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Kiva Ford’s Glassblown Sculptures Merge Art and Science

The art of glassblowing is a demanding and unforgiving process, and even with today's modernized equipment, molding the hot liquid glass can be very dangerous. Indiana based artist Kiva Ford appreciates these qualities of the ancient medium, an art form that he says forces the artist to remain in the present. He sculpts in glass every day, almost obsessively, creating miniatures of things like flowers, animals and geometric forms that he traps in a "ship in the bottle" style bubble or orb.

The art of glassblowing is a demanding and unforgiving process, and even with today’s modernized equipment, molding the hot liquid glass can be very dangerous. Indiana based artist Kiva Ford appreciates these qualities of the ancient medium, an art form that he says forces the artist to remain in the present. He sculpts in glass every day, almost obsessively, creating miniatures of things like flowers, animals and geometric forms that he traps in a “ship in the bottle” style bubble or orb. Ford’s artistic work is influenced by his interests in history, mythology, and the natural world, and his affinity for scientific objects led him to pursue a college degree in Scientific Glassblowing. Several of his pieces are treated as if they were natural specimens preserved in jars like a floating, wriggling octopus, colorful glass birds, or delicate glass flowers sealed within glass bell jars. Other works employ the utilitarian design of chemistry glassware, as in one piece featuring connecting orbs and tubes that trap butterflies in their varying stages of growth. Titled “Metamorphosis”, Ford feels like this is a piece that perfectly fuses his artistic and scientific glass aesthetics together more than any other. “To me, nature is just incredibly, effortlessly beautiful and I try to stick to those details and try to challenge myself to be true to the animal or form that I am working on,” he says. “The only thing that limits you with making glass is your imagination.”

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