Glassblower and artist Katherine Gray is behind this beautiful installation called Forest Glass that consists of three trees made from 2,000 found drinking glasses. Stacked on Plexiglas shelves, the glasses are arranged by color to form the simplified version of trees – each with green leaves and a brown trunk. The glasses were all bought at thrift stores or on eBay.
As it states on the Corning Museum of Glass website, “Forest Glass is about creation and destruction, ecology, and historical glass. It refers to the history of glassmaking and its attendant environmental issues: trees–in fact, forests of them–were obliterated over the centuries so that their wood could be used as fuel for glass furnaces. In this work, Gray reconstructs some of these lost trees out of the material that destroyed them–in effect, recycling the trees with recycled glass.
"Glass is a material that we spend a lot of time not looking at, but I have invested a good part of my artistic livelihood trying to perfect working with it, to make visible the invisible," Gray says. "I want my work to represent the inequity that exists between sublime beauty and manufacturing extravagance. . . . [There is still] value in making things in a society increasingly ruled by machines and simulated experiences."
I love that, while up close, you can’t quite tell that the glasses form trees, step back and take in the installation as a whole, and you’ll see the shimmering sight.