A Great Sadness

Jul 20, 2022
Issue 3642

We regretfully share the sad news that Master Engraver and longtime member of the Steuben glass community, Max Erlacher, has passed away.  Max worked for many years at Steuben Glass and owned his own business, creating beautiful works of art in engraved glass.  He graciously shared his talents and knowledge with the community to our joyful benefit.  We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Kitty Erlacher, and his family.


The news of Max Erlacher’s passing is a sad shock.  But it is also a reminder of how lucky we all are to be a part of this Association and to have had Max in our midst.  

Max retired from his years at Steuben many years ago but he continued to work.  He engraved every day.  He LOVED it, and it showed.  His eyes always sparkled when talking about his work.  He was a quiet man, unassuming, had a wicked sense of humor, and could tell a great story.   

Max and Kitty were always supportive of our organization.  Over the years, Carder Steuben Symposium attendees have been the beneficiary of many interactions with Max and his wife Kitty, providing not only a wealth of knowledge but also some great entertainment.  Here is just a sampling:  

  • In 2011, Max was interviewed by Tom and Peetie Dimitroff in CMOG’s Magic of Glass Theater.  Max discussed his career, training, engraving techniques, designs and special projects.  Several attendees provided images of special pieces that Max had worked on over the years.  
  • September 2013 was a special event.  Max and Kitty hosted our group at their home – their campus, really.  Max provided tours of his studio and gave engraving demonstrations.  A fabulous luncheon was provided with many vegetables coming from Max’s large and bountiful garden.  Max’s gardening skills were also on display with flowers of all kinds both in and outside their home.
  • In 2015, attendees were treated to a presentation by Debbie Tarsitano and Max on “The Outstretched Hand of Liberty” collection, a work that Debbie designed and created based on her own family’s arrival to the United States from Italy.  Max did all the engraving on the eight glass plaques.  This presentation was the first time that Max had seen all the pieces together and had the opportunity to talk about them with Debbie as a collection of work.  
  • In September of 2017, the Rakow Research Library Staff gave a presentation that explored the history, life and work of Max, using video, photos and oral histories.  Max, Kitty and family members were on hand to offer commentary and answer questions.
  • October 2018, Max and Kitty invited Charles Lotton, famed contemporary glassblower, and many of his family members to Corning.  Kitty and Max hosted a wonderful reception for Symposium attendees at her retail Glass shop to meet Charles and his family as well as see pieces that Charles and Max had worked on together.  At the Symposium, attendees were treated to a Fireside Chat hosted by Tom Dimitroff in which Charles and Max shared stories about how they met, their friendship and their collaborations in glass.  Mr. Lotton passed away September 2021.  

Of course, who can forget all those wonderful Carder Birthday dinners and Club Banquets in which Max and Kitty would often attend?  His easy laugh, wonderful smile and wife Kitty always providing additional anecdote to Max’s story is unforgettable.  

We are SOOOOO lucky!  

Symposium 2023
Carder Steuben Glass Association
7-9 September 2023
© Carder Steuben Glass Association Inc.