The museum is enormous and one of its impressive features is the number of hands-on activities and demonstrations there are, engaging people of all ages through the exploration of glass, its uses and properties.
Staff and volunteers throughout the museum offer hands-on demonstrations (such as how a rubber duck embedded in sand can become a glass duck) as well as more formal demonstrations of flameworking , glass breaking and fiber optics.
Some of the most popular are the hot glass shows where you watch as molton glass goes from liquid to finished work of art.
If you enjoy hands-on experiences, you’ll love creating your own glass work of art. We decided to make Christmas ornaments.
I was concerned about how safe this would be for our 9-year-olds. We were each given coverings for our shoes, safety glasses to wear and the Staff handled the hot glass – there was no reason for concern.
First, we chose the ornament shape (round or teardrop shape), then its texture (smooth or spiral), and finally, its colors, choosing 3 from among over a dozen. With many to choose from, it’s surprising that we all ended up choosing similar colors, as you’ll see below.
The Staff person dipped the glass blowing pipe into the molton glass, then asked each us to blow lightly into the pipe. She began shaping and forming the glass. After another time of blowing and shaping, she put the hot glass into a cylender that gave the teardrop ornament its shape, and then twisted it for a spiral effect.
What a great sense of excitement we had as our pieces went into the oven to cool slowly from 2300 degrees to room temperature, ready to be picked up the next day or shipped for arrival within 2-3 days. We can’t wait to do this again next visit, and add to our collection!
Our Final One-of-a-kind Masterpieces
After our glass blowing adventure, we went to visit the Heinemann Collection, “Voices in Contemporary Glass” that runs through January 2010. It is a stunning exhibit with 240 works by more than 85 artists, and chronicles the American Studio Glass Movement, with pieces created from 1965 through 2005. They range from breathtakingly beautiful to sublimely humorous. The following photos are a small selection of the collection.
We were at the museum for several hours, but barely scratched the surface of all there is to do and see. I recommend setting aside most of a day for this museum, if you have that luxury.
Our last stop was the Glass Market, which carries a spectacular selection of items in every price range, including the famed Steuben Glass and works by internationally renowned artists. Many of the items are available for purchase online.
Corning Museum of Glass is open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. through September 7, and 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. the rest of the year. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24 and December 25.
|Kids & Teens (19 & under)||Free!|
|Adult Day Pass||$12.50|
|55 Plus (10% off)||$11.25|
|Students with ID (10% off)||$11.25|
|Military with ID (10% off)||$11.25|
|AAA Show Your Card & Save||$10.60|
|Local Residents with ID||$5.00|
Opportunities to work with glass range in price from $10 for sandblasting (creating frosted designs on glass), to $17 for flameworking (create beads and necklaces from color glass rods), to $19-$28 for fusing (create suncatchers, picture frames and windchimes from layered flat glass) to $25 for glass blowing (create flowers, ornaments, pumpkins and sculptures from hot glass). Some of these are available for all ages, others have a lower age limit and the museum’s staff will be happy to guide your selection. This is a memorable experience well worth the price.
For more on Corning, NY, visit:
- A Snapshot of Corning’s History
- The Radisson Hotel Corning
- The Rockwell Museum of Western Art
- Corning’s Gaffer District