Taylor creates “The Nutcracker” for Steuben

Tue, 2006-12-19 11:19 -- univcomm
December 19, 2006

A glass piece create by an Anderson University student is currently being offered by Steuben Glass based in Corning, New York, the preeminent maker of fine glass internationally. The work created by Melissa Taylor, a Fine Arts major at Anderson University, is entitled “The Nutcracker” and marks the first time that Steuben has offered a piece created by an undergraduate university glass student. The piece is currently featured on the front cover of the Steuben Christmas catalog.

Taylor was one of seven students who undertook a theoretical design project for Steuben in the spring semester of 04-05. Professor Arlon Bayliss, co-chair of the Anderson University Department of Art + Design approached Steuben to learn if they would receive the designs, critique them in progress and --- at the end of the semester---give their feedback on the prototypes. Out of this experience, Steuben became interested in Taylor’s creation and began working with her to bring her piece to the production level.

“A success like this is the result of many years investing in a quality Art and Design program, said Bayliss. “It is the fruit of the efforts of various faculty involved in Melissa’s development. It has been a real pleasure witnessing how this honor has given Melissa a certain sense of worth and confidence. One of the best outcomes is that our other students see Melissa’s success and see that any thing is possible for them, even designing for the best crystal manufacturer in the world.

For more than 100 years, Steuben has been at the forefront of glass design, balancing state-of-the-art technological advancements with centuries-old traditional glassmaking techniques. Founded in 1903 by English glassmaker Frederick Carder, Steuben is an American company named after Steuben County, New York, where its design studio and glassworks facility are still located. The company was acquired by Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) in 1918, and in 1933, Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. was appointed Steuben's president. Soon after, he revolutionized the art glass industry with the introduction of clear Steuben crystal -- a new optical glass of unparalleled brilliance and purity formulated by Corning Glass Works scientists.

Houghton's profound belief (still one of the driving forces at Steuben today) was that the unique partnership of designer and glassmaker is catalyst to the conception of visionary designs that literally push the art of glassmaking to the edge of creative expression. In Houghton's day as now, Steuben has had but one ideal -- to make the finest glass the world has ever known, with strict adherence to distinctive design and to the "hand methods" of forming, polishing and engraving. At a time when value is increasingly important, Steuben continues to deliver unsurpassed quality, superior craftsmanship, and unerring attention to design and detail.

Offering majors in fine arts studio, studio glass, graphic design, general studies in art and art education, Anderson University’s Department of Art + Design challenges and prepares students to bring their best contributions to their chosen field. Students accomplish this through scholarly research, intensive studio practice, professional work experience and working closely with skilled faculty of artists and designers.