News / USA

Centuries-Old Craft Becomes Modern-Day Art

Glassblowing enjoys resurgence

Centuries-Old Craft Becomes Modern-day Arti
|| 0:00:00
X
April 10, 2012 1:00 AM
Madeeha Anwar

In a scene that would be familiar to generations of artisans from the past, Anthony Corradetti shapes molten glass in the same way glassblowers before him have done for centuries.

 

Working in a Baltimore, Maryland, studio converted from an historic 19th-century foundry building, Corradetti is not making ordinary household items. Instead, he creates works of art.

The craft of glass blowing dates back more than 2,000 years. In the United States, it can be traced back to the early 1600s and the earliest European settlers.

In the last half-century, glassblowing has enjoyed a resurgence, but this time as an art form.
 

“It was a kind of a field that got taken over by industry," Corradetti says. "And they needed less glassblowers because everything was made by machines. But in the late 60s or early 70s, people started treating it more as an art form and teaching it in art schools. And now there're just some amazing things being made out of glass in small studios, such as mine, all over the country.”

Baltimore glass blower Anthony Corradetti shapes a decorative bowl he will later sell in his studio gift shop.

 

The first step of glassblowing is to collect the molten glass on the end of a hollow steel rod, or blowpipe, which is then cooled down with water.

The item is shaped as the ball of hot glass is expanded by air pressure. Sometimes different colors are added and the piece is reheated in a furnace with temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Celsius [2,200 F].

Finally, the completed piece is detached from the blowpipe and given its final touches. It is then kept in an oven for 24 to 48 hours, to keep it from cooling too rapidly and cracking.

The process might look simple, but Corradetti says it takes a lot of attention and hard work. He also notes it's always a crowd-pleaser.

“People are really interested in glassblowing. It's a kind of thing that everybody has seen it as a child somewhere, and it leaves a big impression," he says. "Because when you watch glassblowing, it's kind of magical. It's the kind of thing that everybody wants to try once in their life.”

Corradetti taps into that interest by offering classes and workshops. He also sells his own work - ranging from small decorative items and jewelry to large, artistic pieces - in the studio’s gift shop.

After more than 30 years as a glass artist - first as a student and then operating his own studio - Corradetti still gets a thrill out of it.

“I like being in the environment," he says. "I like everything about it, the heat and just everything that goes along with making glass. The tools and the sounds and the smells and everything about it - I enjoy. I would never do anything...I couldn’t do anything else.”

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid