Finger Lakes, New York: Visiting Will Change You

Taking a glass blowing class at Corning Museum. (Photos courtesy Donna Long)

By Donna Long, Travel Writer

Finger Lakes region of New York state has towering rugged clifts, sun-drenched rolling hills lined with neat rows of wine grapes destined for bottling, and lush green valleys. I discovered there are many reasons to explore this area that is home to America’s Crystal City, Corning.

Become a Gaffer

Coring is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of glass objects from the pre-Roman era to the present day. The Corning Museum of Glass was founded in 1951 and showcases the most extensive collection of glass art in the world.

The museum is home to one of the world’s major glass research centers. It also is the place to discover the technical side of how the advancements of glass affect our everyday life.

The scientific research department of Corning museum is where pyrex was created in addition to leading research into optical fiber development, and specialized glass used for LCD televisions, smartphones and NASA space shuttles.

During my visit to the Corning Museum of Glass, I learned what was involved in becoming a gaffer – a master glassblower. I was able to choose from a variety of classes such as intricate jewelry pieces swirled with a rainbow of colors, cups, or vases dusted with glitter. I also sat in on a hot glass show watching the true professional artisans at work. It is impressive to watch how they manipulate molten glass from glowing red blobs to stunning and intricate art.

To read more, pick up a copy of the November/December issue of LiveIt magazine.