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USGNN Original Story"Glass Experience" Opens In Chicago

The entrance of the exhibit features Baccarat chandeliers, said to feature the world's finest crystal.

Starting with the glasses on the nose in front of your face-glass is the substance of our lives, and not just because most of us make a living creating, handling, fabricating, embellishing and otherwise enhancing the stuff every day of our work lives. Even those of us who merely market and sell the processed glazed products for homes and buildings need to, every now and then, step back to pay homage to its rich history, artistic values and ongoing evolution.

"The Glass Experience" opened today at Chicago's massive Museum of Science and Industry, the largest building of its kind in the United States. Why not Toledo? Why not Pittsburgh? Or, Corning, N.Y? While these smaller cities have played outsized roles in the development of U.S. flat glass technology, Chicago is filled with the artistic achievements of such giants as Louis Comfort Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright. Their inspirational windows, glass doors and skylight domes bequeath splendor to hundreds of the churches, buildings and homes of Chicagoland.

Pilkington marketing and communications manager, Rachel Hepner, with Jerry Razwick, president of Technical Glass Products, at the exhibit.

While at the glass experience in Chicago

  • Don't miss the 20-by-16-foot Wall of Glass from Pilkington, resplendent with various types of contemporary architectural glass treatments.
  • Walk across a section of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the same clear 2-inch-thick structural glass platform suspended 4,000 feet above the floor of the Canyon.
  • See exquisite examples of Wright's Prairie School windows, called "light screens," which were designed to open buildings to light and nature-before daylighting was called daylighting-while providing a delicate separation between the two realms.
  • View magnificent Tiffany stained glass lamps and windows with a sense of depth achieved by layering plates of textured glass in varied thickness and lead lines.
  • Watch live glass artisans from the Botti Studio of Architectural Arts refurbish and reassemble priceless Tiffany antique stained glass lamps and windows before your eyes.
Botti artisans assemble antique glass pieces at the museum.

The exhibition joins together glass history, technology, plus both contemporary and antique works of art from all over the world. There's a lens from the most advanced telescope system every built to explore our solar system. There's even a "forest" of 20 large, colorful blown-glass sculptures from world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. Not to mention live glass-blowing demonstrations every half hour by artisans from The Corning Museum of Glass, who melt glass batches into a 2,300-degree Fahrenheit fluid to be gathered and worked by these glass masters.

There's a lot more to see and learn about glass for everyone. Bring your employees and family. And don't forget your glasses.

WHEN: March 13 - Sept. 1, 2008

WHERE: Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL

CLICK HERE for more information.

CLICK HERE to read Pilkington's announcement of participation in the exhibit.

Look for more information on The Glass Experience in an upcoming issue of USGlass magazine.

David Martin is a freelance writer for USGlass magazine.

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