‘For me, they are much more about being alive than dead. These pieces describe and define the dynamics and interconnection of everything that makes us human, from our bones to our psyche’
Says, Eric Franklin when asked about the eerie, post mortem-esque feel of his glassworks. Eric is a glassblower by profession, but one unlike anyone else. It is often fascinating how an artist with his creative imagination can spring new life in inanimate objects. His work experience spans over a decade of passionate glass molding. His studio is no ordinary one either. With a ton of equipments directly from the NASA, it is a marvel of sorts, just like the artwork he’s so passionate about. Infact his glass art is unlike anything else ever seen before, and it’s primarily because of the fine line that he exploits between the domains of science and imagination. Let’s have a look at some of his most prominent glass pieces, each sculpted with an intention of being instantly recognizable as human.
How accurate is his portrayal of the human insides?
‘I think it is the accurate imagery that grabs people’s attention, but it’s the balance between anatomical accuracy and interpretive imagery that really pulls people in and keeps them engaged.’
His art pieces tend to deviate and mimic the natural state simultaneously. No scientist or artist ever conjured the idea of lighting up skulls with neon gases. This it-self is a testimony of his unique vision on the study of human insides. The Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter and a life size plastic skeleton are the only points of reference he make use of. Rest is all his vision, which while being very vivid is never blown out of proportion. The sculpting, the heating as well as the choice of materials is all a very scientific process. But just like the human body, each of his pieces behave independently of the inputs. For reference it is to be noted that each human, while still being an equal composite of 90% liquids, evolves separately from others. Furthermore, each brain interprets audio visuals uniquely while still holding the same architecture. Hence scientists can neither approve of him nor denounce him for even they are still in search for some answers pertaining to the human body.
With his artistic vision and experimental depth, Eric Franklin is able to bring about a certain dynamism to a somewhat monotonous field of study.
How do they glow? Why do they glow?
Each of his glass works are filled with ions of Neon, Mercury and Krypton. It is these very gases that make his sculptures glow. Further, the way these gases will react inside the glass tubes is something which is difficult to predict accurately. Some places glow brighter while some are dimmer and others totally fade out. Infact the erratic behavior doesn’t cease here. All of his pieces glow about magically upon touch or intimacy, but there is no set pattern as to how they’ll move about upon stimulation. Each time is a new time, hence the beauty!
Quick video clip of “Remain” #neurons #glass #glassart #neon #neonart #sciart #studio #neuroscience #sculpture #flameworking A video posted by Eric Franklin (@ericfranklinstudio) on
What sort of materials are used and how much take is taken?
With such fine art, the choice of materials is of utmost importance. Usually glass is quick to heat and expand, thereby making it vulnerable to cracking. But borosilicate glass has a much higher coefficient of expansion, and thus can resist high temperatures for longer periods of time. Once cooled, it stays put more reliably than any other sort of glass. The actual carving though, is harder than it seems. It complicated and there is zero margin for errors. Upon reaching the melting point, one must quickly manipulate its shape or else it’ll condense into something undesirable. Also the thickness must be consistent throughout for the gases to work. Furthermore, every small tube must have a metal wire sealed through the glass for the ions to react with. Each tube has to be separately injected with ionized gases and then sealed completely in order for them to glow. At last, all such pieces are joined together in a manner which takes a lot of time and patience. It is this final seal that makes the final artwork look so eerie yet spectacular at the same time. No matter it takes Eric north of 1000 hours in the construction of each completed piece.
For more details and pictures of his work, you can head over to Eric Franklin’ Instagram account here or visit his website for greater details. If you wish to buy such art pieces, you can check out his page at Opus. You can also inform your friends of his work by clicking the share button down below!