Pair of Alfred University alumni to appear in Netflix series on glassblowing competition
Two Alfred University alumni appear in a 10-episode reality series set to air this summer on Netflix, which chronicles competition among some of the most promising glass artists in North America.
ALFRED, NY – Two Alfred University alumni appear in a 10-episode reality series set to air this summer on Netflix, which chronicles competition among some of the most promising glass artists in North America.
The series, Blown Away, will premiere on Netflix on July 12. Produced by marblemedia for Blue Ant Media and Netflix, Blown Away features 10 competing glass artists from the United States and Canada. The competition is set in Toronto, in a glassblowing studio constructed specifically for the series, which was filmed last fall and originally aired in Canada.
In each episode, contestants have four hours to design, create and present a piece of glass art. Each week, one competitor will be eliminated until there are two left in the series finale.
The series – which is hosted by Nick Uhas, with renowned glass artist Katherine Gray appearing each weeks as an evaluator (judge) – was produced in partnership with Corning Museum of Glass. For the series finale, Eric Meek, senior manager of hot glass programs at the Museum, serves as guest evaluator. Six glass artists in the Museum’s Hot Shop – including Alfred University alumni G. Brian Juk and Tom Ryder – assist the final two competitors.
The winner earns prizes worth $60,000, which include cash as well as two working sessions this summer and a five-day residency in October at Corning Museum of Glass.
Juk and Ryder both earned B.F.A. degrees from Alfred University – Juk in 2001 and Ryder in 2009. Juk has been on the hot glass team at Corning Museum of Glass since 2004; Ryder joined the team in 2009. Both have worked on the Hot Glass at Sea Program – giving glassblowing demonstrations on cruises – and other educational outreach initiatives.
The pair participated in the Museum’s Glass Barge program last summer, giving glassblowing demonstrations on a barge outfitted with a hot glass studio. The Glass Barge traveled along the Erie Canal as part of a celebration commemorating the 150th anniversary of glassmaking in Corning and the bicentennial of the canal’s opening. The Glass Barge trip was meant to replicate the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company’s move to Corning in 1868. The Brooklyn Flint Glass Company was renamed Corning Flint Glass Works, which today is Corning Inc.
Juk commented on the role Alfred University played in his success as a glass artist and the diversity he’s had in his career. In addition to participating in rewarding outreach initiatives like the Glass Barge and Hot Glass at Sea programs, Juk has his own glass art studio, Steuben County Glass, in Corning.
“When I began my glassblowing career at Alfred University, I never imagined all of the places it would take me or the people I’d meet,” he said. “Being part of Blown Away was really special for me. I’m so happy I made the decision to attend Alfred University.”