Illinois artist Jiyong Lee uses a special glass technique called cold working to create his unusual segmented sculptures inspired by the growth of cells. The artworks, part of a series called Segmentation, are created without glass blowing or kilns, but instead through a labor-intensive process of cutting, sanding, laminating, and carving. Lee shares about his work via his artist statement:
The segmentation series is inspired by my fascination with science of cell, its division and the journey of growth that starts from a single cell and goes through a million divisions to become a life. I work with glass that has transparency and translucency, two qualities that serve as perfect metaphors for what is known and unknown about life science. The segmented, geometrical forms of my work represent cells, embryos, biological and molecular structures—each symbolizing the building blocks of life as well as the starting point of life. The uniquely refined translucent glass surfaces suggest the mysterious qualities of cells and, on a larger scale, the cloudiness of their futures. The Segmentation series is subtle and quiet yet structurally complex.
To be clear, the images you see here are photographs of Lee’s work and are not digital renderings. His extraordinary attention to use of color and translucency in each object creates surprising optical effects. You can learn a bit more about Lee’s work in the video below from the Corning Museum of Glass and see some of his recent sculptures at Duane Reed Gallery. (via Faith is Torment)
The jellyfish tank is the first environment I always run to when visiting an aquarium. I’m drawn to the luminous quality of the underwater creatures’ bodies, as well as their inclusion in a scene that appears to need no sources of artificial light. Glass artist Rick Satava was also captivated by these creatures in the late 80s, and after a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium he began to experiment with sculptures that mimicked the experience of a jellyfish’s elegant glide through the water.
Satava began selling these sculptures in 1990, and by 2002 he was crafting about 300 pieces of work a month. The bright jellyfishes he creates are suspended in the glass that surround them, yet each still appears as if their tentacles are rippling through the water. The glass blown approach works perfectly when translated to the round bell-like shape of the jellyfish’s body, as their natural appearance looks like brightly blown glass.
The California-based artist uses a technique in his sculptures called “glass-in-glass,” which consists of a glass sculpture being dipped into a second, molten glass layer. You can find Sativa’s sculptures within dozens of galleries nationally as well as a few locations internationally including Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. (via My Modern Met)
Glass Seaweed, 2014, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 20″ x 20″ x 20″
American artist Emily Williams draws inspiration from the sea and other aspects of organic life for the creation of her fragile glass sculptures that mimic seaweed, jellyfish, and coral. Each piece begins with a selection of perfectly straight borosilicate glass rods in various diameters which she carefully melts with a glass torch to form patterns similar to veins and branches.
As a child, Williams’ grandmother was a docent at the Smithsonian leading to many artistic and scientific discoveries at a very young age that would deeply influence her decision to pursue an artistic career. She went on to receive her MFA in sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis and a BFA in sculpture from V.C.U. in Richmond. She is currently working on an impressive glass coral piece shown in the video below (and discussed in this blog post), and you can see more views of her work both on Facebook and in her portfolio.
Glass Seaweed, detail
Glass Coral Skeleton, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 20″ x 22″ x 10″
Coral Skeleton, detail
Glass Nest, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 20″ x 20″
Glass Jellyfish, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 14″ x 14″
Glass Petal, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 12″ x 4″
Burst, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 12″ x 10″ x 10″
Glass artist Kiva Ford draws from his vast experience in scientific glassblowing to create perfect miniatures of wine glasses, beakers, and ribbon-striped vases, some scarcely an inch tall. A member of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, Kiva creates instruments for scientists who require one-of-a-kind designs for various experiments. The same techniques and tools used for scientific equipment also apply to his artistic practice including the miniature works you see here, as well as larger sculptures, and ornate drinkware.
White Water, all images provided by K. William LeQuier
Curl No. 5
Glass artist K. William LeQuier‘s glass work is inspired by the drama of the natural world and its everyday events. His sculptures reflect this inspiration by mimicking the natural movements of the sea and its creatures. Each sculpture is held steady by a simple black armature, a hint to the artist’s hand involved in the creation of each glass sculpture.
After years of blowing glass vessels LeQuier moved to the sandblasting process where he learned he could generate textures similar to natural erosion. In addition to forming works that appear as waves, he creates work reminiscent of sea urchins, sponges, and anemones. Most interesting about the sculptures are their layered composition, a complexity that could easily be looked over due to the high level of skill apparent in each sea-themed object.
Currently LeQuier lives and works in Vermont with his wife Mary Angus. His work can be found in the permanent collections of museums across the country including (but not limited to) the American Glass Museum, Indianapolis Art Museum, National Liberty Museum, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. (via My Modern Met)
“New Light on Rome 2000″. Aula of Trajan’s Markets, Rome 112 AD, in spectrum sunlight. Materials: sunlight, laser cut prisms.
In the late 1980s American artist Peter Erskine began to incorporate sunlight into his artistic practice through the use of strategically placed laser-cut prisms in both modern and historical sites. A hybrid of both art and architecture, he explores the way light falls on varying surfaces and brings new meaning to existing places. Erskine says the intent of his light installations is to use “the emotional impact of art to address the full range of nature from its most elemental expression as pure light to its most complex expression as global ecology.” You can explore more of his work with light over the last 30 years on his website. (via Arpeggia)
Kokerei Zollverein, Essen, “Sun Moon and Stars”, Rainbow sundial calendar “Spectrum of Time”, and Solar powered solar art with heliostat “Sunrise”, permanent installations. / Ballymena, N. Ireland. ECOS Environmental Centre. Interior “Rainbow Sundial Calendar”. Opened 8.2000, permanent installation.
Since the early 1980s Japanese artist Niyoko Ikuta has explored the properties of glass which she uses to make etheral geometric sequences manifested as layered sculptures. One of the leading figures in Japanese glass art, Ikuta’s works have been collected by institutions worldwide including the V&A in London and the Corning Museum of Glass in the U.S. She shares about her work via V&A:
I am captivated by the complexity of light as it reflects, refracts, and passes through broken cross sections of plate glass. In 1980 I began making artwork by laminating sheets of glass using adhesive and exposing the cross sections. My motifs are derived from feelings of gentleness and harshness, fear, limitless expansion experienced through contact with nature, images from music, ethnic conflict, the heart affected by joy and anger, and prayer. In creating my pieces it is like imagining an architectural space when viewing blueprints, deciding on an image by reading into the intentions of the architect, or imbuing a space with dynamic energy to bring it to life.