18 glass sculptures from a master of glass and light

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.

1. Afterglow

2. Opus with Artist
Opus with Artist

3. Bouquet of Light
Bouquet of Light

4. Sunflower

5. Embrace

6. Blue Horizon
Blue Horizon 2

7. Point of View
Point of View

8. Life

9. Harp

10. Lotus

11. Clear Flame
Clear Flame

12. Guardian

13. Holiday

14. Spirit

15. Desert Flower
Desert Flower

16. Spring

17. Solstice

18. Pacific Flora
Pacific Flora

To learn more about Ries, visit his website or read more on us.schott.com.

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Hello. I’m David Schimmel, a Marketing Consultant for SCHOTT North America’s Advanced Optics division. I served as the Marketing Services Manager at SCHOTT’s Duryea facility for 20 years, and while there, I also functioned as the Art Glass Product Manager. In this position, I worked closely with SCHOTT’s artist in residence, Christopher Ries. I now serve SCHOTT in a consulting capacity and act as the North American representative for the Advanced Optics marketing team, working in advertising, sales promotions, and other similar areas. In my spare time, I love to read and travel the world with my wife.

One thought on “18 glass sculptures from a master of glass and light

  1. Pingback: In function, beauty: 4 glass sculptures that break the mold | SCHOTT

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