Corning Museum of Glass

vickyIn this blog post, WUDPAC Class of 2014 Fellow Victoria Schussler talks about her third-year internship working with conservation staff at the Corning Museum of Glass, including her work on an  ancient Roman ewer and her presentation at a student symposium in Amsterdam following the recent  ICOM-CC Glass and Ceramics Working Group Interim Meeting and Forum of the International Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Stained Glass.:


Playing with Broken Glass


That’s right! Conservation students get to do all the things we weren’t supposed to do as children! (Except eating the paste – that is still frowned upon.)

We have spent the past week studying the conservation of glass with Stephen Koob, expert glass conservator from the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. Stephen’s class took a hands-on approach to teach us the delicate balance between the extraordinary durability and fragility of glass.

First we learned about the history of glass manufacture, its unique chemical composition and physical structure, and its deterioration and treatment. Afterwards, each student worked to reassemble two broken glass vessels. We experimented with Paraloid B72, various epoxies, and even some commercial products like Elmer’s Glue-All. We also practiced making molds and casting fills.

In the end we all learned not to fear the sharp shards, but rather to appreciate their fantastic qualities of strength, transparency, and form. Thank you to Stephen who was a great, practical teacher!

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