Whitney Cornforth

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Whitney grew up in the small coastal town of Rockport, Maine and spent summers on the island of Deer Isle in Maine’s Penobscot Bay. With magical summers kindling a love for the ocean and a passion for building and creating all manner of things; it’s no wonder he was drawn to the fluidity and process of glassblowing.
Whitney attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a B.S. and M.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in 2001. It was at M.I.T. pursuing these engineering degrees that Whitney discovered glassblowing, and the course of his life was dramatically changed.
After graduating, Whitney decided to abandon Naval Architecture to follow his new found passion for glass. Since that time, he has worked full time as a glassblower working with and for many glass artists in the Boston area. Additionally Whitney has attended the Pilchuck Glass School and he was a teaching assistant for Kait Rhoads at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. All the while, Whitney has taken countless glass courses from visiting artists and instructors at M.I.T., where he has continually taught glassblowing at all levels.
Whitney’s approach to glassblowing is strongly influenced by his engineering background; with each piece of glass being approached from the standpoint of “how do I build it?” In this light there are strong ties to functional glass in many of Whitney’s forms, even though the work is becoming increasingly sculptural.
Whitney currently lives in Boston, Ma where he has access to a number of glass studios for his various equipment needs, most importantly the M.I.T. Glass Lab. As an M.I.T. alumnus and current glassblowing instructor, Whitney can inspire and be inspired by the passion of the M.I.T. students, regardless of their area or level of expertise as well as other glass shop artists and instructors. Additionally, Whitney is connected to the entire M.I.T. community allowing for the exchange of information and insights in fields ranging from hydrodynamics to origami or electronics to metal working, an environment unlike any other on earth.
In the future, Whitney would love to run or own a glassblowing studio where he can focus on the multitude of glass concepts he has ranging from practical, functional ideas for lighting and windows to purely sculptural works integrating the elements of light and water to delight the eye and satisfy the soul. As “an engineer that discovered art while at M.I.T.” Whitney treasures the opportunity to help others, whether they are students, established artists, or members of the public, capture their creative spark and to watch it catch fire in the fluidity that is glass.