Corning Museum to host glass bead exhibition and conference

Until January 5, 2014, the Corning Museum of Glass will present Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead, a major exhibition of glass beads and beadwork from many cultures. In addition, the museum will offer demonstrations of bead-making, as well as hosting its Annual Seminar on Glass October 18-19, 2013.

From the website:

Life on a String will explore the use of glass beads for fashion and ornament, as symbols of power and wealth, as traded goods, and as objects of ritual, as well as illuminate the processes of beadmaking and beadworking. Highlights of the exhibition include early Venetian chevron and millefiori beads, Roman mosaic beads, West Africa bodom beads, Egyptian eye beads, Chinese horned eye beads, Japanese magatama beads, Bohemian beads imitating precious stones, North American beadworked garments, and contemporary beaded objects by Joyce Scott and David Chatt.

Traded globally for centuries, glass beads are among the earliest attempts at glass production and have been found at ancient glass manufacturing sites in the eastern Mediterranean from the second millennium B.C. The beads in the exhibition demonstrate the variations in manufacturing techniques used to create beads and beaded objects through time. A loom for beading and molds used to make powdered glass bodom beads will be on display along with images of beads being produced around the world, to illuminate the vast and rich history of techniques for bead production.

The 52nd Annual Seminar on Glass Beads: Life, Trade, Ritual will take place October 18-19, 2013.

This year's Annual Seminar on Glass, presented in a new two-day format, discusses beads and beaded objects created throughout glass history and from all parts of the world.

Seminar will feature lectures and live demonstrations focused around the topics represented in the Museum's 2013 major exhibition, Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead. This unique exhibition explores glass beads created and used by diverse cultures across the globe and throughout history. It explores the use of glass beads for fashion and ornament, as symbols of power and wealth, as traded goods, and as objects used in ritual ceremonies.

Speakers and demonstrators include Robert Liu, founder and co-editor of Ornament magazine; renowned beadmaker and teacher Kristina Logan; Ralph Mossman and Mary Mullaney of Heron Glass; beadwork scholar Alice Scherer; bead scholar Karlis Karklins; Christopher DeCorse, professor of anthropology at Syracuse University; Michele Majer, assistant professor of clothing and textiles at Bard Graduate Center; and from The Corning Museum of Glass, curator of modern glass Tina Oldknow and flamework artist Caitlin Hyde.

Seminarians will also have an opportunity to make their own glass bead (included in price of Seminar), experiencing first-hand the intricate process of creating a miniature masterpiece.