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)
Korean artist Do Ho Suh (previously here and here) is interested in how we interact with public space. Directed, shot, and edited by Nils Clauss, “Perfect Home” brings together several exhibitions from 2002-2012 to examine the breadth of Do Ho Suh’s immersive works. Due to the thin nature of the fabric Do Ho Suh often uses to construct his installations, the pieces are extremely difficult to capture without standing directly next to, or within. Perfect Home manages to look at the artist’s work as one might if physically in the space, producing angles that imitate a natural way of absorbing the work.
Clauss allows the audience to at first be alone with Do Ho Suh’s work, examining both minuscule details and the works from afar. At the very end of the film scenes that include others interacting with the work are introduced. These shots give the viewer a sense of how others interact with the space, and force us to share these now public works.
Do Ho Suh was born in 1962 in Seoul, and studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and sculpture at Yale University. Do Ho Suh’s work examines the malleability of space, both physically and how it is perceived metaphorically. The artist’s large scale and site-specific instillations often compare the individual to the collective. Do Ho Suh’s work is included in a number of museum collections internationally, and in 2013 was named WSJ Magazine’s Innovator of the Year in Art. Do Ho Suh now splits his work and residence between New York, London, and Seoul.
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″
British ceramicist Tamsin van Essen is fascinated by what she describes as the “the fragile boundary between attraction and repulsion,” a place where tension is created by the visible and the obscured. For her Erosion series Essen created layered blocks of alternating black and white porcelain which she then sandblasted to mimic biological forms similar to a parasitic virus in the process of devouring a host. In a even more literal example, she created a series of ceramic vessels that appear to be infected with specific bacteria.
When looking at these wall-mounted sculptures depicting wrinkled dresses that sprout leaves or butterflies by artist Ron Isaacs (previously), you would be forgiven for thinking they were constructed from anything other than their actual materials: plywood and acrylic paint. Isaacs uses pieces of layered Finnish birch to construct every detail of these architectural clothes which he then covers in trompe l’oeil painting to create the illusion of depth. “I am still fascinated by the old simple idea of resemblance, the very first idea of art after tools and shelter: That an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and therefore some of the ‘reality. of another,” says Isaacs. You can see his most recent collection of work as part of his second solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee through May 23, 2015.
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.
While attending school at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, artist Kay Sekimachi was struck by a quote from her teacher Trude Guermon-prez: “Try to make something with the simplest of means.” Over the span of her sixty-year art career Sekimachi took the words to heart as she rose to the forefront of contemporary fiber art in the 60s and 70s by creating challenging artworks with extremely limited means. Leaves, hornet’s nest paper, grass, shells, and linen constitute many of the materials in Sekimachi’s repertoire. Via the Smithsonian:
Sekimachi uses the loom to construct three-dimensional sculptural forms. In the early 1970s she used nylon monofilament to create hanging quadruple tubular woven forms to explore ideas of space, transparency, and movement. Inspired by her ancestral homeland of Japan, Sekimachi repeatedly returns to that ancient culture for ideas.
Among her more recent works are these delicate bowls made from maple leaf skeletons. The pieces are held together with the help of Kozo paper and special coatings of both watercolor and Krylon. Several of the works will be on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum starting July 3, along with an exhibition of work by her late husband, renowned America woodturner Bob Stocksdale. (via My Modern Met)