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Giant Floating Dandelion Made of Over 3,000 Hand-Blown Glass Orbs

Artist Wolf Buttress has created a sculptural installation that looks like a giant dandelion wafting in the breeze. Its center, surrounded by delicate, tiny florets, mimics the flower's wispy shape and feel. Titled Lucent, this larger-than-life orb is suspended above a darkened, reflecting pool that mirrors the brilliant illuminated tips, doubling its stunning presence.

Although it has the soft appearance of a dandelion, Buttress produced Lucent with another, much larger, natural body in mind–the universe. The installation's name, derived from the Latin “to shine,” and its 3,115 hand-blown glass spheres represent stars on a map that are visible to the naked eye from the Northern hemisphere. To fully realize this sublime, suspended sculpture, Buttress affixed fiber optic cables to each orb, producing the piece's diffused glow. Additionally, he ensured its spatial accuracy by working with astrophysicist Dr. Daniel Bayliss of Australian National University. Buttress also uses the reflective aspect of the piece as more than a visually appealing element, it is a conceptually integral part of Lucent. Its mirroring on the water suggests the Southern hemisphere, and implies a sense of infinity at the same time.

Lucent was specially created as the center piece for the lobby of the iconic John Hancock Center in Chicago where it is currently on view.

Wolfgang Buttress: Website
via [Contemporist]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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