April’s work has always taken colors, shapes, and other elements from the natural world. Even in some of her most abstract works, nature has been a huge source of inspiration. Let’s take a look at how the natural world has inspired the following five pieces.
Rabbit Lives at Claire’s House
This custom sculpture was commissioned for the Flint Institute of Art’a 2016 Party fundraiser. Of the five works mentioned here, it’s the most representational. The elements drawn from nature are clearly visible from every viewing angle. April incorporated flowers, leaves, mushrooms, butterflies, fiddleheads, and even bees into this lively and brightly colored sculpture. Each individual component is carefully made from hand-blown glass. The composition works from all sides, and encourages the viewer to linger on the various small, hidden elements tucked into the piece. It’s like looking into the heart of a magical garden.
Watch the video above to see a full 360 degree view of the sculpture.
The Jade Plant or Jade Tree is a unique succulent native to South Africa. It takes its name from its jade-colored leaves. April played with the idea of a tree when devising the shape for this freestanding sculpture. The stacked layers of hand-blown glass evoke the image of a tree, without being directly representational. She used Jade as the basis for the color scheme of the piece, creating a sort of Jade spectrum. This piece is a great example of April’s ability to make something that is both abstract, and faithful to its source of inspiration
Violet Aqua Water Wall
This custom, site-specific sculpture was inspired by the depth and variety of colors found in bodies of water. The cool blue and purple hues of the glass mimic gentle waves along a beach. The sculpture was designed to fit the niche and is lit from above so that the glass truly sparkles. Oceans and lakes are a source of inspiration for many of April’s sculptures. When worked a certain way, blown glass can easily take on a liquid-like appearance. Playing with this illusion has always intrigued April.
Emerald Ocean Fleur
Another piece inspired by water, this new wall-hanging sculpture took both its color palette and its shape from the ocean. Like a flower made of water, or an ocean wave, the two glass shapes create a sense of calm, serenity, and balance. April wanted to give the viewer a feeling similar to looking out over the waves on a beach. The bottom layer is a darker, grayer shade of blue than the top, similar to water as it changes in depth and temperature.
Finally, this earth-toned sculpture is inspired by the bark and leaves of the Shagbark tree, and by other colors found in the forest. The glass curls up like warped pieces of bark, creating an organic seeming shape. The rich brown base acts like the trunk of a tree, while the golden yellow color is reminiscent of the changing leaves in fall. Hike through any forest in Michigan and you’re sure to have similarly colored leaves crunching underfoot. This sculpture shows the diverse textures that can be achieved by glass, and further establishes glass as a uniquely interesting medium for channeling the beauty of nature.