through the looking glass

January 17, 2022

Most glassblowers try to avoid air bubbles, but Steffen Dam embraces them. The bubbles make his aquatic specimens look more lifelike. It’s extraordinary to me that these beautiful creatures are all blown from glass. They look utterly realistic. “My jars contain nothing that exists in the ocean, my specimens are plausible but not from this world, and my flowers are still unnamed,” says Dam who trained and worked as a toolmaker before discovering glass. “My aim is to describe what’s not tangible and understandable with our everyday senses.” Dam’s creations spring entirely from his imagination, inspired by the natural history books and insect collections that he explored as a child. I find his jars series beautiful and mesmerizing.

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