“Raven Skykriver’s glass sculptures immerse us in nature, allowing us to contemplate our mortality and encouraging us to change our way of being in the world.”
Raven Skyriver also brings awareness to the fragility of the ecosystem and the risk of endangerment in his breathtaking glass animals. Icons of the Pacific Northwest such as whales, tortoises, seals, and salmon feature prominently in his vocabulary, along with ancient shelled creatures and undulant octopuses. He expertly manipulates glass to express different textures—soft mat seal fur, rough patchy tortoise skin, glistening chromatophore’s cells, iridescent carapaces. Skyriver’s glorious creatures capture a panoply of forms and colors as diverse as marine life itself.
Though Skyriver consults reference books and deliberately plans the shapes and coloration of each sculpture to achieve naturalistic accuracy, he also distills each creature to its essence and relishes the whimsical accidents of glass that can augment a piece. Skyriver suggests swimming bodies in their native marine habitat by giving the sculptures fluid movements reminiscent of real life—stretched necks and expansive flippers pushing through the water, arcing backs diving under the surface, waving tentacles riding the ripples.
The inherent viscosity of glass, its ability to morph in shape and color, and its seeming weightlessness as light filters through and around it, make it the ideal instrument for Skyriver. Though he originally did functional pieces in the traditional Venetian style, it is through working with glass that he has found his artistic voice. For him, there is great joy in making beautiful renditions of animals, bringing awareness to, and helping safeguard, the creatures with whom we share our planet. There is also great passion for both the medium of glass, an intriguing substance with many characteristics to learn and cultivate, and the process of glassmaking, a team effort that allows him to collaborate with creative talents.
Raven Skykriver’s glass sculptures immerse us in nature, allowing us to contemplate our mortality and encouraging us to change our way of being in the world. Humans cannot halt, but in fact will eventually be folded into, the inevitable circle of life. But humans do have a choice if they want to be forces of destruction or agents of preservation.