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 →
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 →
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).
Fig. 1: Washing the lampshades.
Fig. 2: Lampshades after washing.
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 →
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, 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 →