Take Home the Perfect Into the Deep Souvenir

This weekend, Into the Deep opens at Museum of Glass. Celebrate the Museum’s new exhibition with a marine-themed token to remind you of your visit!

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For those who want to learn more about marine life, pick up a copy of Ocean: A Photicular Book for $25.95. Readers of all ages will enjoy the book’s Photicular technology, which transforms each photo into a moving 3-D image.

Our creative visitors should check out our selection of coloring and origami books, including Mosaic Art, featuring sea creatures, for $14.95. Suggestions: pair this with a set of Chihuly Workshop coloring pencils! You’ll even find a piece by Dale Chihuly in Into the Deep.

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Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941). Persian Sea Forms, 1988. Blown glass. 67 x 120 inches (170.2 x 304.8 cm). Collection of Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, gift of George F. Russell, Jr. Photo by Terry Rishel.

And of course there is plenty of glass available for purchase in the Museum of Glass Store. Add a little aquatic décor to your home with the Store’s variety of Global Village Glass Studio creatures. Choose from mini fish and hermit crabs for $10 or the larger dolphins for $30.

Become a Museum of Glass member and save 10% every time you shop at the Museum Store. You’ll also enjoy extra seasonal discounts throughout the year!

#AskACurator

On September 14, Museum of Glass participated in #AskACurator for the second year. #AskACurator invites museums throughout the world to answer questions from the public on social media. This year, Into the Deep curator Katie Buckingham took over Museum of Glass’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to field questions from curious online fans.

14290044_10154296246050932_4411285487688168692_oHere are some of the questions she was asked and the answers she gave!

Q: What temp does glass melt along the color spectrum, Curator?

A: The melting point of a specific color of glass is specific to the brand of glass because it is specific to the exact chemical composition. Even clear glass melts at a variety of temperatures. The clear batch we use at MOG, called Spectrum 2.0, begins to soften at 1236*F and melts at 2200*F. Clear borosilicate glass (like Pyrex) glass melts at 3000*F because the chemical recipe includes the metal oxide boron trioxide. When glass artists purchase colors to use in their projects, each bar has a melting co-efficient (COE) that describes its specific melting temperature.

Q: How can you tell if an exhibition is curated well or not?

A: In my opinion, an exhibition should use the art/objects to tell a story.

Q: How do you choose which wall colors to put behind exhibitions? Especially with clear or transparent glass.

A: We have a fabulous Exhibition Designer who selects the wall color for our exhibits. She considers the mood of the show and also what makes the artwork look the best. Sometimes our artists have a specific color in mind, too. There are all sorts of tricks for clear glass – it depends on how much you want the piece to reflect the colors around it.

A: If there was one artist you could be a curator for, past or present, who would that be and why?

Q: Another hard question! Given that I’m surrounded by sea life lately, I would have loved to curate for Leopold or Rudolph Blaschka. They were a father-and-son team who created these amazing (and very scientifically accurate) glass models of sea life and plants. Our friends at Corning Museum of Glass have a great exhibit of their work. Check it out online: http://m.cmog.org/collection/exhibitions/blaschka.

Q: What is the proper way to approach a gallery with your glass art?

A: If you’re preparing a portfolio to present to a gallery, it’s helpful to include information about your work (an artist statement, biography and resume), as well as high-res images of your work with complete credit information.

Q: Is there a certain piece or pieces you think defines the collection at MOG?

A: It’s hard to choose just one! The first piece that comes in mind is Landscape by Beth Lipman and Ingalena Klennel. It’s monumental in scale (13 x 36 x 21 feet) and is made from over 400 pieces of glass. The artists collaborated on the piece during a series of residencies at MOG. It’s a beautiful piece, and a fantastic example of pushing the medium of glass to its limits by experimenting and collaborating.

Beth Lipman (American, born 1971) and Ingalena Klenell (Swedish, born 1949). Landscape (detail), 2008-2010. Kiln-formed glass; Collection of Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, gift of the artists. Photo by Russell Johnson and Jeff Curtis.

Beth Lipman (American, born 1971) and Ingalena Klenell (Swedish, born 1949). Landscape (detail), 2008-2010. Kiln-formed glass; Collection of Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, gift of the artists. Photo by Russell Johnson and Jeff Curtis.

Q: How do you choose the pieces for a show like Into the Deep? Are they all pieces you already have in your collection?

A: Great question! Into the Deep started with a “Big Idea” – kind of like a thesis statement in a written paper. Our Big Idea is: “Glass artists are inspired by the ocean. They use the unique properties of glass to capture the way light water with water, as well as the movements and textures of marine life.” We then for pieces that illustrated our Big Idea. Some of the artwork is part of MOG’s collection. Other pieces, like Treasure-trove, were made in our Hot Shop.

Kelly O’Dell (American, born 1973) and Raven Skyriver (American, born 1982); Treasure-trove, 2016; Blown and sculpted glass; 12 x 16 x 13 inches (30.5 x 40.6 x 33 cm); Courtesy of the artists; Photo by Kp Studios.

Kelly O’Dell (American, born 1973) and Raven Skyriver (American, born 1982); Treasure-trove, 2016; Blown and sculpted glass; 12 x 16 x 13 inches (30.5 x 40.6 x 33 cm); Courtesy of the artists; Photo by Kp Studios.

Q: What’s your personal mission as a curator?

A: I would love people to leave an exhibition excited about art and inspired to make something creative of their own.

Plan a visit to see Into the Deep at Museum of Glass, open September 24, 2016, through September 2017.

Those Summer Nights (and Days)

By Alex Carr, Communications Manager

Labor Day has passed, which means fall hours have arrived at Museum of Glass (MOG). It was another lively summer for the Museum, especially with the return of Night Blow. Here are some of the summer season’s highlights.

Night Blow

Once upon a time, Museum of Glass hosted an evening event called Night Blow. This summer, the Museum decided to bring back the popular party and host two free Night Blows for the public to enjoy on those beautiful Pacific Northwest evenings. The first one, in July, invited visitors to enjoy glassblowing by Dan Friday and Courtney Branam in the Hot Shop, fire dancing on the plaza, and music by SoundAbout DJ. Next month’s Night Blow saw nearly 1,000 people visit MOG on Third Thursday to watch the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio team in the Hot Shop and flameworking on the plaza. SoundAbout DJ returned for the second Night Blow of the summer and Social Bar and Grill kept hungry guests happy with their food truck on the plaza.

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Night Blow guests gather to watch the fire dancing performance. Photo by John Ferguson.

Visiting Artist Lino Tagliapietra

There’s nothing quite like watching the Maestro of glass art working in the Museum’s Hot Shop. In July, Lino Tagliapietra returned to MOG for another Visiting Artist Residency, and this time visitors were treated to something new—Tagliapietra’s Endeavor boats. During his previous residencies, the Maestro and his team have worked with the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team on a variety of vessels, but this time around it was all about the boats. Check out Hot Shop emcee Greg Owen’s earlier blog post on Tagliapietra’s summer residency.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Rev Up

The Museum’s annual Red Hot Auction & Gala is just around the corner. To get ready for the September 17 event, Museum of Glass hosted its second Rev Up party. Artists, art lovers, and Museum of Glass patrons enjoyed an evening at Seattle’s Glass Distillery, where guests began to get red carpet ready for Red Hot. Tickets to the annual gala, featuring a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions, and an after party with Ethan Stern, are available online.

See more photos from Rev Up here.

Summer may have come and gone, but there’s still plenty to look forward to this year. I’m personally excited for the opening of the Museum’s new exhibition Into the Deep, seasonal hands-on glassmaking workshops, and, of course, more Visiting Artists!

Alex Carr is the Communications Manager at Museum of Glass. When she’s not circulating the Hot Shop floor trying to get the perfect Instagram shot for the Museum, you’ll find her baking at home, running at Green Lake, or exploring Washington’s wineries.

Experiments in the Hot Shop with Bryan Kekst Brown

By Greg Owen, Manager of Audience Engagement and Hot Shop Heroes

Last week metals and jewelry artist Bryan Kekst Brown came to Museum of Glass with some very interesting projects. We began the week creating tanks for electro-forming metal. This was the first time that electrodes have been attached to glass at Museum of Glass, as far as I know. It provided a special challenge for the Team’s gaffer, Gabe Feenan, as the electrodes are encased in borosilicate glass, while ours is soda-lime glass. At first they didn’t want to stick together nicely, but Gabe persevered and made it work.

Things started heating up when Bryan decided to pour liquid metal into a cup of liquid glass. He began by melting strips of copper in a small crucible with an oxy-propane torch.

At the same time, Gabe made a cup of clear glass, and the Team’s starter, Sarah Gilbert, used the gathering ball to pull some liquid glass from the furnace. In quick succession, Gabe broke the cup off and placed it on the table, Sarah dumped her gathers in, and then Bryan poured the liquid metal inside. It was very exciting!

Next, Bryan began melting ingots of silver in the same manner, and the Team repeated the process. It was very interesting to see how the metals behaved in a bath of liquid glass.

We found this so interesting because copper and silver are common colorants for metal. Copper is known to make ruby, green, and blue glasses. Once the piece cooled down, we were happy to see that there was a lovely cloud of copper blue, where the metal had slid by the glass, and a big pile of copper at the bottom of the cup.

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Silver is known to make yellow glass and shades of blue as well. The first attempt resulted in shattered glass around the silver, but the second attempt was successful, and left a wonderful bit of opaque blue as a record of what happened.

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I look forward to seeing Bryan’s experiments in the future. If you would like to see more of his work, check out his website http://www.bryankekstbrown.com/. He will be posting images from his residency over the next few weeks.

Greg Owen is the Manager of Audience Engagement and Hot Shop Heroes at Museum of Glass. Greg can be seen working the mic as the Hot Shop studio emcee, assisting Visiting Artists, and teaching soldiers how to blow glass during Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire classes. 

Five Minutes with Brendan Fernandes

First-time Visiting Artist Brendan Fernandes will work in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop from August 31 through September 4. The Canadian artist draws upon his Kenyan and Indian heritage, using his art to examine the nature of identity. In his newest body of work, Fernandes is returning to his training in dance and his interest in movement and choreography.

Learn about the Visiting Artist before he begins his residency this week!

Brendan Fernandes working; Photo courtesy of the artist.

Brendan Fernandes working; Photo courtesy of the artist.

I became interested in dance and movement when…

I was a young boy; there was always dancing and singing as part of every family party. It was second nature to me!    

During my Museum of Glass residency, I hope to…

Use glass in a way that mimics and represents the body in motion.

I chose to explore cultural identity in my work because…

This is my story. I come from a hybrid background and have lived in different places. These experiences make-up who I am; I am exploring my personal trajectory and telling my narrative. It is part of my own self discovery and one that I want to share with others in the hopes that they can find similarities with the questions I am working through.     

If I had to work with only one color, it would be…

Ohhhhh, Hmmmm I would say clear. The optical qualities of light filtering through it always amazing me.  So no color!

Being an artist has taught me…

To me humble and self reflective.

Plan a visit to Museum of Glass to see Visiting Artist Brendan Fernandes working in the Hot Shop from August 31 through September 4, or watch his residency online.