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  Artist Josh Simpson's glass planets

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Author Topic:   Artist Josh Simpson's glass planets
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 35632
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-16-2006 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Corning Museum of Glass release
World's Largest Glass Paperweight Unveiled at The Corning Museum of Glass

The world's largest glass paperweight — a luminous orb of kaleidoscopic landscapes and underwater worlds encapsulated in glass — was unveiled today at The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.

The Corning Museum commissioned the 107-lb. paperweight, entitled Megaplanet, as the thousandth paperweight to enter its collection. Its creator is Josh Simpson, an artist based in Massachusetts who has been widely acclaimed for his vessels and sculpture that are inspired by the environment and by space exploration. For this occasion, Simpson has realized a wonder-provoking object. The work is more than 13 inches in diameter and is comprised of more than 30 layers of glass.

Eighteen months of labor, including the slow cooling of the piece, and more than 35 years of study, practice, preparation, and inspiration, went into the creation of the solid glass Megaplanet. Like most of Simpson's work, the 107-lb. Megaplanet was inspired both by the natural world and by glass itself. His Planets, which he makes in all sizes, typically involve the creation of detailed and multi-layered land- and seascapes and vistas of outer space that reflect the Earth's vastness and complexity. The artist is in part inspired by his wife, Cady Coleman, a NASA astronaut and a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions.

Simpson has pushed the technical boundaries of glassmaking for this commission. A team of seven glassmakers assisted Simpson in gathering layers of molten glass at the end of an iron blowpipe and inserting tiny details of the planet sculpted delicately out of glass.

Because the 107-lb. Megaplanet is about 20 pounds heavier than any of his previous objects, Simpson had to commission special glassblowing tools, including custom-made blowpipes and oversized wood glass-shaping tools, to handle the intense heat and increased size and weight of the giant Megaplanet. Creating the object was so physically demanding that Simpson worked out regularly for six months beforehand to improve his strength and dexterity.

The paperweight will be part of the Museum's permanent collection, on display to the public.

About The Corning Museum of Glass
With more than 45,000 objects reflecting 3,500 years of glassmaking history, The Corning Museum of Glass is home to the world's most comprehensive and celebrated collection of glass. An independent, non-profit, educational institution, the Museum is dedicated to the art, history, science, research and exhibition of glass.


Posts: 1606
From: Spring Hill, FL
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 11-16-2006 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Josh Simpson is a good friend of mine. He lived just a hop over the hill from me when I lived in the Berkshire Hills. I used to hangar my plane in one of his hangars here in Massachusetts. He's unbelievably talented with glass blowing and is as an ordinary guy as you can get. He is also a pilot.

Actually, the first megaplanet he started on for Corning cracked during the cooling process and he had to start over.

It's magic to watch his worlds of glass come alive. He has done a couple of PBS specials that show the process of transforming ordinary glass into his marvels of wonder. To see more, go to his website and the word "Simpson" depicts his actual signature.

A nicer guy would be impossible to find.

Duke Of URL

Posts: 1316
From: Syracuse, NY
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 12-03-2006 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Corning Museum is a fantastic place. It's still recovering from the 1972 floods that wiped out displays of objects dating back to the time of the Pyramids, but the original cast of the reflector mirror for the Hale Telescope on Mt. Palomar is still there.

Anybody who can go should.


Posts: 2550
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 03-30-2009 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the chance to pick out and purchase a "planet" and wanted everyone to know what a fantastic piece of artwork this is. They are elegant, very artistic, hand crafted to the nth degree. I would highly recommend any space fan to get one.

Josh knows what he is doing!


Posts: 1139
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 04-02-2009 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is the best channel to acquire this artist's work?


Posts: 2550
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 04-03-2009 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go to the web site to order one? They are well worth it. Let me know if I can help.

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