KONKYLIE (CONCH BOWL) (2001), BY TOBIAS MěHL
ACQUIRED FROM WILLIAM TRAVER GALLERY, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 2002
HAND-BLOWN GLASS, 7 1/4" HIGH BY 11 1/4" IN DIAMETER, SIGNATURE ENGRAVED ON THE BASE BY THE ARTIST


I'm not sure why, but there are quite a few artists who work in glass who are either from Scandinavian countries, or who have gone there to study the art of glass. Just within my collection, for example, I have works by Ăsa Bj÷rk Thorsteinsdˇttir (Icelandic, lives in Norway), Sonja Blomdahl and Preston Singletary (both lived and worked in Sweden for some time), and Dale Chihuly (part of his Chihuly Over Venice show was filmed in Finland). Maybe they just like the warmth of furnaces and kilns.

Tobias M°hl is a Danish glassblower who works in the Muranese style of Venetian glassblowers... he has worked with Lino Tagliapietra for several years, and his work shows Lino's influence. This bowl is a superb example of his work.

As near as I can tell, what Tobias has done is to create an incredibly long cane of glass in the shape of a ribbon cable, consisting of alternating strands of clear and white glass. (How he did this, I'm not sure. Usually, cane doesn't come out flat.) Then, he created a vessel of clear glass on a blowpipe and wrapped the cane around and around the vessel, completely covering the outside of the vessel. Finally, he used the blowpipe to expand the vessel to its ultimate size and smoothed the inside of the bowl.

The result is very cool... the outside of the bowl is rough and heavily layered with ribbons of glass, and the inside is perfectly smooth. Even though this work is totally devoid of color, the effect of the seemingly endless strands of clear and white glass, all overlapping each other, is mesmerizing. It looks complicated, but the reality is that it's very simple and elegant in construction.

The name of this work, Konkylie, is Danish for "conch", hence the name Conch Bowl.

Lino is reportedly a big fan of Tobias' work, and so am I... it's easy to see why.

Scroll down to see a detail shot of this work.

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