What is a Hot Glass Show and What’s it Doing on a Cruise Ship

hot glass

One of the more interesting enrichment features of the Celebrity Solstic Class ships has been the Hot Glass Show by the Corning Museum of Glass on the the Solstice decks of the ship. Located right next to the Lawn Club, the show features glass artisans, called gaffers, making imaginative glass pieces right in front on the live audience.

I’ll admit that when I first head of the concept, I was not impressed and thought it was rather gimmicky. However the concept and the gaffers won me over after the first show. During the first show I attended many of my questions about how a hot glass show ended up on a cruise ship were answered. The gaffers are either employees or contractors for the Corning Museum of Glass. The Corning Museum of Glass, in Corning, New York, explores every facet of glass: its unique place in art, history, culture, science and technology, craft, and design and produces live glass blowing shows both at the museum and on tour. The Hot Glass Road show travels across the country to special events with all the glass blowing equipment loaded on a flat bed truck. The hot glass road show was exhibiting at the Salt Lake City Olympics with Celebrity President Richard Fain caught the show. He knew he wanted to bring some thing like this to his new fleet of ships. After several years of research and development to produce an all electric system of glass blowing ovens, the show debuted on the Celebrity Solstice in the fall of 2008. When Celebrity rolls out the new fleet they will have 5 ships with the glass show each employing 3 gaffers.

I recently visited the Corning Museum of Glass website and delighted to see that they feature prominently the Celebrity shows on their web page. Their site features biography’s of each of the gaffers who contract for the shows on Celebrity, and even a short video telling viewers more about the shows. Be sure to check out all the features on their interesting web site. www.cmog.org

My favorite part of the shows were that every show was different with each of gaffers challenging themselves to produce different types of works utilizing different techniques through out the show. They produced vases and urns in every shape and size. One of the artist specialized in glass sculpture created everything from a Thanksgiving “Tur-duck-en” to a clown to an octopus holding a vase.

If you are scheduled to sail on the the Solstice class ships, be sure that you don’t miss the Hot Glass Show.