Museum hosts ‘Glass Comes Alive in Pullman’ on Aug. 30

Closeup of two pieces of glass artwork.
Interdisciplinary talks by WSU glass experts John McCloy and Hallie Meredith will delve into glass making from different time periods and cultures, such as these Syrian 6th–8th century glass containers (photos by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art).

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is hosting two days of events celebrating the significance of glass as a fusion of visual art, design, engineering and technology as part of “Glass Comes Alive in Pullman.” The events scheduled for Aug. 29–30 are free and open to the public.

Ben Cobb, the lead glassblower for the demonstrations on Wednesday, Aug. 30, will deliver an artist’s talk at the Department of Art auditorium located in the Fine Arts Building at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

“Glass Comes Alive in Pullman” will explore the many facets of glass while commemorating the United Nations International Year of Glass. Events on Aug. 30 begin with interdisciplinary public talks by Washington State University glass experts John McCloy and Hallie Meredith, scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The talks will also be livestreamed on YouTube. McCloy and Meredith will delve into glass making from different time periods and cultures, have 3D-printed versions of ancient glassware, and set the stage for the demonstrations later in the day. The discussions, which also provide context for the museum’s Marian E. Smith glass collection, will take place in the Pavilion Gallery of the museum.

A woman hand crafts a piece of glass.
Live glass-blowing demonstration by the Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop from Tacoma.

Meredith, a WSU assistant professor of art history, specializes in late antique work, craft production, Eurasian exchange, and ancient technologies with an emphasis on glass. She is currently working on a book about ancient and contemporary craft. McCloy, professor and director of the School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering at WSU, leads the Nuclear, Optical, Magnetic, & Electronic (NOME) Materials Lab. Both presenters bring unique perspectives to the continued relevance of glassmaking and glassworking technologies today.

Following the talks, experts from the Tacoma-based Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop will conduct glass-blowing demonstrations from 2–4 p.m., and from 4:30–6:30 p.m. The mobile hot shop will be located on Terrell Mall in front of the museum, where contemporary glassblowers will experiment with the design and engineering of ancient Roman, Sasanian, and early Islamic glass vessels introduced earlier in the day. To make the past accessible and demonstrate its continued significance, the day’s events will include 3D-printed versions of complex ancient glassware designed in virtual reality, accompanied by interactive digital media.

Staff from the WSU Spark building, in collaboration with Meredith, has designed an app available for download during the demonstration. This interactive app allows the public to learn more about the ancient glass objects and their rich object biographies while the glassblowers design and create versions using contemporary approaches.

“Glass Comes Alive in Pullman” is an opportunity for students and the wider community to broaden their perspectives concerning modern technology by looking to the past. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is dedicated to engaging the public in fascinating, educational programming like these events.

Location  |  The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is located in the Crimson Cube (on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium and the CUB) on the WSU Pullman campus. For more information and hours please visit museum.wsu.edu.

Live glass-blowing demonstration, snipping the hot glass form. The Museum of Glass Mobile Hot Shop from Tacoma.

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