So a "Museum of Glass" may not sound all that interesting. I mean, how fascinating can glass be? You eat on it, drink from it, look through it, and perhaps even sit on it. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed visiting the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.
During my visit to the Finger Lakes, I visited the museum and immediately fell in love with its open floor design and glass art displays. I can barely even paint my nails within the lines, so the fact that these artists can create, mold, and sculpt such a fragile piece of medium is truly impressive.
As you walk through, you can't help but to be in awe of the glass art exhibits. One after the other, artists have used glass to express themselves and create beautiful works of art.
Further in to the museum, I learned about the history of glass from all over the world. Glass was first created by man about 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia when craftsmen discovered the art of mixing sand, soda, and lime to make glass. One of the most interesting facts I learned was that back in the 1800's, glass objects were made to replicate body parts for students to learn and practice. You have glass to thank for helping to advance modern medicine!
After my tour, I sat in on a glass-breaking demo. I was a little disappointed I wasn't chosen to break glass in the demonstration, but little 10-year old Timmy did a great job. The instructor explained why some types of glass breaks in various patterns and quicker than others.
I also sat in on a Hot Glass Demo, where we saw artists use hot glass to create a vase. At the end of the demo, they gave the vase to a lucky audience member. For me, the coolest part of the museum visit was the 'Make Your Own Glass' class. You're able to choose your design and color scheme and with the assistance of a qualified professional, make all of your glass dreams come true. I created my very own glass flower that now proudly sits on my mother's mantle (and she loves it!).
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. Glass is much cooler than you think, so if you ever find yourself in the Finger Lakes, you must make time to visit the museum. You can also eat lunch during your visit, as they have a great cafeteria with plenty of option. On the ground floor, there's also a stellar gift shop that has glass gifts ranging from $6 to $4,000 or more, so there's literally something for everyone. Just don't break it!
Note: There's a shuttle that takes you from the Glass Museum, to The Rockwell Museum (American art Smithsonian affiliate, which I also highly recommend), and to Corning's downtown Market Street area. You can spend an entire day enjoying everything Corning has to offer.
For more information on the Corning Museum of Glass, click here.
Photo Credit: Ashlee Tuck