A Modern Steuben Assignment

Nov 2, 2023
Issue 3691

David Dowler, renowned artist-designer at Steuben, joined us at the Symposium to introduce a 1978 award-winning film by photojournalist Elliot Erwin.  The film was aptly titled “Assignment in Glassmaking” and opened with Steuben Glass President Thomas Buechner issuing this challenge to his team:  “I’d like to see us undertake a project to create a major piece  — say to sell for as much as $15,000 — that brings together both the blowing room floor and the cutting shops, and the engraving.  All three in one piece.”  The designers to take up the challenge were Lloyd Atkins, Donald Pollard, and David Dowler.

The film traced the development of three major Steuben sculptures from their initial idea through to fabrication, and provided a detailed look into many of the hurdles and decisions that go into creating such fabulous pieces.  It was a fantastic time travel journey back to the 1970’s (those hairstyles! Smoking during meetings!) and it’s always a thrill to see glass masterworks come to life.  We enjoyed seeing their beautiful work and it was a special treat to have David with us in person to provide his commentary and answer questions.  As one of the admirers in the film commented, “You can really lose yourself in the glass.”  We heartily agree!


We can never get enough of looking at Steuben glass!   Amy Hughes, Assistant Curator at the Corning Museum of Glass, and Mieke Fay, Manager of Education and Interpretation, walked us through the new exhibit Local Color: Secrets of Steuben Glass.  This exhibit examines the talent of European and local artisans, glassworkers, glass decorators, and women who helped realize Carder’s vision for Steuben.  It showcases the early history of the Steuben Glass Works and the dazzling variety of glass Steuben developed in the early 20th century.  The display cases contained a beautiful assortment of Carder pieces, and Amy shared the importance of the colors and why these were chosen.  There was also a companion exhibit Local Color: Witnessing Carder in a New Hue developed by the Museum’s Junior Curators.  Both exhibits are located on the West Bridge of the museum (just at the top of the escalators) so nearly everyone who visits CMoG can enjoy the beauty of Carder Steuben glass.


Happy November!  We are officially kicking off our membership renewal drive for 2024.  Please support the Carder Steuben Glass Association by renewing your membership (or, of course, joining for the first time).

Club membership dues are the main source of funding that enables us to keep the website active, bring the Gazelle Gazettes to your inbox, and support our organization’s mission to encourage the knowledge, appreciation, and love of Steuben glass.  We couldn’t do all of this without the support of our association members.

The dues of $35 for one person, or $55 for a two-person household will keep you as active members through December 31, 2024.  It’s easy to renew online by visiting the CSGA website here.  Please take a moment and renew your membership today!

Symposium 2024
Carder Steuben Glass Association
13-14 September 2024
© Carder Steuben Glass Association Inc.