Say the word ‘glass’ and us mere mortals will immediately think of windows or maybe even doors. But Ben Young, residing in Sydney, Australia, is a self-taught artist and a man of numerous talents who has spent the last 10 years creating glass sculptures that’ll make you stop and wonder at their complexity. Having spent most of his life living in the beautiful Bay of Plenty on the northern coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Ben grew up surrounded by a wild landscape where he left no place unexplored in search for inspiration. Two notable landscapes of NZ that feature prominently in his sculptures are the lonely Mount Maunganui and the Mayor Island. A skilled surfer and a boat builder by profession, he draws his inspiration from the ocean and strives to capture the perfection and raw power of the waves.
Ben describes his entire process as “a lot of work” as the entirety of it is done by hand without the help of any machines. He creates molds, draws templates of the whole structure, makes custom jigs for the same and then cuts the layers with a glazier’s hand tool. He then proceeds to laminate layer upon layers of glass panes to create the final awe-inspiring forms that we see in the gallery above. They sure left us gasping for breath!
Before putting pen to paper, Ben Young works out internally, exactly what he wants to make and discloses that he does a lot of thinking before sketching out the concept, brainstorming its look and feel. Describing his process he says that,
I work with 2D shapes and have to figure out how to translate that into a 3D finished product. Sometimes my start point changes dramatically as shapes can be limited – I can’t create any internal right angles – so I have to find a way to layer the glass to create certain shapes.
It appears to be quite the Herculean task when you learn the details, doesn’t it?
In all his sculptures, Ben uses only the finest glass and materials. The texture and colour of the glass also differs with every piece lending it a unique artistic identity of its own. Being the fantastic artist that he is, he also sometimes shares his sketches on his Facebook page, allowing us a glimpse into how the two dimensional shapes evolve into three dimensional artworks. The playful nature of his sculptures showcases the liquid quality that glass possesses while ironically having a solid form. While he continues to carve these miraculous sculptures, we’re still marveling at his dedication to his craft and the focus that must be required to keep going at it.
Young is represented by Kirra Galleries in Melbourne and you can see more of his sculptures by heading over to his Tumblr blog or his website. His hardworking endeavour has become increasingly rewarding as his work has been showcased besides renowned glass artists in numerous galleries and collectors have also begun taking notice. But come on, one look at these sculptures and who wouldn’t want to take one home, right?
We don’t know about you, dear readers, but his sculptures sure had all of us chirping with delight!