Brain Coral, 2015, Boro glass, 15″ x 24″ x 24″
Brain Coral Detail, 2015, Boro glass, 15″ x 24″ x 24″
Recently I finished work on the large glass Brain Coral sculpture. This sculpture was inspired by the species of brain coral called meandrina. This type of brain coral grows into large dome shapes with an amazing meander pattern. In this sculpture I have shown the coral with all of its feeding tendrils swaying on the surface.
Creating a Brain Coral Sculpture
I began this series of marine life forms several years ago. In this series I have created glass sculptures inspired by fan coral, seaweed, jellyfish, and feather stars. This current brain coral sculpture took several months to create. It takes a lot of patience to develop such a complex form in glass.
For this sculpture, I first created a domed form with a meander pattern. This takes a lot of time and care. The glass meander form must be sculpted from all angles to achieve a smooth, bulbous shape. After the main meander form is created, I then add thousands of swaying tendrils. Here is a glass video tutorial on my video page showing me at work on this sculpture.
Ideas for the Brain Coral sculpture emerged over time. I have spent a lot of time studying scientific illustrations and macro photography. These types of visual resources give me superb details about sea creatures and their behavior. Some of the best drawings were compiled upon long expeditions in 19th century. Many rare books and marine life drawings can be found online at the BHL website.
People are very interested in how I am creating my glass sculptures. I use a unique process with a variety of small glass hand torches. All of my glass is shipped to me in long 4 foot cases. Each rod is cut down, heated, and formed using the glass hand torch. This glass working method is called “flameworking.”