CORNING, N.Y. (18 NEWS) – The Corning Museum of Glass has been blowing glass on the road for over a decade, even going as far as South Australia.
With a new ride, it’s taking glassmaking on the road again by showing off its new Mobile Hot Shop on Friday morning.
The vehicle is meant to reach a broader audience and foster relationships with glass artists around the country.
This is CMoG’s second Hot Shop on wheels, and it gives artists the chance to work their magic while operating out of a trailer of a tractor trailer.
“It is a state-of-the-art glassblowing studio that we literally can take anywhere we can drive, and we can set up.” Rob Cassetti, senior director of creative strategy, said. “Within a day, the furnaces are hot and within a couple of days, we are ready to blow glass.”
The staff is preparing for its 80th deployment which will be this unit’s first road trip next month at the Glass Art Society Conference in Norfolk, Virginia.
The first vehicle debuted at the Salt Lake City, Utah Winter Olympics in 2002 and has been repurposed for outdoor demonstrations on campus.
While it got the job done on the road, many artists had to compromise their style of working to fit that mobile studio. It even restricted the size of glass they were able to make.
Although this new generation vehicle is not identical to the museum’s amphitheater, it’s definitely as close as it can be to a mobile version.
The new equipment gives the stage a modern look in addition to the large, flat screen TVs. It’s also lower to the ground compared to the first generation vehicle, making it easier for guests to watch the show.
CMoG is hoping this will attract even more visitors to the area.
“The response is always fantastic because people have always heard of Corning,” Hot Glass Programs Manager Eric Meek said. “They always have a relationship to Corning, and then to see Corning show up, they just feel like they’re a part of it already, and that just really opens the door to communication for them to come up and become interested in what you’re doing.”
Visitors can get a behind-the-scenes tour of the vehicle both this weekend and next.
A Glassbarge is also scheduled for next month. It’s a portable glassmaking unit on a canal barge at three waterfront events on the Erie Canal. It is a prelude to a statewide deployment next year which will celebrate the 150th anniversary of glassmaking arriving in Corning from Brooklyn. This Glassbarge will come up from the New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and the Erie Canal.