Tag Archives: glass

Guido Mocafico’s Photographs of the Blaschka’s Exquisite Scientific Glass Models 

guido-1

Octopus vulgaris, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2013. With the courtesy of the Natural History Museum of London, UK.

Father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka dedicated their lives to creating some of the most exquisite glass models ever produced by human hands over the course of overlapping careers spanning the mid 1800s through the 1930s. Originally from Bohemia, but based in Dresden, the artists used glassblowing techniques to fabricate near lifelike sculptures of plants and invertebrates including jellyfish, snails, sea anemones, corals, hydroids, starfish, sea-cucumbers, and other creatures.

The Blaschka glass models are made from clear, colored, and painted glass, sometimes assembled with wires. All of the pieces were commissioned by institutions for private research collections and were never sold directly to the public. It’s estimated the father and son made approximately 4,400 individual models during their lifetimes, the majority of which survive today.

Over the last few years photographer Guido Mocafico has set out to document many of the most impressive models created by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka that are currently stored in museums and universities around the world. Using his own unique style to illuminate each object against a stark black background, Mocafico manages to capture the minute details of each artwork, bringing to life sculptures that are now more than a century old.

A large exhibition of Mocafico’s photos, titled simply Blaschka, are currently on view at Hamiltons Gallery in London through May 24, 2016. You can explore more photos on Artsy. (via Juxtapoz)

guido-2

Aulosphaera elegantissima, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2013. With the courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Dublin, Ireland.

guido-3

Bougainvillia fruiticosa, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2014. With the courtesy of the University Museum of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

guido-4

Carmarina hastata stage 4, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2014. With the courtesy of the University of Vienna, Austria.

guido-5

Porpita meditteranea, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Photograph © Guido Mocafico, 2013. With the courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Geneva, Switzerland.

See related posts on Colossal about , .

Glass: An Oscar-Winning Documentary Short on Dutch Glassblowing from 1958 

Glass is a 1958 non-verbal documentary short by Bert Haanstra that contrasts glassblowing techniques used inside the Royal Leerdam Glass Factory with more modern industrial machines. The first half shows several men at work using traditional glassblowing to create ornate objects like vases and mugs set against jazz music, while the second part shifts abruptly into the mechanized world of industrial glass production set to a whimsical score of more synthesized music. Also, there’s a ton of great smoking! It’s a really unusual little film that went on to pick up an Oscar for Documentary Short Subject in 1959.

Glass was made available by Aeon as part of their wonderfully curated selection of videos on art, design, culture, and news topics. (via Vimeo)

glas-1

glas-3

glas-2

See related posts on Colossal about , , .

Artist Kiva Ford Utilizes Scientific Glassblowing Techniques to Create Unusual Glass Sculptures 

kiva-1

By day, Virgina-based glass artist Kiva Ford (previously) fabricates one-of-a-kind glass instruments designed for special applications in scientific laboratories. By night, he retires to his home art studio where he utilizes his vast skillset to create curious glass vessels, miniatures, goblets, and other unusual creations working entirely by hand. Ford says his artistic practice is heavily inspired by his interests in mythology, history, and science.

Ford’s artistic observations of the natural world have begun to merge directly with his scientific glassblowing abilities in a number of new hybrid pieces. In Metamorphosis and Metamorphosis II, we see the sequence of a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly and an egg turning into a frog, all seamlessly encapsulated by handmade glass instruments, evoking the mystery of a ship in a bottle.

You can follow more of Ford’s work on Instagram and he sells hundreds of glass objects—mostly miniatures—through his Etsy shop. (via Hi-Fructose)

kiva-1-1

kiva-2

kiva-2-1

kiva-3

kiva-3-1

kiva-4

kiva-401

kiva-4-2

See related posts on Colossal about , .

Space Glass: Extraordinary Solar Systems and Flowers Encased in Glass by Satoshi Tomizu 

planets-1

Glass artist Satoshi Tomizu sculpts small glass spheres that appear to contain entire solar systems and galaxies. Planets made of opals, flecks of real gold, and trails of colored glass seem to spin and loop like twists in the Milky Way. While photographed here in a macro view, the pieces are actually quite small and include a small glass loop so each piece can be turned into a pendant. I can’t help but be reminded of this pivotal scene from the acclaimed Men in Black film.

Tomizu’s glass work recently won a Atelier Nova Design Award and appeared at the Handmade in Japan Festival. You can explore much more of his work in this Facebook gallery and on his website. (via My Modern Met)

planets-2

planets-3

planets-4

planets-5

planets-6

planets-7

planets-8

planets-9

planets-10

planets-11

planets-13

planets-14

planets-15

See related posts on Colossal about , , , .

Delicate ‘Knit’ Glass Sculptures by Carol Milne 

milne-1

Seattle-based artist Carol Milne (previously) fabricates flowing glass sculptures that mimic the delicate patterns of knit yarn. Contrary to the assumption that Milne has super-human ability to knit strands of molten glass by hand, the artist instead devised a somewhat complicated process that involves wax casting, mold-making, and kiln-casting. She discusses her techinques in detail in this video from Heather DiPietro. Milne also offers a PDF and a book about producing her glass work through the FAQ on her website.

Over the last year Milne’s artwork has appeared in the 9th Cheongju International Craft Competition, in the Creative Knitting show at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, and at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. You can see more of her recent work at Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh.

milne-2

milne-3

milne-4

milne-5

milne-6

milne-7

milne-8

milne-9

milne-10

See related posts on Colossal about , , .

Exquisite Marine Life Specimens Imagined in Glass by Steffen Dam 

steffan-5All images courtesy Joanna Bird Gallery unless otherwise noted

As a child, Danish artist Steffen Dam loved poring over his grandparents’ collection of scientific books and cabinets of insects. This fascination of how we catalogue and understand the natural world followed through to his artistic glass career, where Dam creates highly detailed “Cabinets of Curiosities” that mimic oceanic specimens suspended in glass jars and plates. The pieces are usually displayed inside light boxes to better illuminate every minute detail from the fragile tentacles of a jellyfish to a flourish of bubbles that seem to dance around many of his specimens.

A quote from David Revere McFadden’s essay Between Art and Nature, The Glass of Steffen Dam:

Steffen Dam invites the viewer to relish the sheer beauty of his “specimens,” but also to reflect on the meaning of nature as a mirror of the human mind and spirit. Dam has “captured” nature in his work, but he assiduously avoids simple imitation of life; the artist shies away from what he refers to as “cheap tricks in glass.” He seeks to strike a “balance between fiction and reality.” While his work is in no way intended to serve as pedagogic tools, as specimens in “cabinets of curiosities” often were, they are intended to engage the eye and stimulate the imagination. Knowledge about the forms, structures, surfaces, and colors of true natural specimens is not to be found in Dam’s displays of crystal cylinders, but another kind of knowledge—that of the visual poetry of endlessly varied forms—is freely offered. Dam’s little creatures, although frozen in glass, remind of how we read and feel both time and change.

Dam most recently had several pieces on view at Chicago’s SOFA Expo through Heller Gallery. You can also see several additional works at Joanna Bird.

steffan-10
Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / SOFA Expo Chicago

steffan-1

steffan-2

steffan-3

steffan-4

steffan-6

steffan-7

steffan-8

steffan-9

steffan-11

steffan-12
Courtesy Heller Gallery

See related posts on Colossal about , , , , .

Page 1 of 111234...»