A visit to Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) provides an incredible adventure for people of all ages, This one-of-a-kind attraction tells the history of 3500 years of glass. The enormous facility allows you to explore the history, uses and properties of glass through fascinating exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Staff and volunteers throughout the museum offer hands-on demonstrations (such as how a rubber duck embedded in sand can become a glass duck) as well as more formal demonstrations of flameworking , glass breaking and fiber optics.
Some of the most popular demonstrations are the hot glass shows where you watch as molton glass goes from liquid to finished work of art.
If you enjoy hands-on experiences, you’ll love creating your own glass work of art. We decided to make Christmas ornaments.
I was concerned about how safe this would be for our then, 9-year-old daughters. We were each given coverings for our shoes, safety glasses to wear and the Staff handled the hot glass – there was no reason for concern.
First, we chose the ornament shape (round or teardrop shape), then its texture (smooth or spiral), and finally, its colors, choosing three from among over a dozen. .
The Staff person dipped the glass blowing pipe into the molten glass, then asked each us to blow lightly into the pipe. She began shaping and forming the glass. After another time of blowing and shaping, she put the hot glass into a cylinder that gave the teardrop ornament its shape, and then twisted it for a spiral effect.
What a great sense of excitement we had as our pieces went into the oven to cool slowly from 2300° to room temperature, ready to be picked up the next day or shipped for arrival within 2-3 days. We can’t wait to do this again next visit, and add to our collection!
In addition to the many permanent exhibits, displays and collections, the museum also brings in and curates exhibits that feature stunning collections and the works of renowned glass artists. We were at the museum for several hours, but barely scratched the surface of all there is to do and see. I recommend setting aside a full day for this museum, if you have that luxury.
Our last stop was the Glass Market, which carries a spectacular selection of items in every price range, including the famed Steuben Glass and works by internationally renowned artists. Many of the items are available for purchase online.
If you happen to be in Corning on the third Thursday of the month between November and March, stop in to the museum in the evening for their monthly 2300° celebration. This fun event offers live glassmaking demonstrations by guest artists, live music and great regional fare. Admission to this evening is free and food and beverages are available for a fee.
Corning Museum of Glass is open every day from 9 AM – 5 PM from September 4 through May 24 and 9 AM through 8 PM May 25 – September 3. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24 and December 25.
|Kids & Teens (19 & under)||Free!|
|Adult Day Pass||$15|
|55 Plus (10% off)||$12.75|
|Students with ID (10% off)||$12.755|
|Military with ID (10% off)||$12.75|
|AAA Show Your Card & Save||$12.75|
|Local Residents with ID||$6.00|
Opportunities to work with glass range in price from $10 for sandblasting (creating frosted designs on glass), to $19 for flameworking (create beads and necklaces from color glass rods), to $19-$28 for fusing (create suncatchers, picture frames and windchimes from layered flat glass) to $27 for glass blowing and forming (create flowers, ornaments, pumpkins and sculptures from hot glass). Some of these are available for all ages, others have a lower age limit and the museum’s staff will be happy to guide your selection. This is a memorable experience well worth the price.
Photos and text copyright 2012 © Carol White Llewellyn.
Note: This visit was made possible by Finger Lakes Wine Country.