Down in southern New Jersey, they make glass.

By day and by night, the fires burn on in Millville

And bid the sand let in the light

Carl Sandberg

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At the Wheaton Creative Glass Center

Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center ~ Millville, NJ


Wheaton’s biennial International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass was held this year on June 7th to 9th.   Since 1985 Glass Weekend has brought together artists, collectors, galleries, buyers and  museum curators for a three-day weekend of exhibitions, lectures, hands-on glassmaking, and demonstrations.  Could a glass guy like me stay away?  Not likely.

Their event center show rooms housed extensive presentations of museum quality glass vessels and sculpture, the work of artists from all over the country.  Extraordinary pieces were displayed, bearing some extraordinary prices: $5,000 to $15,000 was typical but there were even pieces priced at $50,000.  Here are five pieces which caught my eye.


Combo 1


Combo 2


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There were visiting glass artists from the U.S. and Japan and Italy, and they performed demonstrations during the day in the Glass Studio which is the building that contains several glass furnaces and an elevated viewing area.  Here’s one such artist, Beth Lipman of New York, building a base for what will be a cluster of fruits and vegetables.

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I was so intrigued by this process that I thought some video would be a good addition.  Here’s Beth Lipman building a base for her eventual aggregation of fruits and vegetables.  A stream of assistants come up with their “gather” of molten glass which Beth adhered to her base.

I wish I had caught her cute little dance steps as she stood reheating her piece in one of the furnaces.  Eventually the work was ready for annealing.  Along came Dr. Tobar (a memory from Saturday afternoon serials at the 10¢ movie) to carry the work to the annealing oven.

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  1. MikeP Says:

    Fascinating… really like the addition of the video. What is annealing????

  2. Ralph Berglund Says:

    Put it on your list. There are pros and apprentices working in the Glass Studio probably every day, and their museum of American Glass is competitive with New York state’s Corning Glass Museum.

    Annealing is placing a hot object in an oven/furnace in which the temperature is reduced gradually over days so that the object cools without cracking. The object that he’s carrying in the picture will be clear when cooled. The color in the picture comes from the fact that it’s so hot. The gathers that are applied are at around 2000 degrees, and the object hasn’t cooled that much while she was working on it.

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