Montour Falls is a quaint little town, just a few miles from Watkins Glen State Park which is the home of Watkins Glen Gorge and 17 waterfalls. The Corning Museum of Glass is about twenty miles south in the little village/town of Corning. Saturday and part of Sunday, we went to the Corning Museum of Glass. The purchase price of ticket includes two days and for a small additional fee you can upgrade the ticket to include the Rockwell Museum of Art also housed in Corning. They are both owned by Corning.
The architecture of the museum itself is very interesting. The museum used to be an old factory and was renovated to house the extensive collection of glass.
The museum traces 35 centuries of glass art, history and technology. There are several galleries ranging from contemporary to cross cultural.
This is a classic representation of Chihuly.
This was one of the exhibits of safety glass. The windshield on top shows what happens when two guns shots were shot into the windshield. The bullets did not go through the glass, but the glass sort of absorbs the impact but doesn't shatter. The second windshield shows safety glass which is laminated to tape which keeps the glass from shattering into sharp shards. The bottom windshield is from an old car with regular glass. The demonstration I attended showed how the bullet proof glass would shatter into little piece if hit just the right way, but not break into big pieces. It all has to do with how the glass is tempered.
We've all heard of corning ware, the white pots you cook in. Corning ware was as a result of a mistake in over firing glass bowls. When fired long enough and hot enough, the bowl didn't melt but turned white and became tough enough to with standing baking and cooking. The bowls below represent the different strengths of the bowls. The glass colored ones (not as tough but similar to Pyrex ) on the bottom to the white colored ones on top which are Corning Ware.
The hot glass demonstration was one of the better demonstrations on glass blowing I've seen. A narrator walked you through the whole process, explaining the different names of the different tools and exactly what the artist was doing. It was very professional and informative. Glass making has always fascinated me and I never get tired of watching.
The optical fiber demonstration was also very interesting and is the museum newest exhibit. Did you know optical fiber is as thin as a strand of hair and can transmit over a half a million pieces of data at one time? There was a large circle at least five feet in diameter that enclosed solid copper wiring/cable (my photo did not turn out) and one small strand of optical fiber replaces all of the copper wiring in the five foot diameter. Amazing.
After the demonstrations we took the shuttle over to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. The exhibit was nice and the Andy Warhol section on Cowboys and Indians was especially interesting. No, it is not the same Rockwell as Norman Rockwell.
We walked the town of Corning, which has lots of interesting little studios and shops. A nice place to visit, but it is obvious that Corning is what keeps this town of Corning alive. Its been really hot so we were happy to get back to the campground and use the AC even though it was the power was a little sporadic.