Glass has been a major part of human history and has played a significant role in nearly every part of our daily lives. As one of the world wide leaders of glass manufacturing, Corning Inc. has a large campus dedicated to teaching the public about all things glass. The Corning Museum of Glass is located right in the heart of Corning, NY and is definitely worth a visit on your next trip through the Finger Lakes region of NY.
The Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) is a giant multi story building that manages to have a bit of something for everyone. Covering over 3500 years of glass making it’s easy to find yourself lost in some part of the museum no matter what your interests are. It’s like a Fine Art, History, and Science Museum all in one which makes it a great spot for couples or family travel, especially because kids 19 and under are allowed to visit for free.
Being techies, Lauren and I started our trip through the Glass Innovation Center. Here you’ll find interactive displays teaching you everything from the basics of glass making to some of Corning’s scientific achievements.
One of the most impressive pieces was this piece of a telescope’s mirror array.
While in the Innovation Center at the CMOG, make sure to make some time for the glass making demonstrations that go on throughout the day. It was really incredible to watch the gaffer (that’s the fancy word for glass blower :-) ) work the glass with such ease.
While blowing and shaping the glass the gaffer has to constantly heat it up to over 3000 degrees to keep it workable.
After learning exactly what goes into making and shaping glass pieces, it’s time for a trip through the Corning Museum of Glass galleries. One of the first galleries we ventured through was perhaps the most stunning of all. Featuring works of art from the last 25 years, the Heineman Contemporary Art Gallery showed an eclectic mix of large scale and small works of art all centered around beautiful glass. The creativity and inspiration alone is incredible, then when you consider the work it took to make these pieces, it’s absolutely astounding.
The contemporary portion of the galleries had some tremendously beautiful pieces that showed off many of the modern techniques being used in glass making today. The remainder of the Corning Museum of Glass galleries take you through 3500 years of glass making history. In what only can be described as a daunting collection of pieces, you can walk through every innovation of glass making and see how we ended up where we are today.
The galleries feature a huge variety of glassware and tools that were once made of glass.
As you travel through time, you can see the evolution of techniques and watch as they become more intricate and ornate.
Some of the most beautiful parts of the collection were the large and stunning piece of wall art.
One of the most astounding pieces though, was this mosaic made up of thousands of tiny pieces of chipped glass. I can only imagine the hours of labor and planning that went into this.
Make Your Own Glass
As if there wasn’t already enough to look at and enjoy at the Corning Museum of Glass, the best part of our whole day was tucked away in a building across the parking lot that housed the Make Your Own Glass Studio.
For only $29 you get to don some glass making gear, and try your hand at making something pretty.
Since Mother’s Day was around the corner we decided to make some glass flowers. The process was super fun, and you have a helper at hand to guide you though each step.
Once your done, you’ll end up with something that kinda looks like what you set out to make. Mainly this is due to the fact that the glass you’re working with is about 2000 degrees! :-)
Unfortunately you won’t be able to take your glass works with you immediately. The piece you make has to cool off in an oven. Yes you heard right, the oven cools it, from 2000 degrees to about 900 degrees before it’s taken out for it’s final cooling to room temperature. If you are staying in town you can pick it up the next day, or like us, you can have it shipped anywhere in the US. Once we got our package, we were stunned to see just how pretty these flowers turned out.
The combination of beautiful art work, history, and tech at the CMOG is enough to entertain any visitor. Personally my biggest takeaway was an overall appreciation for just how much work actually goes into glass making and how long it was a part of our history. The Corning Museum of Glass is definitely an attraction you want to dedicate a minimum of a half day to, and can easily take up a whole day if you engage in all their available activities. No matter how long you spend there, you’ll have a lot to reflect upon when you leave.
Details for the Corning Museum Of Glass – CMOG
One Museum Way
Corning, NY 14830
note: If you are looking for Corning Museum of Glass coupons or discounts you can save a few dollars by purchasing a combo ticket to the CMOG and the nearby Rockwell Museum here.
If you enjoyed this post about the Corning Museum of Glass, you may also enjoy these related posts.
We’d be honored if you would subscribe to our newsletter or connect with us via social media on Facebook, twitter, +Kenin, tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube!