Object of the Week: Blood Sugar, Tony Cragg, Wuppertal, Germany, 1992. 2011.3.115. T
his week’s Object of the Week was selected by members of the Museum’s Teen Leadership Council. Tony Cragg is a British sculptor who crafted Blood Sugar. The five pieces of sheet glass, with colorful blown and acid-etched glass objects glued onto both sides, can be arranged in different ways. The form reminded the artist of the glucose molecule’s shape, hence the title. Can you see it? Blood Sugar is featured in our GlassApp Scavenger Hunt.
Object of the Week: Aventurine Cruet Set with Silver-Gilt Mounts, possibly Venice or Rome, Italy, about 1750. 2017.3.9.
Formal dinners in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries moved from being held in the afternoon to being held in the evening. Dining in the hours of darkness meant that the materials from which dishes were made were exploited to sparkling effect. Aventurine glass gets its dazzling appearance from copper crystals dissolved uniformly in the glass batch. Until the 19th century, technical challenges prevented aventurine glass from being blown. Instead, blocks of glass were processed like hardstones: cut, ground, and carved or transformed into plaques.
Object of the Week: Creamer, Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, Sandwich, Massachusetts, United States, 1825-1835. 2008.4.35.
The unusual “beehive” shape of this Boston and Sandwich Glass Company creamer was free-blown by a talented glassblower.
Object of the Week: The Disch Cantharus, Germany, probably Cologne, 200-325. 66.1.267.
This cantharus- a drinking vessel with high handles- was used to drink wine. It was found in Cologne, Germany in 1864. The vessel is gilded on the outside of the vessel with hot glass trails decorating the exterior.
Object of the Week: Fresnel Cube, Sean Augustine March, Brooklyn, New York, United States, designed in 2015, made in 2017. 2017.4.3.
March’s table lamp is a product born of the Internet age. He cultivated a growing interest in the science of light by watching YouTube videos by physicists and was introduced to the optical-grade dichroic glass used in the lamp through his activity in online forums. The lamp’s two nested boxes are lighted with a concealed LED bulb, creating an infinite mirror box that appears to be illuminated from its edges. Because the metallic coating on the surface of dichroic glass refracts and reflects different wavelengths of light in different conditions, the reflected boxes appear in a range of distinct colors, from hot pink to cool blues and greens.
Object of the Week: When Lightning Blooms (“Aesthetic Engineering” Series), Ginny Ruffner (artist), Kait Rhoads, Nancy Callan, Mark Stevens (assistants), Seattle, Washington, United States, 2006. 2011.4.71.
This week’s Object of the Week has been selected by the Museum’s teen Explainers. This piece has been nominated by Explainers many times over the past years and has never been chosen. Today, it finally gets its turn in the spotlight. Ginny Ruffner has made a name for herself in the glass world by making strange and unique objects, some of which would seem impossible to make with the techniques she uses. This piece was made when she asked herself one day “what if lightning could produce flowers”? When Lightning Blooms is her interpretation of this question, creating an object that blurs the lines between a living and nonliving thing in the world. It’s fascinating and fun, a piece that truly only a truly imaginative person like Ginny Ruffner could have made.
Object of the Week: Butterfly Brooch, England, about 1800. 2017.2.2.
Cut glass paste stones were all the rage in the 17th and 18th centuries. The stones are set “en tremblant”–moving with the wearer to give the impression of a real butterfly fluttering its wings.
Object of the Week: Carnival Glass Bowl in “Marigold Star and File” Pattern, Imperial Glass Company, Bellaire, Ohio, United States, 1910-1930. Bequest of Milford Smith. 2009.4.32.
Known as “carnival glass,” iridescent pressed glass pieces like this one were inexpensive to produce and were often given away as prizes at carnivals.
Object of the Week: Imprint of an Angel II, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, Zelezny Brod, Czech Republic, 1999. Purchased with funds from James R. and Maisie Houghton, The Carbetz Foundation Inc., James B. Flaws and Marcia D. Weber, the Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family, Joseph A. Miller and Rachel C. Wood, Peter and Cathy Volanakis, Wendell P. Weeks and Kim Frock, and Alan and Nancy Cameros. 2004.3.10.
This piece was chosen by the Explainer team to be the Object of the Week. Imprint of an Angel II was made by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, a husband and wife glassmaking team, after Libenský was diagnosed with lung cancer. The piece is made to resemble a set of lungs that includes a pair of angel wings inside, for Libenský unfortunately succumbed to the disease later on. This piece truly represents the love the two had for each other and their work as well. It holds a sad yet beautiful message and is one piece that a lot of people can relate to.
Object of the Week: Magatama (Sacred Jewel) Amulet, Japan, 710-794. 61.6.4.
The small, commalike shape of the magatama is a significant spiritual form for the Japanese, one that is shared with the kogok, a similar Korean amulet. Magatamas are thought to represent the human spirit and can afford protection to the wearer, with a shape that seems animal-like or is taken from nature. The cloudy pale green glass is probably an imitation of jade, a semiprecious stone.