Philadelphia-based sculptor Amber Cowan scours markets and garage sales for American molded glass knickknacks and fires them into intricate, swirling art pieces that are deeply mesmerizing. Using techniques such as flameworking, blowing, and hot-sculpting, Cowan turns decorative pieces of glass from the 1940s-1980s into relics of femininity that are tinged with a dangerous beauty.
Cowan began creating beautifully detailed and delicate flower-like sculptures that look as if they would actually sway in the breeze. The remarkable beauty of her pieces shined through as they grew into larger, complex systems. Upon closer examination, what looks to be a bed of curling glass is composed of thousands of twisted, spiked, pieces that seem to fight each other for space. She likens her work to a siren’s call – entrancing and sweet yet menacing up close.
Cowan also creates other pieces with deeply layered meanings. Her series called “Reincarnate and Wreckage” features classic white molded glassware like vases and bowls that are smashed into pieces and put back together in a haphazard way. In this practice she redefines the meaning and story of these home decor pieces. Her “Suspension” series consists of over 300 pieces of glass blown into a sort of rope that loops over and over a set of cables. Her complete mastery of the medium has won her numerous awards and she exhibits pieces in museum collections and galleries all over the country.