Ornate Assemblages Cast Vintage Pressed Glass as Flourishing New Scenes in Amber Cowan’s Sculptures

“Visions of the Night Muse in Jade” (2021), 20 x 15.5 x 7.5 inches. All images by Matthew Hollerbush, © Amber Cowan, shared with permission

Philadelphia-based artist Amber Cowan (previously) molds found and flameworked glass into narrative sculptures brimming with ornate flourishes and enchanting details. Her delicate works are often monochromatic and revitalize vintage elements, including a figure from a McKee Glass Company vase in “Visions of the Night Muse in Jade,” for example, or the baubles in varying shades of purple that comprise “Hummingbirds Feast on Helio and Lavender.” The pressed glass pieces pay homage to the once-thriving industry by recasting antique scenes and motifs in new tableaus.

Diverging slightly from the precisely sculpted forms that comprise much of her work, Cowan has started to incorporate long drips into her more recent sculptures. In her vertical cornucopia and fountain pieces, leaves and other botanicals hanging over the edges of the vessels appear malleable as they splash into small, circular drops.

In January, Cowan’s solo show will open at Brunnier Art Museum at Iowa State University, and if you’re in New York City, stop by the Museum of Arts and Design in February to see some of the artist’s work as part of Craft Front & Center. Otherwise, keep up with her latest sculptures on Instagram.

 

Detail of “Visions of the Night Muse in Jade” (2021), 20 x 15.5 x 7.5 inches

“Hummingbirds Feast on Helio and Lavender” (2021), 20 x 15.5 x 7.5 inches

Left: “Cornucopia in Shell” (2021), 8 x 5.5 x 4 inches. Right: “Fountain in Rosalene” (2021), 17 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches

Detail of “Hummingbirds Feast on Helio and Lavender” (2021), 20 x 15.5 x 7.5 inches

“Autumn Fan in Mandarin and Bittersweet Orange” (2021), 17.5 x 17.5 x 8 inches

“Garden Snail with Feather and Pearls”


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Author: Grace Ebert

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