Like a house of cards or a precariously stacked pile of pick-up sticks, it’s a marvel to stare at Eunsuh Choi‘s glass sculptures and wonder how each object doesn’t collapse under its own weight. One of the central themes of her artistic practice—both in metaphor and execution—is the idea of ambition, specifically how an individual is willing to push past barriers and risk failure in the pursuit of success.
“My work specifically focuses on communicating the graceful flow of our emotional tendencies through the plastic medium of flameworked glass,” she shares with Habitat. “I like to work sculpturally, utilizing form and its surrounding atmosphere to portray narratives based on the human encounter with success and failure in the pursuit of personal ambition.”
Choi sculpts primarily through a process called flameworking where thin borosilicate glass rods are heated with a torch and carefully bent to form the lattice-like structures that are stronger than they first appear. You can see more of Choi’s work at Gallery Sklo and Habitat Fine Art.
Fluid rock 26 — 2017 glass, fine gold, 25 × 25 × 20 cm
London-based French-Lebanese artist Flavie Audi upends ideas of both geology and glass with her sculptural series, Fluid Rocks. Audi renders blown glass not into rigid, delicate vessels but instead turns the material into colorful translucent blobs with quivering surfaces.
Although she keeps her exact techniques a secret, the artist’s incorporation of fine gold and silver into the glass helps to create the color-shifting translucence. This method, which results in the glass simultaneously displaying completely different transmitted and reflected colors, goes back at least to the 4th century as documented in found Roman glass pieces.
“Works translate the mechanism of life and light and resemble fragments of an ethereal landscape or geology,” Audi writes on her website. “The forms and gestures found in it capture a fleeting, living energy and suggest a certain ambiguity, hovering between digital screen and celestial body.”
You can next see Audi’s work in a group show this October as part of the Arte Sano Biennale at the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City. More of her glass work can be found on her website. (via Artsy)
Artist Daniela Forti lives and works in Chianti, Tuscany where she produces these fantastic artworks of dripped glass. She refers to the pieces as “Jellyfish” because of their undulating tentacles that are formed by hand through a melted glass fusion process. Each piece appears to balance like a small platter or table atop colorful, spindly drips that somehow manage to support the weight above. Many examples of her work are on view (and also available) over at Artemest.
German glass artist Heike Brachlow finds inspiration in architecture and geometry, creating cast glass sculptures that rely heavily on their shape, which is often that of a cylinder or cube. Works in her Theme and Variation series seem to impossibly balance as they subtly curve upwards, individual cubes colored with the same mixture of oxides at increasing amounts. Her pink work, seen below, contains neodymium oxide which causes it to change color in different lights, shifting from a pink to green hue depending on which light the glass sculpture is displayed under.
In addition to having disparate color properties, many of the pieces can be taken apart and rearranged, inviting her audience to create unique stacks of their own, and perhaps mix-up the provided gradient. Other works, like those in her cylindrical Waiting series, are formed in a way that allows the top component to spin effortlessly on its base. Her On Reflection series also has a similar kinetic quality, with twirling glass pieces that appear more like spinning tops than silos.
Brachlow discovered her love for glass while working as a glassblower in a small studio in Rotorua, New Zealand. She received her BA from the University of Wolverhampton and MA and PhD from the Royal College of Art in London and regularly teaches glass blowing classes at the Corning Museum of Glass and other institutions. You can find her work in the collections of the Glasmuseum Hentrich in Dusseldorf, Germany, Glasmuseum alter Hof Herding in Coesfeld, Germany, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington and more.
Cell-Building block, 14 x 14 x 14 inch, 2016
Driven by an interest in the biological process of cell division, artist Jiyong Lee (previously) fabricates translucent sculptural works of segmented glass components fused through coldworking techniques. Some pieces purposefully take the form of organic life with titles such as “White-orange Chromosome Segmentation” or “Geometric cell membrane segmentation” while others are decidedly more geometric in nature. Born and raised in South Korea, Lee has helmed the glass program at Southern Illinois University since 2005. He most recently had a solo exhibition with Clara Scremini Gallery in Paris, and you can see many more of his pieces on Artsy.
White-orange Chromosome Segmentation, 7 x 12 x 16 inch, 2017
Orange Cylinder Segmentation, 5.7 x 11.5 inch, 2017
Geometric cell membrane segmentation, 17 x 14 x 14 inch, 2016
Black & White segmented Cylinder, 5.5 x 13.75 inch, 2015
Gold-Ruby Trapezohedron, 9.25 x 15 x 10.5 inch, 2015
Blue-Yellow cuboid segmentation, 10.5 x 9 x 5 inch, 2015
white Drosophila embryo segmentation, 6.5h x 14.5w x 5.75d (inch), 2014
Inspired by his daily experience of life in the Pacific Northwest, artist and designer Greg Klassen (previously) fabricates one-of-a-kind tables featuring blue glass rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. The topographical studies mimic bodies of water seen from an aerial view, but the twisting blue pathways are often defined by the wood pieces he selects. While the majority of Klassen’s work serves as functional art, he’s also begun to create more isolated wood and glass sculptures mounted on walls.
Several of Klassen’s most recent tables are available through his online shop, and you can explore more pieces from the last few years on Instagram and Facebook.