Making your own glass art at Corning Museum of Glass

Making your own glass art at Corning Museum of Glass

Did you know that you can make your own glass art during a trip to the Corning Museum of Glass? I didn’t. I actually didn’t know much about this museum until just last week. G and I recently took a long 4-day weekend to road trip up to western New York, which was an easy 4.5 hr drive from Cleveland. I had some free nights that I had to use from so it was a good excuse to get away and see the beautiful fall foliage. Anyway, its a pretty cool opportunity and if you’ve ever wanted to have a unique, one-of-a-kind souvenir, here is your chance. 

The Corning Museum of Glass offers several different options of what you can create in their Make Your Own Glass studio. We chose to go with a blown glass pumpkin, since it is seasonal and wouldn’t be available should we decide to return to this area again. And it turned out great! G had a blast and this is something I would definitely recommend if you have kids, although I saw a lot of 20-and-30-somethings  attending this too and they seemed pretty excited about it.corning-3

First, before you decide to register, just note that you may need to schedule this ahead in some cases. In our situation, since it was a seasonal piece, they recommended that we reserve our spot ahead of time because spaces sell out. They only have so many ovens and artists available at one time, so you need to select a specific time. I highly recommend this as we were in a group that had sold out early on a Sunday morning. If you only have a couple of days in this area, you’ll want to make sure you have a spot reserved so you don’t miss out! They have a 24 hour cancellation policy so if you change your mind or see that you’re not going to make it, you have a little bit of flexibility. You can reserve your spot online and just pick your ticket up once you arrive at the museum. Pretty simple.corning-7

When you arrive at the museum, you can pick up your ticket at the front and they’ll give you directions to the studio you’ll be working in. It’s about a 5 minute walk, so just give yourself plenty of time to get there and get to your studio.corning-8

They start out by letting you choose your colors for your piece. Then they do a demo for the whole group once everyone has chosen their colors. After that, you have to go back to the waiting room until your name is called as they can only have three people at the ovens at a time.  This is why its so important to be on time. We had a couple of people who showed up late and they missed out on the demo. The instructions were fairly easy so although that wasn’t a big deal, they did have to go last and ended up waiting longer than the rest of us. Be on time or be last!

G got called back to the ovens and was ready to start her project. The artist will manage the glass while the participant blows through a metal tube. Don’t worry- your mouth isn’t actually touching the tube, they give you a white cardboard tube that covers the mouthpiece when you blow into it.corning-10 corning-11 corning-9

If you’re not making a project, you will have to stand behind a small glass wall for safety as they can only allow so many people by the ovens at one time. Never fear, you will have plenty of viewing space to watch and take pictures.

Once its finished, they will hold it up for you to take a quick photo-have your cameras ready because they can only keep the piece in the open air for a short time to avoid cracks! They have to put in an oven to let the glass cool gradually.  The colors may look distorted at first but don’t worry, once its fully cured it will be beautiful! The whole process only takes about 10 minutes or so, maybe less, but you end up with a unique piece of blown glass art work. You can pick up your art piece the following day after noon or choose to have it shipped to your home for $20(domestic). Since the museum tickets are good for two days, if you’re also visiting the museum, you can use this as an excuse to see a demo or exhibit that maybe you missed the day before.corning-12

G loved this experience and was thrilled with how her pumpkin turned out! If you’re visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, this is a great add on activity and we though it was well worth the money.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To see other projects that you can make while at the museum, click here.


Arrive early if possible. They schedule several people in the same time slot and call you back in the order that you arrive.

You don’t need a museum ticket to go to participate in the Make Your Own Glass Studio. You do have to pay separately for the piece made in the Studio, however if you are only making glass and not visiting the exhibits, you do not need to purchase a museum ticket.

To pick up your glass, just return to the studio that you originally created it in. You will not need a museum ticket to enter into this area.

Get creative! They have a wide variety of colors that you can choose to truly make it a custom piece of art

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