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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs