Corning Museum of Glass
Trip Start May 31, 2013
63Trip End Jul 31, 2013
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Now that we are back in the US we are taking the opportunity to return the GPS we bought in Fargo. At that time we had been shown a GPS with US and Canadian addresses and that's what we thought we had bought. When we crossed over into Sault Ste Marie a few weeks back however it stopped working and it turned out that the clerk had given us the wrong version - the one with only US addresses. Although we were beyond the 30 day return policy the store here reluctantly gave us a full refund thanks to a persuasive argument by Bob.
We then headed over to the Corning Museum of Glass which is an amazing place! We were so lucky to stumble upon this treasure. The price of admission allows for entry on two consecutive days and the place is huge.
There are three levels to the museum. The third level is the "innovation" area which has lots of hands-on type of displays with various types of lenses, fibre optic displays etc. There are also demonstrations held relating to glass breaking and fibre optics. The most interesting for us though were the demonstrations of glass blowing and "flame work". They have a program where they encourage visitors to submit designs. They then choose a design and make it in front of the audience.
They also have a program where visitors can make their own pieces. The glass blowing didn't look very interesting since the visitor provided the air but the artist did the rest of the work. I signed up for a bead making experience which was "flame work".
The process is first to build the bead itself by heating up a metal piece with clay on the end (can't remember the technical term) and also heating up a glass rod that then melts onto the metal piece. As it is melting, you turn the metal piece to build up the bead. Next is the decorative step - this time melting a glass rod onto the bead base. Finally there is shaping the bead. Glass will naturally want to be round but my choice was to do a barrel shaped bead, so I rolled it on a graphite surface to shape it. After the bead was finished, it has to go into an "annealing" oven (spelling?) so that it will cool gradually. We will go back tomorrow to pick it up. I would love to do more of this! It was fun even though I was a bit disappointed in the finished product.
We looked through the gallery for a long time, but there is so much to see that we are going to come back tomorrow.