It holds your orange juice, flower arrangement, and favorite fruit; it provides a viewing portal between the inside and outside worlds; and it serves as the screen on which you are viewing this website. Glass is involved in almost every aspect of your daily life, yet how often is it the focus of your attention?
Welcome to Corning, New York. Within a region known primarily for its topography and winemaking, sits the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass. The Corning Museum of Glass, located in the Finger Lakes Wine Country, showcases 35 centuries of glassmaking history by displaying 45,000 objects, ranging from ancient masterpieces to works by contemporary artists. If glass is involved, you’ll probably see it here.
At the museum you can view the glass sculpture of an Egyptian king dating back to 1450 B.C., Art Nouveau vases by Mr. Tiffany himself, stained glass by Frank Lloyd Wright, and works by contemporary glass superstar, Dale Chihuly. But beyond the extensive—and very beautiful—collection, the museum is also a place to create.
On our recent visit to the Finger Lakes Wine Country, Matt and I decided to put our lips and lungs to the test, and blow our own little glass masterpiece. At the “Make Your Own Glass” workshop you collaborate with a glass artist (who I must admit does most of the hard work) to create a pumpkin in the fall, a holiday ornament in December or some other small glass sculpture year-round.
You pick your shape and colors, don protective eyewear, and—voila—15 minutes later you’ve created a one-of-a-kind souvenir. (And they’ll even ship it to you!)
Are we America’s Next Glassblowing Superstars? You be the judge.