From Old Trees to Glass Trees
In the Reel NW film “Crystal Skin” (online here), the Seattle glass artist Martin Blank finds inspiration in the massive old trees of Orcas Island. He goes back to his hot shop with the idea of recreating those trees in glass. To see Blank’s inspired handiwork close up, head over to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Fluent Steps, his ambitious glass installation over the reflecting pool in the museum’s plaza, includes a tree – and much more. Fluent Steps is Blank’s meditation on the many moods of water. A fallen, hallowed-out madrona tree floats on a placid surface, a waterfall surges powerfully into the air, mist rises delicately from the water - all in glass. Blank hand-sculpted most of the 754 glass pieces in the installation during his 45-day residency at the Museum of Glass in 2008. But he wasn’t alone. It took a small army of 41 artists, architects, and engineers to bring this shimmering vision to life.