Emily Williams working on a large Brain Coral Sculpture a glass sculpture commission.
Emily Williams creates detailed glass sculptures inspired by the natural world. Her glass sculptures explore complex plant and sea life forms. Science and natural history have always played a strong role in her life. As a child growing up in the 1960’s her family often traveled around the United States in a converted van. They visited the great natural wonders such as the Petrified Forest and Monument Valley. Emily’s grandparents played a strong role in her love of science and nature too. Her grandmother worked as a docent for 20 years at the Smithsonian. She exposed Emily to some of the best art and science exhibits around Washington D.C. From an early age, the love of art and science has been intertwined. Emily recalled, “When growing up there were many old medical books of my father’s laying about. I loved pouring over the photographs and illustrations.”
19th Century Marine life illustration from the Biodiversity Heritage Library archive.
Ideas Evolve, Materials Evolve
Sculpture as material has been a curious journey. Since the early 1980’s Emily has mastered a variety of media such as cast metal, cast glass, welding, and more. As her ideas evolved so did the material. For her glass has a depth of possibility like no other. While using a glass hand torch she has engaged in her love of drawing and immediacy. Torched glass allows her to work through ideas quickly. At this time, she is now working on a series of sculptures exploring complex sea life forms. The new glass work is influenced by 19th century scientific illustration and scientific glass models.
Blaschka glass marine life model from Corning Museum’s exhibit Fragile Legacy
Emily began first teaching sculpture in 1989 at Clarion University of PA. Over the years she has shared her passion for sculpture with her students. Many of her students have gone on to become accomplished sculptors in their own right. While working at several universities, Emily has taught all levels of Sculpture and 3-D Design. She has received a number of grants and awards through the years. While at Clarion she received a Fulbright Hays grant to Italy.
More About Emily Williams
You may wish to read some feature articles about Emily’s glass sculpture at The Creators Project and Colossal.com. Emily received her M.F.A. in Sculpture from Washington University in Saint Louis, MO. She received her B.F.A. in Sculpture from V.C.U. in Richmond, VA. Upon request you can receive a resume.