Who says science isn’t art? Artist Eric Franklin combines scientific elements and artistic creativity in his sculptural piece titled Embodiment, which just goes to show how seamlessly the two subjects work together. The Portland-based sculptor took over 1,000 hours over the course of two years to complete this 78-inch tall glass replica of the human skeleton. Unlike a normal model of a skeletal frame, this structure is built out of a series of carefully crafted borosilicate glass tubes that are illuminated like one large anatomically shaped neon light when ionized krypton enters the hollow, transparent figure.
In an email with Colossal’s Christopher Jobson, Franklin shares his intricate process: “Every glass seal has to be perfect, and this piece contains hundreds. Everywhere one tube joins another, or a tube terminates, glass tubes were sealed together. They have to be perfect in order to preserve the luminosity of the krypton. If one rogue molecule gets inside the void of the glass tubing it can eventually contaminate the gas and it will no longer glow. There are times when the holes in the seals are so small that you cannot actually see them with your eyes without the help of a leak detector. Once the glass pieces are ready to get filled with gas, I pull a high vacuum while the glass is hot in order to evacuate any dust or water vapor from the interior surface until there are literally no molecules inside the void of the glass. Then the krypton can be introduced and the glass sealed off. It’s an extremely tedious process, one I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with.”