Director's Foreword

Since its release in February 2016, The Techniques of Renaissance Venetian Glassworking has been used by more than 50,000 individuals around the globe. The videos in this resource (which are also available on the YouTube channel of The Corning Museum of Glass) have been seen multiple times; one particularly popular video on the making of a Venetian dragon-stem goblet has had more than a million viewers. Our belief that this resource, created for a broad audience of artists, collectors, curators, and appreciators, would be welcomed with open arms has been realized, and it has even become a required textbook for a course on materials and techniques in a university program in the Netherlands. If that isn’t validation, I’m not sure what is!

What better way to celebrate this success than to launch our next digital resource, The Techniques of Renaissance Venetian-Style Glassworking. This new compilation of videos, texts, and images focuses on the glass made in response to, and in competition with, Venetian glass. Together, these two digital resources provide a comprehensive understanding of how glassmakers across Europe, from England to Scandinavia, may have manufactured beautiful and complex vessels to meet the demands of their customers. And while the influence of Venetian glassmakers can be seen in many of the Venetian-style products, there are an equal number of “home-grown” styles and techniques that demonstrate the virtuosity and design sensibility of glassmakers beyond Venice.

This new compilation of videos, texts, and images focuses on the glass made in response to, and in competition with, Venetian glass.

The author, William Gudenrath, has once again elected to explore examples of a variety of shapes and techniques, chosen from the collection of The Corning Museum of Glass and elsewhere. The works range in form from an Austrian boot-shaped vessel to a Swedish covered goblet with a stem formed from the initials of King Charles XI of Sweden (1655–1697) and his consort, Ulrika Eleanora of Denmark (1656–1693). Among my personal favorites are a Spanish wineglass and an Austrian flameworked scorpion.

Gudenrath has studied the works from the perspective of an experienced glassmaker. Through patient trial and error, he has created videos that capture the essential steps of manufacture for the selected works and, by extension, the broader corpus of Renaissance Venetian-style glass. I continue to admire the author’s dedication to this historical study and am heartened that his work has inspired more and more glassmakers around the world to turn their attention to the past in a similar manner. Such work is essential, not just for artists but also for art historians and others who study this material, often from a different perspective. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work as an art historian has been the opportunity to collaborate with the author on the study of glass objects. Each of us brings a personal perspective to a piece, and through conversation and observation, we learn much from each other.

In addition to the author, I would like to thank the dedicated staff from a number of departments at the Corning Museum—including Publications, Photography, The Studio, Audiovisual, and Digital Media—who contributed to this work. For all of us, this is a labor of love and pride, one in which we all take great satisfaction. What better way to fulfill the Museum’s mission of telling the world about glass than in the most compelling way possible: not just through words, but through words and moving images, to instill curiosity, knowledge, and appreciation to a broad audience of glass lovers around the world.

Karol B. Wight
President and Executive Director
The Corning Museum of Glass