From stained-glass windows to traditional tableware, glass has played an integral role in decorative arts for hundreds of years. However, more and more contemporary glass artists are shattering the boundaries of the craft by demonstrating the surprising malleability of the fragile material. One artist who’s leading the experimental movement is Seattle-based Carol Milne. She creates “knitted” glass sculptures that appear both delicate and strong.
“I see my knitted work as metaphor for social structure,” says Milne in a statement. “Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own, but deceptively strong when bound together.” Colorful loops of glass “yarn” weave and interlink together, forming delicate, translucent chains that look like loosely-knitted woolen scarves. “You can crack or break single threads without the whole structure falling apart,” says Milne. “And even when the structure is broken, pieces remain bound together. The connections are what bring strength and integrity to the whole and what keep it intact.”
Many of Milne’s latest works feature “floating” knitting needles, as if the glass textiles are unfinished and frozen in time. The artist explains the series is “a salute to work in progress” and a celebration of “the act of creation.” Other works feature glass hands that look as though they are part of the material, forever knitting themselves into an endless loop.
You can see some of Milne’s knitted glass sculptures at Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville, North Carolina from March 6 through to May 1, 2020. If you can’t make the show, scroll down to check out some of her latest work and follow her on Instagram for more from her portfolio.