In function, beauty: 4 glass sculptures that break the mold

Glass art elevates the ordinary into the awe-inspiring. With glass as their muse, artists are creating one-of-a-kind effects by taking advantage of glass’s optical properties to add to the entire piece’s beauty.

Let’s take a trip around the world, and be awed by four sculptures that will change the way you look at glass.

“Aurora” by Tim Morgan. London, England.


Sitting in the West End’s Cavendish Square is a flowing band of bright yellow steel and glass. Aurora, artist Tim Morgan’s contribution to London’s City of Sculpture Exhibition, features thousands of hand-cut DURAN® glass rods that refract and reflect sunlight. This 3-meter-tall, Escher-esque shape weighs just shy of a ton, and the rods could stretch two soccer fields if laid end to end. Because sunlight hits these glass rods in an different way ever so slightly each day, observers’ experience of Aurora changes over the course of the year.

 “The Window of Your Eyes” by Giny Vos. Assen, Netherlands.

Window of Your Eyes

Its lights pulse on in the moonlight, and sparkles fade to black – it’s almost interactive. Sitting in a large grassy patch, surrounded by 200 tree stumps, is Giny Vos’s exhibit “The Window of Your Eyes” in Assen, Netherlands, which features thermally toughened DURATAN® glass tubes equipped with 2,300 LED lights that flicker and glow in an array of colors. Throughout the day and into the night, the LEDs pulse on and off and invite viewers closer.

The trunks, glass tubing, and LEDs represent the connection between the natural world and modern, sustainable technology.

“Aviary” by Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Parallel Development. Village Dubai Shopping Center, U.A.B.


Most art is experienced only with sight. But your senses will be pleased at “Aviary” in U.A.B.’s Village Dubai Shopping Center, where art comes alive at a touch as an array of light and sound. “Aviary” was designed by Höweler + Yoon and Parallel Development with sound composition by Erik Carlson, and constructed of 40 DURAN® glass tubes.

Every pole has its own series of sounds, including bird calls and sounds of a natural habitat, and a touch lights up each tube: A casual tap creates a spark of light while holding onto the pole fills it with color. Every shopper experiences “Aviary” uniquely based on how they interact with it, as the glass poles work in tandem to create an immersive experience.

“Opus” by Christopher Ries. Port Columbus International Airport, Columbus, Ohio.

Opus 2

Travelers passing through Port Columbus International Airport are greeted by Christopher Ries’s glass sculpture “Opus.” The piece, weighing in at around 1,500 pounds, distorts and refracts light with amazing clarity. “Opus” was carved and sculpted from a piece of SCHOTT optical glass, and its sweeping lines, flowing curves, and perfect angles bend and twist incoming light to create wondrous rainbows and dreamy images of the airport and the outside world.

Christopher Ries understands optical glass – he’s actually the artist-in-residence at SCHOTT’s Duryea production facility. His optical glass art can be seen at exhibits and displays throughout the United States.

While some artists prefer oils or charcoal, or even a camera, these five artists show us the power of glass as an art medium. In the art world, glass is celebrated for its function and its potential to transform an ordinary idea into a new way to experience the world.

(36 Posts)

Hi, I’m Rina Della Vecchia, Marketing Communications Manager for SCHOTT North America. I manage the internal and external marketing and communications efforts for the SCHOTT corporate office, as well as our eight business units. I’ve been a part of the SCHOTT team for more than six years, but before joining the company, I worked in the trade show management industry and prior to that I conducted philanthropy work for the Westchester Philharmonic. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Pace University. On a more personal note, I’m a summer-loving girl and can spends hours on the beach. My husband and I also enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling, and trying new restaurants.

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