The process of evolution is most commonly associated with living organisms. However, it can be observed in many other areas. Technology, ideas, nations, cultures, and art are all subject to some form of natural or artificial selection, allowing these things to evolve and progress with time. The works of Salt Glass are a great example of this concept. He discusses the evolution of his art in a recent interview with us:
“It started off with me just kind of telling myself this story about what are these pieces about, and what are they doing in order to enrich the process of making them and make them more interesting. To make it interesting for myself too.”
Salt Glass is known for his creature pipes – sculpted glass water pipes which resemble living creatures. Some of them are monstrous, or even grotesque, while others are more alien in appearance, with bizarre placements of recognizable features.
“What it has become, these pieces have evolved and become what they are as a product of the environment they grew up in. The pipe was always not viewed as art to the community that I was participating in. It was like you keep the art and the pipe separate. And also, the pipe was considered pseudo-legal. So my pipes in that environment have grown up with these defense mechanisms. They have eyes and teeth and claws and they are also camouflage. They don’t look like pipes. And that is designed to protect themselves and to protect the end user. And to also fight back. I challenge the notion that this is not art. I say that it is, and I can back that up.”
The stigma that comes with functional glass art is not new to glass artists. We love to see artists that fight back through their own style and artistic expression.