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UrbanGlass will be closed Monday, January 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Wednesday December 23, 2020 | by Lindsay Woodruff

Corning's "Virtual Fireplace" is the perfect way to wind down 2020

If this is the season for "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire," why not "Goblets Roasting in an Open Glory Hole?" Just in time for Christmas 2020, The Corning Museum of Glass has added its spin on the virtual fireplace and burning yule-log videos with a decidedly glassy rendition of the trend -- three hours of footage from inside the blazing glory hole. Splicing together Corning's exclusive inside angle on glassmaking shot during demos with a specially protected video camera mounted inside raging red heat of the glory hole, the static camera shot captures the evolution of blown work at the end of a blowpipe. The fiery red and orange hues are enough to keep winter's chill at bay just by the sense of intense heat that makes you squint when watching. 

A popular feature presented live onscreen during the museum's Hot Glass Show demonstrations, the camera sitting inside the furnace is protected by fused silica, a type of chemically rendered silica developed by Corning Glass Works in the 1930s, with a melting point of 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Splicing together extended footage from this perspective makes a mesmerizing and warming experience.

Instead of a crackling fire, the roar of the glory hole hums while glass objects turn and seem to float on the screen. The sound and perspective of this yule log makes it a glass-friendly background to home gift exchanges, socially distanced studio parties, or a replacement for the usual holiday songs.

As manager of public relations & social media projects Kim Thompson notes, "watching 3 hours of this footage will either lull you into a cozy calm for the holiday season, or satisfy your need to watch 2020 go out in flames."

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.