Artist Rob Snyder uses elements of nature to create his gorgeous crystalline glass sculptures. Based on the idyllic Vashon Island in Washington state, Snyder collects delicate branches, twigs and leaves from his surroundings, casts the pieces in glass, and then fuses them back together to make beautifully unique portraits of nature.
From afar, Snyder’s sculptures appear like translucent baskets tinted in varying natural colors to catch light. But upon closer inspection, viewers can see that the building blocks of these sculpture are actually incredibly detailed branches and leaves that look like they were plucked right from a fantastical translucent tree. When illuminated with spotlights, the branches and leaves seem to glow from within, like a heightened version of nature.
Snyder meticulously chooses tiny twigs he finds on Vashon Island. Once collected, each little piece is painstakingly individually cast. Once the artist has around 100 cast pieces, he then creates their glass counterparts, which, although translucent, still hold all of the details of the original piece from nature. The tiny cast glass pieces are then assembled together, often making tornado-like structures that are ironically delicate. The glass sculptures portray chaos and form, using nature as inspiration for abstraction.
Snyder calls the sculptures portraits of nature, adding that these delicate artworks focus on the human relationship to nature. The glistening sculptures are cast in glass to represent the fragile vulnerability of nature, which is also persistent and resilient.