In the morning, I had signed up for a lecture in which we were to learn about the comparison of medieval material culture with ancient material culture, and the importance of glassware in relation to other table utensils. Unfortunately, the scheduled speaker had some travel issues resulting in his being stuck in Philadelphia, so a change in the lecture was made. Fortunately, once again, I had the distinct privilege of listening to a joint presentation by Dr. David Whitehouse and William Gudenrath on the specifics of making blown glass vessels in period. Dr. Whitehouse discussed a variety of different objects, how they were used and what they represented, and then Mr. Gudenrath showed specifically how most of those objects were actually made. He showed several videos in which he himself was creating a replica claw beaker or enameled beaker or carafe. Unbelievable! I just cannot truly express just how exciting it was to go over the actual process by which a modern glassworker was able to exactly replicate a medieval object using pretty much ONLY the tools that were available in period. And then see it happen before your eyes. Seriously. I was a total fangirl and managed to sneak a photo during the lecture...
That's William Gudenrath on the left and Dr. Whitehouse on the right. I found out, by surfing the Museum webpage, that Mr. Gudenrath has two degrees, neither of which have anything to do with glassblowing or history or the Roman period. They're in MUSIC, of all things, and one of his degrees is from Julliard. He gives me hope. :)
I also wondered how totally ridiculous it would be to ask for a photo with the both of them...I was too chicken to really do it, but I wanted to.
After my lecture, I took a few minutes to do some souvenir shopping for my children (kaleidoscopes for everyone!), and headed back to the library to finish up some research there while my friend Kitty went to another lecture right before lunch.
As a short aside, and for your viewing pleasure, let me show you some images of 19th century lampworking paraphernalia:
The sign on the door of lampwork artists, Rudolph and Leopold Blaschka in Dresden, Germany
Their lampworking lamp
Their lampworking lamp
Nineteenth-century jars of frit!
After our visit, we drove back to Corning and spent a little while longer in -- you guessed it -- the library! Crazy. I know.
Then, back to our new favorite restaurant for dinner:
After yummy burgers, we dragged ourselves back to the hotel. Saturday, the last full day of our trip, promised to be just as packed as the previous days.
Next up: A day in Rochester, NY, the Flower City!