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Tag: glass

Wordless Wednesday: Chihuly & Space Needle

Chihuly in front of the Space Needle

One Day in Seattle

Chihuly in front of the Space NeedleWith our crazy plan to get to Alaska, we had one day to explore the highlights of Seattle. It was a dreary day, raining on and off. I feel like we got an authentic Seattle experience.

Chris stayed at a Citizen M hotel in Los Angeles a few weeks before and he really wanted me to experience it, so we changed our reservation in Seattle to the Citizen M in South Lake Union. The hotel really caters to business travelers with small rooms and workstations scattered around the lobby. I think it would be a great hotel for a solo traveler, but there were a lot of things about it that made it challenging for two. But, the good news is it is within walking distance of both the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.

Port from the Space Needle View from the Space Needle

We headed first to the Space Needle. The most well-known of Seattle’s attractions, the Space Needle is synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. Built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle is 605 feet tall and was built to withstand a category 5 hurricane and a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. At the top, there is an observation deck and “the loupe”, the world’s first rotating glass floor. It was a great way to get a view of the city, but because of the cloudy weather, we weren’t able to see as far as possible on a clear day.

Boat of Glass

What I was most excited to see in Seattle was the Chihuly Gardens and Glass. I have loved Dale Chihuly’s work since I first saw it in 2012 at Meijer Gardens but this museum highlighted it best. The galleries were made for these unique glass structures and the lighting really made the artwork pop! In the gardens, it was cool to see the glass blended with the flowers in a way that glass additions to an already established garden just can’t do. Combination tickets are available for the Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens and are a great way to see both Seattle Attractions.

Pike Place Market Interior

From the gardens we walked a mile to Pike Place Market. Pike Place Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the United States and is famous for the fishmongers throwing fish. Today the Market is home to over 200 stalls selling everything from flowers and fish to local art and souvenir t-shirts. We had planned to eat at the market, but got hungry along the way so there wasn’t anything we needed during our visit. We did stop at Three Girls Bakery for amazing peanut butter cookies and Rachel’s for a ginger beer.

Glass Ceiling Chihuly’s Persian Ceiling

After our day exploring the city, we headed to the Greyhound Station for our bus to Vancouver. The bus station is not in the nicest part of town, but I never felt unsafe while waiting. The drive was almost five hours with traffic and the bus seats were more uncomfortable than I expected, but customs in Canada was a breeze. I heard horror stories from people on our cruise about the lines for customs at the Vancouver airport taking two hours. We were in and out of there in less than 30 minutes for the whole bus. You do have to take everything you brought with you off the bus, including under bus luggage, so it’s a little more of a hassle than in the airport, but it was not bad at all. Overall, the next time I have to go to Vancouver, I will book a direct flight, but if for some reason I had to get somewhere and Greyhound is the only option, I would do it again for a short (less than 5 hour) ride.

Chihuly Glass Chihuly Glass Garden

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip check out my Planes, Buses, and Boats Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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Flint Institute of Arts

The Flint Institute of Arts is a small art museum located in Flint, Michigan. What drew me to the museum is actually their art school. After my glass blowing experience at the Corning Museum of Glass, I was bound and determined to find a place nearby to learn more about glass art.

The art school at the Flint Institute of Arts is surprisingly affordable. With classes for kids, teens, and adults, the FIA teachers everything from painting and bookmaking to photography and even glassblowing. They offer one-day workshops to get your feet wet in flameworking to make glass beads. What had me most excited was the 6-week glass blowing class.

Before signing up, we took a trip to the museum to check it out. For a small museum, they have a pretty large glass gallery which of course features a few Chihuly works. The museum houses the Glass Glass Collection featuring collected by Sherwin and Shirley Glass. Their collection includes the work of 88 diverse, international glass artists.

Of course COVID-19 swept in and postponed my dreams of becoming a glassblower. But, just because I can’t take classes right now it doesn’t mean that I won’t ever. Hopefully they will be able to open for classes this summer. I will definitely be sure to share my progress in learning the glass arts!

Thanks for stopping by! If you are interested in learning more about the Flint Institue of Arts Art School, visit flintarts.org. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: New Glass Now

Glass Making: Corning Museum of Glass

My blown glass flower

After exploring Ithaca, we headed back to Corning to make our appointments for glass making at the Corning Museum of Glass. After our last time at the Corning Museum of Glass, we knew that if you want to try any of the glass blowing, you need to make reservations in advance. At the end of November, we looked on the website and decided what we wanted to make.

Part of the reason for this trip was an exhibit they had for the 50th Anniversary of the moonwalk called “How Glass Got Us to the Moon”. Because of the exhibit they had a special moon ornament that you could make. Chris and my mother in law both signed up for that. We didn’t need two moon ornaments so I signed up for the Blown Glass Flower (top).

Another thing I learned during our first trip to the museum is that a lot of the glass blowing experiences you don’t get to do much more than the blowing part. I assumed when booking our experiences that if preschoolers can do it, you probably don’t get to do too much. The blown glass flower is only for 14+ so I knew that you probably actually get to do a lot with that one.

Making my flower

After checking in, they gave me goggles, gloves, arm protection, and an apron. Then, the artist I was working with demonstrated the technique and explained how to use the tools. When my turn came, I sat on the bench and he brought the molten glass to me on the pipe. I rolled the pipe and pressed a piece of wood into the glass to flatten it. Then, after he reheated it in the furnace, I got to use some heavy-duty tweezers to form the petals. It was an awesome experience and it made me want to learn how to blow glass!

If you are planning to visit the Corning Museum of Glass, I highly recommend you book a glass making experience! They have activities for all ages! Young children can blow a glass ornament or if they would prefer to be more creative, they can try sandblasting or glass fusing. For adults, I recommend choosing something that is not for all ages, unless you are fine with someone else basically making your item for you. Last trip, we did flameworking and were able to use a hot torch to fuse colored glass into a pendant that I get complimented on anytime I wear it!

Thanks for stopping by! For more information about the Corning Museum of Glass visit CMOG.org, To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Toledo Museum of Art

On a rainy, late December day, we headed out to explore the Toledo Museum of Art.  We visited this museum on a field trip in high school, but we had bus trouble that left us with not much time left to explore. Ever since then and I have been wanting to return. I’m glad I finally got the chance.

ñI was most excited to check out the glass gallery. Opened in 2006, the glass gallery is located on the other side of the street from the main museum and the building is made entirely of glass. Several times a day, the glass gallery showcases glassblowing demonstrations. When we were there, the artists made one of the Three Little Pigs while telling the story. It was fun and kept the kids in the audience entertained as well. The glass gallery was a lot like a smaller version of the Corning Museum of Glass. They even offer glass workshops that allow you to create your own glass projects on certain days. These are not offered every day, so check the website for details.

The museum is a bit smaller than the Detroit Institute of Arts, but there was still a lot to see. The thing that I remembered most from my last visit were the ruins of the monastery at St. Pons de Thomieres (above, right). They have the artifacts put back together and arranged in a room with blue lights on the ceiling that make it look like you are outdoors. It stuck with me from all those years ago and it was good to see these artifacts are still on display for people to experience art and architecture of the middle ages.

The museum is free for anyone to visit but parking is $7 for nonmembers. To plan your visit visit ToledoMuseum.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Corning Museum of Glass

We began our first full day in the Finger Lakes area with a plan. We would get up early and head to the Corning Museum of Glass. I have to thank Doug Parker of Cruise Radio for first turning me on to this museum and it has been on my list to visit for years now. If you’ve never heard of the Corning Museum of Glass, let me give you a brief run down of what they have to offer: unique, glass sculptures, a large exhibit on the history of glass (it may not sound exciting, but it really is interesting), glass blowing demonstrations, and a make your own glass experience.

Pendants We Made

I was most looking forward to making my own glass. I have watched the glass blowers at Greenfield Village for years, and I’ve always wanted to give it a try. So, we looked online the day before and all the glass blowing was already booked up for the day. Instead, we booked flame working and Chris and I both made a pendant. I am so glad we did that! It was a great experience to use a hot torch and melt the glass together and form it into a tear drop (right). While we were waiting, we got to watch people doing the glassblowing and they were literally only

Chris’ Etched Glass

doing the blowing. A worker was the one putting the glass in the kiln and molding it to shape. Knowing that, I am so glad we chose the flame working instead. Getting to actually create something with your own hands is a really good feeling! After we did that, we actually went back and tried our hand at the sand blasting, which is something anyone, any age can do. We were given a glass (I chose a bowl. Chris did a glass) and were given tape and stickers to cover it. Then, you put it in a sand blasting machine and any area that isn’t covered got etched. Chris’ glass turned out really cool (left)!

If you are in the Finger Lakes, you HAVE to stop at the Corning Museum of Glass! The exhibits are interesting. The demonstrations are unique. There are not many places these days where you can get to see glass blowing. If you are visiting, definitely budget time and a little extra money to create something. If you don’t get to do glass blowing, don’t feel bad, there are a ton of other ways that you can create a unique memento of your trip and get a conversation piece out of it!

To plan your visit to the Corning Museum of Glass, visit CMOG.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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