The etching is created with a reductive, sand carving process
using compressed air and an abrasive grit that
minutely chips away the glass thousands of times a second.
The areas of design are protected by a rubbery mask that is glued to
the smooth glass surface and bounces the grit harmlessly away. As
the particles hit the exposed areas where there is no masking, they
chip away the surface, gouging deeper and deeper. As the glass
carves down, I direct the abrasive airstream in many different ways
so it scoops out and then undercuts areas of the design. This part
of the work has to be done completely by hand and creates an
organic, bas relief effect that can never be repeated exactly the
same way again making each sculpture unique.
overall textural design started with a single, circular cross
section of a plant stem as seen under a microscope.
That first group of concentric dots is then repeated in different sizes
and shapes and all are laboriously woven together,
line by line into an organized and seamless pattern of thousands of
The design is then delicately carved into the face of thick glass
and a silvery,
polychromed enamel is applied to the back of the glass.
This creates a slightly luminescent look to the material because the
back surface softly reflects any ambient room light.
The outer tips of the glass diffuse the light and turn much lighter than
the surrounding glass.
As you view the sculpture from different angles, the surface appears
to change constantly as light enters the translucent glass and
bounces off the back enamel, constantly reflected and redirected by
the different thicknesses of the deeply carved material.
Bio Engineered Organism series is the creation of a formal,
visual language that brings to life, in a human scale, the
pioneering biological and molecular research of this age.
Hidden in some of the concentric circles are "X" &
"Y" (gene) symbols that reference the nomenclature scientist's use
to describe the physical structure of plants and animals.
Although current attempts to insert genes from animals into plants
have not been particularly successful, I feel it is only a matter of
time until these new sciences will start to positively reshape our
world creating new organic materials that will harmlessly decompose
when no longer of use to us.
These sculptures represent the intricate and hidden textures of
these "Engineered" materials and are my vision of the way they would
look if we could see them with the unaided human eye.
They are also an attempt to humanize these sometimes controversial
scientific breakthroughs that have the power to transform parts of
our world to the great benefit of mankind.