20. January 2015
Typically, we peer through optical glass in telescopes, binoculars, eyeglasses, microscopes, and more to closely examine everything from microbes to distant galaxies. But the same refractive and light-bending characteristics that bring the universe into focus can also reflect light in beautiful and unique ways.
That’s why artist Christopher Ries uses optical glass for his sculptures. In fact, he tells us that optical glass’ distinctive attribute — its ability to modify light — inspires him and enriches his creativity. Ries manipulates the qualities of glass that affect light — luminosity, translucency, transparency, color, and opacity — as it passes through the sculptures to create his own style. Without optical glass, Ries says he wouldn’t be able to create the illusions that characterize his work.
For more than 20 years, Ries has produced his art at the SCHOTT manufacturing plant in Duryea, Pennsylvania, where he is an artist in residence. Through this unique partnership, he designs and sculpts optical glass with the help of SCHOTT’s glass melting, fabricating, and handling expertise. His sculptures have been shown throughout the United States, and most recently he exhibited at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio.
Continue scrolling to see 18 of Ries’ most impressive optical glass sculptures.
2. Opus with Artist
3. Bouquet of Light
6. Blue Horizon
7. Point of View
11. Clear Flame
15. Desert Flower
18. Pacific Flora
To learn more about Ries, visit his website or read more on us.schott.com.