CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) — Cat Burns is a local glass blower and started posting videos on the social media app Tik Tok showing the world how she creates art with fire.
Burns younger siblings introduced her to Tik Tok, and she started posting videos because “what else are you going to do during quarantine besides drinking wine and being on your phone,” said Burns,
Burns blows glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, CMoG, and when she was able to get back into the studio, she continued to make videos. She says that she didn’t see a lot of glass blowing on the popular social media platform and knows that watching the process can be relaxing.
The video shows Burns making the Rainbow Unity 2020 CMoG Annual Pumpkin. Burns is a part of the LGBTQIA community and wanted to create a piece of art that would be a symbol of support and love that could be on display in people’s homes.
“I thought that it was really important that we include everyone this year, especially because we didn’t get a parade, and go out and wear sparkly feather boas and stuff,” said Burns.
Today she has over 53.4 thousand followers and 1.8 million likes on this video alone. Burns said that it didn’t take long for her video to gain traction on Tik Tok.
“Within two hours, I had so much traffic that I broke the Museum’s website,” said Burns.
After selling out of the first hundred Rainbow Unity pumpkins, Burns has taken over 200 waitlisted orders and counting.
“You know what really hit me was that there were so many family members that reached out to me because they wanted to buy one specifically so that they would be able to show their family members who have recently come out to them that they were loved and were welcome in that home,” said Burns.
Not only did families reach out but teachers too saying that they want to let their students know that the classroom was a safe space by displaying the rainbow artwork.
In the video, Burns mentions how the CMoG helped artists like her keep working and during the pandemic but keeping safe with innovative techniques.
“The museum has done a great job of staying healthy through this pandemic but also supporting all of the local artists,” said Burns. “If you notice the entire time we are in the Hot Shop we can’t even blow glass, we have to have masks on the entire time because we are in New York and we use this foot pedal alternate inflation device that is basically a crazy compressed air system.”
The pandemic has hit so many people in so many ways, including local artists included. At the end of the one minute video, Burns noted the importance of supporting local artists.
“Remember, when you support artists you are keeping all of the money in your community, you are making the world a prettier place and a more inclusive place,” said Burns.