Corning Museum of Glass Glassblowing Demonstration
Unique Attractions,  Upstate New York

Blown Away on Netflix Will Inspire You to Visit the Corning Museum of Glass

Last updated on February 14, 2024.

Admit it. You have a soft spot for competition shows on television. We all do. That’s because there’s a competition that appeals to everyone of us. Singers, dancers, tattoo artists, fashion designers, interior decorators, models, bakers, chefs… What’s not to love about seeing the best of the best compete against each other? And my latest reality competition obsession? Blown Away on Netflix. It’s incredible. Keep reading to learn why it stands out from the rest and how it’s connected to the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

Each season of Blown Away has brought together 10 blown glass artists to compete against each other. The grand prize? A residency at the Corning Museum of Glass. That’s right – the show has a huge connection to Upstate New York. And while I had visited the museum as a young Girl Scout and then again as an adult, until recently my husband had never been. But after binging the first two seasons of incredible glass blowing, we celebrated our wedding anniversary with a trip to Corning.

Corning Museum of Glass

Blown Away on Netflix

Whether or not you know anything about glass blowing, you’ll be hooked by Blown Away. Plus, it’s incredible to learn so much about the process. Watching the artists create their designs to meet each week’s challenge is the best part. Each contender brings a different perspective, experience, and skillset to the competition.

As you make your way through the seasons, you’ll learn about different coloring and design techniques along with glassblowing vocabulary. No matter what skills the gaffers use, it’s all so impressive.

Corning Museum of Glass Blown Away Exhibit

Season 1 featured 10 American artists competing through challenges like Potluck Party, Thirsty Work, and Body Parts. The second season took an international turn and invited artists from around the world. I quickly fell in love with several of them and their work. Most notably Nao Yamamoto, Cat Burns, and Elliot Walker. Each season ends with a “Best in Blow” where the two finalists created pieces for their own gallery exhibit. So far there have been 3 seasons of Blown Away as well as a holiday special. Season 4 returns on March 8, 2024.

Blown Away Exhibit at The Corning Museum of Glass

The grand prize for each season of Blown Away includes a residency at The Corning Museum of Glass. With the popularity of the Netflix show, the museum has been featuring work from the artists. For season 2, there was one piece from each of the ten artists was on display. It was great to see Cat’s vacuum, Nao’s centerpiece, and Elliot’s spilled milk in person.

The season 2 exhibit was on display until January 2022, but it has been replaced with work from season 3’s artists. This current exhibit is on display until March 1st, so be sure to plan your trip to Corning soon to see the pieces! Fingers crossed they will keep it going with the latest season. But either way, there are also many pieces by the Blown Away artists for sale in the gift shop.

Visit the Corning Museum of Glass

Where is the Corning Museum of Glass?

The museum is located in the city of Corning, just north of the Pennsylvania border. Corning is about 2 hours southeast of Syracuse, 1 hour south of Penn Yan. The are plenty of great restaurants and shopping in the downtown Gaffer District, aptly named after glassblowers. Nearby towns of Horseheads and Elmira are also great for exploring.

Welcome to The Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass Hours & Tickets

The museum is open daily from 9-5. The standard ticket price for adults is $22 and general admission is valid for two consecutive days.

There are also several ways to get discount tickets for the Corning Museum of Glass:

  • Kids 17 and under are always FREE.
  • College students, veterans, AAA members, and seniors over 62 pay $18.70.
  • Local residents get a 50% discount with proof of residence, and can bring up to 2 guests at the $11 rate.
  • If you’re also planning a visit to The Rockwell Museum, buy tickets together and save.

Why is the museum in Corning?

The history of the Corning Museum of Glass actually starts back in the 1800s in Brooklyn, New York. Elias Hungerford was based in Corning, but partnered with the Houghton family who had a glass company in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Flint Glass Company moved to Corning in 1868 and became Corning Glass Works. Why? The cost of labor in Corning was much cheaper than in New York City. Plus, the canal and railroad network provided better access to glassmaking supplies.

Over time, Corning became the epicenter of glass research, attracting professional glassmakers from around the world. Because of this, Corning has developed the nickname “Crystal City”.

The Corning Museum of Glass was established in 1951 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original company.

Corning Museum of Glass Exhibits

The museum is filled with every aspect of glassmaking throughout history. Every style, period, geographic region is on display. Pieces made for form, others for function, some for both. Here are just a few of the incredible exhibits:

Contemporary Glass Galleries

One of the first galleries you’ll walk through is the contemporary exhibit, featuring a rotating collection of new and noteworthy creations from glassmakers around the world. Many of the pieces are striking – incorporating light and shadow, motion, music, and other mediums to deliver their messages.

Dish It! Corelle at 50

Admit it. Your parents and your grandparents had their own collections of Corelle dishes and baking supplies. I know mine did! I can look at the different patterns and state which family member had each design! This year Corelle is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the exhibit celebrates the various designs over time. Plus, you’ll learn more about how Corelle dishes are made and what makes them so durable and popular.

35 Centuries of Glass

Yes. 35 centuries. There is so much history in glass! One of the main permanent exhibits portrays exactly that. You can walk through exhibits from various regions around the world and learn about their importance throughout history.

Innovation Galleries

If you’re bringing the kids along, this is the spot they’ll love the most! The innovative exhibits showcase how glass is used in various technologies. And there are plenty of interactive opportunities to check out how things work! Explore concepts like concavity, optics, and other scientific uses for glass.

Glass Making Demonstrations

While visiting the museum, there are several glassmaking demonstrations to watch. There are two hot shops within the museum: the amphitheater and the innovation hot shops. Each of them offer demonstrations roughly every hour. Be sure to check the daily schedule and arrive at the hot shop before the next demonstration! They do hit capacity for seating, especially during social distancing.

Additionally, the innovation center has a flameworking station where glassmakers demonstrate the intricate work throughout the day.

Occasionally there are special demonstrations – like when the glassmakers create a piece that was designed by one of the kids in the audience!

Can’t make it to the museum in person just yet? Check out their live demonstrations on Facebook.

Glassmaking Workshops

One of the best parts of the Corning Museum of Glass is that it is so interactive! Apart from the technology exhibit and glassblowing demonstrations, there is the glassmaking studio. Here guests can reserve a slot in one of several workshops that are offered: glassblowing, glass fusing, flamework, or sandblasting. All of the workshops last between 20 and 40 minutes. Reservations are recommended.

Read more about the glassmaking workshops and the different projects I’ve made.

Leave time for the gift shop

I know, I know. Some people could do without museum gift shops. Not me! But seriously, the Corning glass gift shop is incredible. It’s a shop meets a gallery. There are items for everybody – all interests, ages, budgets… Definitely check out the Corelle shop too. It is the BEST place to stock up on your dishes and bakeware – at a discount!

Dani at Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass is a must for any bucket list

There is so much to do and see at the Corning Museum of Glass – you’d be surprised! So plan your trip to Corning and visit for yourself. Then binge Blown Away to get excited about your upcoming trip.

Have you visited Corning? Tell me your favorite part in the comments! Better yet, let me know who your favorite Blown Away contestant was.


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