Steffen Dam's Rakow Commission
Corning Museum of Glass has unveiled its 2012 Rakow Commission by glass artist Steffen Dam
A Crafts magazine favourite, and Collect regular, Dam has created his most ambitious work to date, Flower Block, constructed from 24 of his biology- and botany-inflected glass blocks. The Danish artist, who initially trained as a toolmaker, creates blocks and jars out of glass with forms floating, seemingly trapped, inside. Although reminiscent of the Blaschka’s glass specimens or Ernst Haeckel’s drawings, Dam’s pieces are works of imagination and are often directed by the movement and qualities of the molten glass as he works it: ‘My cylinders contain nothing that exists in the ocean, my specimens are plausible but not from this world, my plants are only to be found in my compost heap, and my flowers are still unnamed,’ the artist explains. ‘Dam’s work is very much about the exploration of process and material,’ says Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the museum, ‘his work is a great fit for our collection which spans the full history of glassmaking. It relates to the history of botanical-inspired expressions in glass, but it’s also very contemporary.’ The Rakow Commission is given to glass artists whose work is not represented in the museum’s permanent collection.