Travel Diary
 
October 5, 2002
Corning, NY


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We spent last week meandering through Ohio. Mostly, we were resting up after the hectic weekend at Indy, trying to be better at playing the Hippopotamus Game.

Corning, New York is home to the glass manufacturer of the same name, and is also in an area referred to as the Finger Lakes region of New York. Check out a map and you'll see a few long skinny lakes that resemble fingers. Corning is at the southern end of Seneca Lake.

The Corning Museum of Glass opened in 1961. In early 2001, they opened a newly remodeled (to the tune of $67 million) and expanded museum. The museum is simply amazing. The new area of the museum has exhibits detailing the history of window glass: from original pane glass, to modern coated glass sheets and molded, tempered auto glass; optics: from telescope mirrors to lenses to fiber optics; and vessels: the evolution of light-bulb and bottle making. These newer exhibits had multi-media presentations, hands on displays, and historic memorabilia.

The original area of the museum chronicled the history of glass from ancient Egypt, to modern day. Let's just say it was overwhelming how many incredible pieces the museum has in its collection. Here's a picture of a Baccarat crystal table from the 1878 World's Fair.

Baccarat crystal table

There was a special exhibit of the work of Frederick Carder (1863-1963). He was the co-founder of Steuben Glass. Steuben is now owned by Corning, and the only Steuben factory in the world is a part of the museum complex. Here are some pictures from his exhibit.

Steuben glass

Steuben glass

Steuben glass

We also saw the Hot Glass Show. In this live show, an artist who has worked for Steuben for 20 years made a beautiful blue vase in about 25 minutes. We got to see the entire process from the initial lump of clear molten glass, through the application of the color, to blowing and shaping the vase.

One of the major highlights of the day was when Pete made a glass flower in the Walk-In Studio. For a small fee, an instructor helped Pete shape a flower from a lump of molten glass. Here are a couple of pictures of Pete the glass artist.

Pete making glass

Pete making glass

Pete making glass

Here's a picture of the finished flower on its way to the finishing oven where it will cure for 24 hours.

Finished glass flower

Finally, we spent a couple of hours exploring an amazing grocery store called Wegmans. They have pretty much everything, and then some. For example, you could buy shampoo for your ferret. You could also buy a 10 pound loaf of rye bread. In fact, they had two on the shelf. We didn't think you'd believe that, so here's a picture:

10 pound loaf of rye bread

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