corning Museum of Glass is thrilled to share news of an exciting collaboration on the forthcoming Netflix series, Blown Away, which will bring the art and beauty of glassblowing to television screens around the world. A visually compelling process often described as “mesmerizing” and “captivating,” glassblowing has never been the subject of any major TV programming—until now.  

The art glass competition show created by Marblemedia, an award-winning entertainment company based in Toronto, Canada, Blown Away features a group of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America creating beautiful works of art that are assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist is eliminated each episode until a winner is announced in the tenth and final episode. A co-production with Blue Ant Media of Toronto, Blown Away will air on the Makeful channel in Canada before coming to the Netflix platform worldwide later this year.

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