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 →

When the glass workers marched on parade

This blog post was written by Nancy Magrath, Library Collections Management team member.

Glassworkers have a long tradition of making whimsies—fanciful objects to show off their creativity, skill, and humor. These were personal items made during work breaks and at the end of long, hot days at the factory in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Glassworkers made chains, sock darners, rolling pins, paperweights, animals—whatever struck their fancy. In England, these objects were called “friggers,” but in the United States the term was considered too vulgar, so the term “whimsy” was born.

One particularly flamboyant type of whimsy was the cane, as in a walking stick. Canes were made in different colors and sizes with varying degrees and types of ornamentation—the more extravagant the better! Some glass canes were 6 to 8 feet long and were topped by objects such as fish bowls, goblets, and musical instruments to display the glassworker’s special skill. Canes, like other whimsies, were often given as gifts or sold to family, friends, and coworkers. Canes were also bartered; local bars often had a collection of canes displayed on their walls, accepted in exchange for drinks. Read more →

Conservation of three lampshades

This blog post comes from Adelheid Hansen, an intern in the Conservation department.

It was a dream come true to be an intern in the Conservation Lab of The Corning Museum of Glass for eight weeks in early 2018. Shortly before coming to Corning, I graduated from West Dean College (UK) with an MA in Conservation Studies, specializing in glass and ceramics.

During my stay in Corning, I would go once a week with Stephen Koob, chief conservator, to the storage facility of the museum to wash glass. This blog post explains why and how washing of glass takes place. At the time I was there, there was a large collection of early 20th century American lampshades that needed washing (figures 1 and 2).

In addition to washing, I inspected each lampshade for damage. For instance: cracks, missing areas, detached shards or previous restorations. We took lampshades with damage to the Conservation Lab where they landed on my desk. This blog post describes the treatment of three of them. Read more →

Reconstructing Josef Hoffmann’s Dressing Room for a Star

Dressing Room for a Star began as a plywood room.

Nestled within the Museum’s exhibition, Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900–1937, is Dressing Room for a Star, a silvered, mirrored and extravagantly furnished room by Austrian architect and designer Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956), on loan from the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna. Originally designed by Hoffmann for the 1937 Paris International Exposition, Dressing Room for a Star was reconstructed by the MAK Conservation Workshop in 2013. Though considered a single work, it is comprised of more than 200 pieces, including silvered wood panels, trim and decorative elements, a mirrored dressing table and floor, furniture, lighting, and glassware. It is one of 172 works on display in the exhibition.

Reconstruction of Dressing Room for a Star

Reconstruction of Dressing Room for a Star, displayed at
the 1937 Paris International Exposition. Designed by
Josef Hoffmann (Austrian, 1870–1956). MAK – Austrian
Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art
(MAK H 3815-1, H 3815-2, 2058, H 2061;
chandelier on loan from J. & L. LOBMEYR Family
Collection, Vienna). © MAK/Georg Mayer.

Glass of the Architects highlights objects from the Museum’s collection, but most objects were loaned by MAK, a private collector, and the J. & L. LOBMEYR Family Collection in Vienna. Before loaned objects can be installed in a gallery, they are shipped and received from lending institutions, then carefully unpacked, condition-assessed and organized. It’s a dynamic and fluid process requiring a team of registrars, conservators, and preparators working in tandem. Registrars arrange the shipments of loaned objects and ensure all are accounted for and tracked upon receipt. Conservators assess and thoroughly document objects’ condition as they are unpacked. Preparators implement solutions to safely install objects and bring the curator’s vision to life. Read more →

GlassBarge launches today at ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina in Brooklyn Bridge Park

GlassBarge launch in Brooklyn.

GlassBarge launch in Brooklyn.

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) today launches GlassBarge through May 28 at One°15 Brooklyn Marina in Brooklyn Bridge Park, kicking off a four-month tour celebrating the 150th anniversary of the canal journey to bring glassmaking to Corning. GlassBarge is offering free public glassblowing demonstrations aboard a 30’ x 80’ canal barge specially equipped with the Museum’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment. Following its debut in New York City, GlassBarge will then travel north on the Hudson River, and westward along the Erie Canal, stopping in Yonkers, Kingston, the Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester areas, and Buffalo, among other cities.

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.

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The Corning Museum of Glass receives grants to Launch “GlassBarge”

GlassBarge. Rendering by McLaren Engineering Group.

GlassBarge. Rendering by McLaren Engineering Group.

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) today announced the receipt of $469,625 in grants through Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program, the New York State Canal Corporation, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. This generous funding will support the launch of GlassBarge in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the canal journey to bring glassmaking to Corning, New York, and will further CMoG’s participation in the statewide celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial.

In 1868, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company relocated to Corning, via the New York Waterways, and evolved into the company that is today known as Corning Incorporated. In celebration of this pivotal journey, CMoG will launch GlassBarge—a canal barge equipped with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment—in Brooklyn in May 2018.

Read more →