refractive relief sculpture-- bend light to 'paint' a picture, with the environment as a palette and cut glass as the brush. Self Portrait
charcoal on paper
8" x 8"
I create glass and steel sculptures for public art projects, galleries, and architecture.
While my main goal in sculpture is artistic expression and aesthetics, I greet with
excitement and a sense of responsibility the practical challenges facing many
sculptors: politics, environment, and gravity. In this, my second career, I draw
upon a formal education in art and a previous career in science, mathematics, and
Refractive relief sculpture is a technique in glass sculpture that I have developed
and is the focus of my current work. It is similar to conventional relief sculpture in
that its surface is contoured. Unlike most opaque sculpture, however, the visible
surface is of secondary importance. The image of interest is that created by the
refraction of light passing through the glass. I am painting with refraction and
using the colors in ambient backlighting as my palette. The sculptural
characteristic is merely a consequence of having to shape the surface in order to
bend the transmitted light.
The refractive relief sculpture is actually a stack of many long rectangular pieces of
float glass, each piece having a curvilinear cut along one edge. Background light
viewed through this stack of glass, which acts like a complex lens, is shaped into
an image. Light is further transformed by internal reflections. The result is a
dynamic image, responding to changes in lighting conditions and viewer position.
My designs range from representational to abstract. With the dynamic element,
the level of abstraction is determined not only by design, but also by viewing