Arguably the hottest show on Netflix, the glassblowing competition series Blown Away–once again featuring expert glassmakers from The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) –returned for a second season on January 22, 2021. The Museum also hosts an exhibit of work made during Season 2, featuring one object from each of the 10 contestants. The exhibit Blown Away: Season 2 opened on the Museum’s West Bridge the day the show launched.
CMoG, which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass, the library of record on glass, and one of the top glassmaking schools in the world, has served as a key consulting partner for the series since its conception. When the first season of Blown Away launched in the summer of 2019, CMoG was invited into the spotlight, bringing to the program its expertise in an artform that much of the world was discovering for the first time through the show.
“We are so pleased to again partner with marblemedia to put glass in a global spotlight,”said the Museum’s president and executive director, Karol Wight, of CMoG’s relationship with the Canadian production company behind Blown Away. “Watching new audiences around the world embrace glassblowing because of this series has been exciting, and we look forward to seeing that enthusiasm grow with the release of a second season.”
This season introduces a new group of 10 talented glassmakers from around the world as they compete for the title of “Best in Glass.” Season 2 is once again hosted by Nick Uhas, with resident evaluator and glass master Katherine Gray.
Andi Kovel, Ben Silver, Brad Turner, Cat Burns, Chris Taylor, Elliot Walker, Jason McDonald, Mike Shelbo, NaoYamamoto, and Tegan Hamilton.
Episode 1: Alexander Rosenberg – Season One Competitor; Episode 2: Benjamin Write – Pilchuck Glass School; Episode 3: Kathryn Durst – Animator and Illustrator; Episode 4: Heather McElwee – Pittsburgh Glass Center; Episode 5: Bobby Berk – Interior Designer “Queer Eye”; Episode 6: Michel Germain – Perfume Designer; Episode 7: Stepheen Weatherly – Defensive End, Carolina Panthers; Episode 8: Sunny Fong – Fashion Designer, VAWK; Episode 9: Deborah Czeresko – Season One Champion; and Episode 10: Robert Cassetti – Corning Museum of Glass.
In the season finale the Museum also provides the two Blown Away finalists with the expert assistance of its Hot Glass Demo Team—Eric Meek, Jeff Mack, Helen Tegeler, Catherine Ayers, George Kennard, and Chris Rochelle. A blockbuster ending to a 20-year career at CMoG, shortly before his retirement from the Museum senior director Rob Cassetti served as the final guest evaluator, helping to select the winner of the competition.
“It feels like I’ve come full circle,” said Cassetti, who developed the Museum’s hot glass programming. “When we first launched our demo at the Museum, we called it the Hot Glass Show, and put our makers on a stage. We knew glass was inherently exciting, and we wanted to bring that to our visitors. So now for the Blown Away series to capture that magic, bottle that energy, and to share it with the world through Netflix it’s really unbelievable, and it was a joyful honor for me to be part of it.”
As part of the prize package, the winner of the show will receive the coveted Blown Away Residency at CMoG. In 2019 the Museum hosted Season 1 winner, Deborah Czeresko, for three week-long working sessions. The residency takes place in the Museum’s Amphitheater Hot Shop where a live audience can meet the winner and watch the artist make new works. CMoG will host the Season 2 winner as soon as COVID restrictions allow.
“We are thrilled that Blown Away returns for a second season, available to Netflix’s global audiences to stream on January 22,” said Matt Hornburg, executive producer and co-CEO of marblemedia. “This show’s success is due in part to our valued partnership with The Corning Museum of Glass, and their unwavering support and guidance. Their contribution to the grand prize, offering a prestigious residency to the winner, raises the stakes that much more. We are thrilled that the Museum is showcasing the exceptional work done by these esteemed glass artists from season two. Seeing these pieces on display, representing the true essence of this show, is very rewarding.”
This special episode of TOYG podcast features interviews with Hornburg, Cassetti and artist contestant Mike Shelbo in this behind the scenes look at Blown Away Season 2.