Docent Trips and Tours

By Carla Bruno, Museum of Glass Docent

As part of their ongoing efforts to learn as much as possible about the world of glass art, Museum of Glass docents often enjoy the privilege of visiting with artists in their working environments. Two such special opportunities occurred recently.

In March, a group traveled to the Ballard district in Seattle to view an exhibit of modern Scandinavian glass at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Then, after lunching together, they met with Dante Marioni at his Fremont studio to talk with him about his work.

Museum of Glass docents with Dante Marioni (center) in his studio
Museum of Glass docents with Dante Marioni (center) in his studio

In April, another similar journey found our museum docents in the Fremont area of Seattle taking a tour of Fremont Antique Glass talking with its founder Jim Flanagan, and watching as cylinders of glass were blown and then turned into flat sheets of gorgeous, multi-hued glass. (Museum of Glass visitors see the work of Fremont Antique Glass, since they made the glass used for Cappy Thompson’s piece Gathering the Light in our Grand Hall.) After another fun lunch together, they then visited glass artist Ginny Ruffner in her Ballard home and studio. Having the opportunity to talk with Ginny and see her home and garden (which are also works of art) is such a special opportunity–one our docents greatly appreciate. “Being able to visit Ginny’s studio for the second time, to see the progression both in her work and the changes within the building (including adding on a garden room where she raises vegetables) was so rewarding,” noted Kathryn Hillig.

With Ginny Ruffner (in front) in her Ballard studio
With Ginny Ruffner (in front) in her Ballard studio

As you plan your next visit to Museum of Glass, please don’t forget a tour of the gallery exhibits with one of our engaging and knowledgeable docents. “Meeting the artists gave us the opportunity to ask questions and better understand their processes,” said Lysa Schloesser. As you can see, they have a wealth of information and experiences to share!

Art in Bloom: The 2014 Northwest Flower and Garden Show

By Alex Carr, Digital Media Coordinator

Earlier this month, the Northwest Flower and Garden Show debuted the Garden of Artful Delights, a unique collaboration between the Arboretum Foundation and Museum of Glass that paid tribute to artist Ginny Ruffner.

Among the many display gardens, this recreation of Ruffner’s own garden at her Seattle home featured glass art created by Ruffner during her January Visiting Artist Residency at Museum of Glass.


Although many of the glass leaves hanging from wooden beams in the garden were crafted in the MOG Hot Shop, seeing the finished garden for the first time was truly fascinating. The Seattle Times’ Pacific NW Magazine described Ruffner’s home and garden as “a kaleidoscopic explosion of color,” and this recreation certainly captured that energy.


The flora provided a fragrant and colorful contrast with the glass leaves and flowers, yet the blend of glass and the different plants appeared very natural. 

While the presence of glass art in the Garden of Artful Delights was expected, the appearance of glass in other display gardens was a pleasant surprise.

Wandering throughout the Garden Show, it seemed that glass appeared amongst floral displays at every turn. From a bold chandelier to colorful glass orchids, the display gardens’ use of glass certainly enabled them to live up to the Garden Show’s theme of “Art in Bloom.”



Alex Carr is the Digital Media Coordinator 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.