BUFFALO, N.Y. — You hear a local museum mentioned on every episode of the popular Netflix show, "Blown Away." Now that the much-anticipated Season 2 is available to stream, the Corning Museum of Glass is celebrating the series that has lit a new fire of interest in the glassmaking industry.
The show was filmed in the largest glassblowing shop in North America, located in Canada, in March 2020, right before the pandemic closed the border. Just like the first season, the Corning Museum of Glass provided behind-the-scenes consulting on the show, and as well as on-camera assistance to the contestants in the finale, and the grand prize of a residency at the museum for the winning artist.
Before he retired, Corning's former senior director, Rob Cassetti, served as guest evaluator in that episode, helping to select the winner. He says the show has had an huge impact on the glassmaking world as a whole, as well as visitors to Corning.
"We see 'Blown Away' fans all the time," he told 2 On Your Side. "Interestingly enough, the interest in glassmaking really spiked, and we saw our glassblowing classes start to sell out, and we heard from colleagues literally around the world that their studios were selling out because of the interest in glassblowing. It really caught on."
The show paints an often-dramatic picture of life in the hot shop, with the artists' work often suffering cracks or fatal falls to the floor under under tight time limits.
"This is just built in drama," Cassetti said. "So when you see the show, the sweat, the glass falling on the floor, the time constraints, the last minute failures, that's all real, that happens. Now the time pressure accelerates that, but in the glass world, I've seen that kind of time pressure all the time, so it's 100% authentic."
"Blown Away" Season 2 is now available for streaming on Netflix. The winning artist's residency will start when it's safe under COVID-19 protocols.