Get Your Glass On

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Monday, December 13, 2010 a group of twelve from Temple University Libraries gathered at the front doors of the Glass Department at Tyler School of Art for what they thought would be a tour of the facility and a demonstration of glassblowing. Instead, they learned about social responsibility, the importance of communication and the value in collaboration. The group then witnessed these life lessons in action during a glassblowing demonstration that was nothing short of an intuitively choreographed dance between three artists.


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Daniel Cutrone, Assistant Professor of Glass at Tyler School of Art first toured the library group around the Glass department showing off the facility and sharing with us his enthusiasm for teaching, his passion for glass making and the life skills necessary to be a successful glass artist. Cutrone challenges his students to learn through questioning. Cutrone says the most important question for his students to answer once they arrive at Tyler is “what gets you up in the morning?” He believes once they answer that, all things are possible. He talks about the glass studio as a community in which collaboration with your peers, clear communication of your intentions and accountability for your actions are essential to survival. His students agree. One student spoke about the tremendous learning curve with glass making. She emphasized the importance of safety among the community as well as personal responsibility when working with molten glass.

As Cutrone and his two students demonstrated the glass blowing technique, our group was impressed with how these three artists collaborated together. Each person had their role. The three were constantly multi-tasking, using all their senses: looking at what they were doing, listening for audible clues from their partner and feeling for changes in the glass at the end of their instruments.

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As the Art Librarian at Temple University I have the privilege of working with Tyler School of Art faculty and students on a regular basis for research education. This is truly rewarding for me. However, I rarely have the opportunity to experience the end product of their research; but, on the occasion that I get to attend a critique, demonstration, lecture or exhibition, I am inspired by the dedication of the faculty and the passion and curiosity they are able to instill in their students. This is what gets me up in the morning. What about you?

This event was organized by Temple University Libraries Continuing Education Committee.

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