Museum of Glass celebrates 110,000th visitor

The Museum of Glass, which has been open since early July, set a milestone in attendance and recently launched a virtual hot shop.

Emily and William Appleton and their children walked through the doors of the Museum of Glass yesterday and were greeted as the museum’s 110,000th visitor by the staff and other visitors.

The brief celebration took place in the Hot Shop Amphitheater, where the artists paused in their glass-blowing work to enjoy the moment.

The Appletons were presented with an annual family membership to the museum, a certificate to Prizm café, gifts from the store and a hand-blown vase from the Hot Shop team.

“This started out as a celebration of our 100,000th visitor, but attendance shot ahead of that mark sooner than we anticipated. So, in keeping with the spirit of the Museum, we embraced the unexpected – 110,000 is a lovely number!” explained director, Josi Callan.

According to Ms. Appleton the children had the most fun painting in egg tempura with artist Rick LaFleur in the Education Studio.

When asked what she thought about the Museum, 4-year old Amy Appleton’s enthusiastic response was, “I like it because we’re famous.”

The Museum of Glass has developed the Virtual Hot Shop in association with Seattle-based interactive agency POP! Multimedia.

The Virtual Hot Shop lets the player create a macchia, a basket-like form developed by glass artist Dale Chihuly.

The player proceeds through the stages of creating an art piece while keeping the piece the right temperature by periodically heating it.

After the macchia goes through the “annealing” – or cooling – process, it can then be added to the online gallery for others to enjoy.

The Virtual Hot Shop is the first demonstration of the museum’s ability to teach through its Web site at

In future phases, different techniques of glass making will be added, including goblet making, sand casting, mold blowing and core vessel making.