Explore Glass Beads

Explore Glass Beads

Kids and Teens Free

Explore glass beads at the Museum. See the exhibition, Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead, watch special Beadmaking Demos, and Make Your Own Glass Bead (additional fee; ages 10+, other projects available for all ages). Special Museum admission rates are available for area residents.

Life on a StringLife on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead

Symbolizing power, enabling ornamentation, and facilitating trade, glass beads are miniature masterpieces that have played significant roles throughout time and across cultures. Life on a String explores glass beads and beaded objects made by various cultures, representing 3,500 years of human history.

beadmaking demonstrationBeadmaking Demonstrations
Watch live Beadmaking Demos (included in admission) at a 5,000° F gas- and oxygen-powered torch. Expert flameworkers form glass beads at a torch, and talk you through the process. You’ll see the flameworker shape softened glass rods and tubes into a variety of bead styles, from ancient to contemporary designs.

Make Your Own Glass BeadMake Your Own Glass

Fire up your creative side! Flamework your own glass bead at the torch with one of our expert glassmakers. You can also fuse a frame, sandblast a cup, or blow an ornament at the furnace. (Additional fees apply; projects exist for all ages. Space is limited so reserve your tickets online today!)

Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of GlassGlass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass
A new companion book to the Life on a String exhibition is available for purchase in the GlassMarket. This colorful publication, which features 50 highlights of beads and beaded objects in the Museum’s collection, was written by exhibition curator Adrienne V. Gennett, with contributions by Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass.

Members Only Tour of Life on a String

Explore the beads in Life on a String
Learn more about the beads and beaded objects in Life on a String in this Collection Set of objects on view in the exhibition, then create your own Collection Set to collect and share objects, videos, articles and more.

Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of GlassBead It! Family Program
In this special family activity (for ages 8+ with adult), you’ll explore the world of beads. Start with a guided tour of the special exhibition, Life on a String. You’ll learn about the history of beads and the ways they have been used by different cultures. Then, watch a glass Beadmaking Demo and use beads to create a piece of art or jewelry. ($10 per person; registration is required.)