Memories from the Other Side of the Desk

By Max Fosberg, Visitor Services Manager

As my time comes to a close at Museum of Glass (only two more days, but who’s counting?), I have been taking some time to reflect on the past two years here working in the visitor services department. The journey has been exactly that, a journey with peaks and valleys.

But who wants to talk about valleys, low points, the dark ages?

Yeah, neither do I! So I made a list. Yes, the plain old top-something list. These are the top three moments for me working here at Museum of Glass. Ready? Set? GO!!

Moment 3: 2016 Slider Cook-Off

Once I leave the Museum, I plan on every once in a while coming back to check out a new exhibition, see one of my favorite artists in the Hot Shop, or just to simply say hello to old co-workers. However, there will be a day in March every year that you can count on me being at the Museum, and that will be the day of the annual Slider Cook-Off, which has to be one of the coolest, most exciting events in town.

Slider Cook-Off participant WildFin won the 2016 Grand Prize with their slider.

This past March, Slider took a turn for the best. The burgers were out of this world, The Dusty 45s rocked the Grand Hall, artist John Miller was at the top of his game, and there was fun stuff to do at the event, like get an up-do hairstyle or see how many friends you can get in one picture at the free photo booth. I was working the event, but still had a better time than most events I have attended. As the guest that I will be next year, I’m so excited for this event that I’m considering buying VIP tickets! If you have never checked out Slider Cook-Off, and you like burgers, beer, and rock ‘n’ roll, you need to get a ticket!

Moment 2: Discovering and Meeting Lino Tagliapietra

Lino Tagliapietra, the Maestro of glassblowing. He is the greatest, and to this day, in his 80s, he is still the man on the floor shaping the glass, blowing the glass, and swinging the glass over his head.

Photo by Russell Johnson.
Lino Tagliapietra in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop; Photo by Russell Johnson.

I have had the privilege of watching Lino multiple times over the past two years, and he blows me away every time he steps onto the Hot Shop floor. I have also talked with him personally and helped him here at the Museum, and from that experience I am happy to report that he is incredibly humble and views glassblowing as “just my job.” He is a special, special person and has given so much to the glass art form for over 70 years – he started blowing glass when he was 11! That alone blows my mind and demands respect. Long live the king of glass and I hope I get to watch him for many more years to come.

Moment 1: John Kiley and Lino Tagliapietra in the Hot Shop

When I joined the Museum two years ago, I had no knowledge of glass art. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to really examine and create an opinion about glass art. I am not an expert to say the least, however, I do know what I like and what I don’t like. Two of my favorite artists came together in the Hot Shop this past February, and I have to admit I “geeked” out over these two.

Maestro Lino Tagliapietra (left) and Erich Woll (right) assist Visiting Artist John Kiley (center).

First, John Kiley. The spherical forms he makes, with chunks missing and two different color tones, really stand out to me as something from the future. And what can you pair with an emerging star? How about a living legend, the Maestro himself, Lino Tagliapietra. At a mere 81 years young, Lino is the Michael Jordan of glassblowing. He continues to create work year after year and does it with class and veteran savviness (I wrote about him in Moment 2, I know, cop out). This truly was a special week to be at the Museum, to see these two working together.

Well there it is, everyone. The list.

Honestly, the best thing about MOG is the people who work here. There is a wonderful team of passionate and creative people who make sure that this icon of Tacoma continues to educate the public about glass art. As someone who started working at the Museum with little knowledge of glass art, I feel pretty lucky to have had a two-year course in glass from some of the best people in the northwest. I urge you to keep coming down to MOG, and bring everyone you know!

I want to thank everyone who I have had the pleasure of working with and I hope to keep in contact with this group for years to come. Thank you MOG.

Sip and Savor at Slider Cook-Off


The fifth annual Slider Cook-Off is just around the corner! On March 26, seven Puget Sound restaurants will bring their slider A game to Museum of Glass to compete for the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice awards.

While each restaurant’s slider is top-secret until the evening of the cook-off, we can share what guests can sip on throughout the night, courtesy of Heritage Distilling Company.


Which cocktail will you pair with your sliders?

Jail House Rock
1 1/2 oz Elk Rider Bourbon
5.5 oz Ginger Ale
Garnish with lime

Rockin’ Sour
1 1/2 oz Elk Rider Bourbon
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/3 oz. maple syrup (or more, to taste)
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
Shake and strain over ice, Garnish with sprig of rosemary and/or lemon

Blue Suede Shoes
11/2 oz Blueberry Vodka
4.5 oz lemonade
1 oz club soda
Garnish with fresh blueberries and mint

Pin Up Punch
1 oz Pomegranate Vodka
1/2 oz Mango Vodka
4.5 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Club Soda
Garnish with maraschino cherry

Classic G&T
1 1/2 oz Batch No. 12 Gin
6.5 oz tonic
Garnish with lime

No matter what kind of slider each restaurant serves, Heritage Distilling Co.’s drink selection will help you create the perfect cocktail and slider pairing to sip and savor. Hope to see you at Slider Cook-Off!


Hello, 2016!

By Alex Carr, Communications Manager

2015 was an exciting year for Museum of Glass. The Museum premiered the never-before-seen Chihuly Drawings exhibition, hosted the US Open’s Bob Jones Award reception, collaborated with the Shanghai Museum of Glass to create new Kids Design Glass pieces, hosted its first Party on the Piazza community festival, and much more!

With the arrival of 2016, there are already a few upcoming events that I’m excited for visitors to experience.


MOG will open the new, crowd-curated exhibition, #BeTheCurator, on January 16.

Erich Woll (American, born 1972); Mistakes Will Be Made (blue-footed boobies), 2014; Hot-sculpted glass; Collection of Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, gift of the artist; Photo courtesy of the artist.
Erich Woll (American, born 1972); Mistakes Will Be Made (blue-footed boobies), 2014; Hot-sculpted glass; Collection of Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, gift of the artist; Photo courtesy of the artist.

Last year, Museum of Glass invited visitors to vote for artwork displayed in Treasures from Glass Collectors that they would like to see return to MOG’s galleries in a larger exhibition of pieces from the Museum’s private collection, curated by the public.

Visitors were able to vote for three pieces at the Museum, and those who couldn’t visit were encouraged to vote through Facebook with a “like” for their favorite pieces. The social media component had votes from as far away as Brazil, Armenia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Kazakhstan, and spawned the hashtag-inspired exhibition title, #BeTheCurator.

#BeTheCurator will feature the most “Liked” pieces in MOG’s collections, along with visitors’ comments and reactions.

I’m excited for the public to see this exhibition because it will continue to include and encourage audience engagement through a variety of components, such as voting boxes where visitors can have their say in which artist featured in the exhibition will receive a Visiting Artist Residency!

For the Love of Lino

Photo by Russell Johnson.
Photo by Russell Johnson.

The Maestro returns! Visitors can enjoy two weeks of Visiting Artist Lino Tagliapietra working in the Museum’s Hot Shop from February 10 through 21. Make sure to save these dates!

More details about Tagliapietra’s residency will be available on the Museum’s event calendar soon.

The Fifth Annual Slider Cook-Off

I look forward to this event every year because it provides guests with a fun, delicious way to experience glass art!

Once again, local restaurants will bring their best burgers to battle for the title of People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice while artist John Miller entertains guests with fiery action in the Hot Shop.

john miller FB

Every year, Miller makes a giant glass slider during the event, and every year the slider he makes is different in style (last year, the burger had wings!). So, don’t miss your chance to see what he makes next, sample local food and beer, and dance to swingin’ 1950s hits!

Stay tuned for information about tickets and the list of participating restaurants.

See you in 2016!

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.

Slider Cook-Off

 By Mandy Lane, Special Events Manager

On March 29, over 550 hungry people gathered at Museum of Glass to sample the delectable sliders served up by some of Tacoma’s hottest restaurants at the 3rd Annual Slider Cook-Off. The contestants included Hotel Murano’s BITE, Dirty Oscar’s Annex (DOA), Lobster Shop South, Maxwell’s, Paesan, Social and X Group Catering. The restaurants outdid themselves this year with a varied and gourmet line up that delighted our guests.



Dirty Oscar’s Annex


Lobster Shop South

lobster shop

Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge


Paesan Kitchen & Bar


The Social Bar and Grill


X Group Catering

x group

Throughout the evening everyone watched John Miller’s fiery glassblowing demonstrations in the Hot Shop. The exciting Hot Shop show included lighting the floor on fire, dropping a bar stool from the balcony to break the glass slider off the pipe, a surprise visit from a gorilla and lots of cheering and gasps from the crowd. Be sure to check out these videos of some of action in the Hot Shop!


After much deliberation by the guests and judges, the winners of the Cook-Off were announced. BITE took home the People’s Choice Award with their Asian Five Spiced Pork Belly and Maxwell’s repeated their first year victory and took home The Judge’s Prize for their Porter Braised Beef Brisket, which featured locally made pickles. And Legendary Doughnuts provided a variety of bite sized doughnuts which guests sampled in the Hot Shop.

People’s Choice Award Winner, BITE
Judge’s Choice Winner, Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge


The evening ended with a spirited performance by Daryl and Diptones that packed the dance floor until late into the evening! Poodle skirts swirled and letterman’s jackets were shed as guests boogied down.



Thank you to all the restaurants, sponsors, volunteers, guests and staff that made the 3rd Annual Slider Cook-Off such a great success!

sliders sponsors newsletter2