Pollitt completes wood and glass sculpture commission

Wood and Glass Sculpture Commission — the Challenge.

I am always challenging myself to go deeper, push further, risk more. But I can never challenge myself as much as when someone says “try this.”

An ethereal combination of kiln cast glass and maple burl sculptures by Harry Pollitt.
GENESIS by Harry Pollitt. A wood and glass sculpture commission.

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Genesis  |  Glass: 1′-6″ h, 8″ diameter | Kiln cast crystal, Lagoon| Wood: 1′-8″ h, 6″ diameter | Maple Burl | COMMISSIONED by Private Collectors

When I create, I block out the world. Listen for a soft inner voice. Perceive a stirring that in turn compels action. Once materialized, the piece seeks out its soulmate (aka: Collector) to enrich another life.  And the cycle is complete.

Commissions, then, are a total reversal. The voice now comes from the outside world. It is usually general in nature, nonspecific, incomplete in detail, but trusting that their soul will commune with mine.

And so this was my “commission challenge.”  To do a double medium (wood and glass) sculpture-in-the-round. Others have encouraged me to do this and, after much reflection, I had concluded that it could not be done. But destiny has a way of seeking you out. Faced with doing what I deemed impossible, I was nearly paralyzed with terror.

Then, little by little, images and forms began to emerge. On the third maquette (small scale rough draft in wax), I struck the right form – a sculpture within a sculpture.

Sculpture within a sculpture?

Yes, both pieces complete and distinct in their own right, but combined and “nested.” They augment each other – with the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

I would not have done this on my own. I am grateful for the challenge and trust placed in me. I am better for the experience. Plus, a new avenue for creative expression seems to have emerged.  Thank you to my Collectors!

Genesis.  The name seemed natural.  First there was wood.  Then there was glass.  Now there are both.

These few work-in-progress photos can’t begin to convey the myriad decisions involved in creating this piece. The glass had to have numerous and large “windows” to reveal the inner wood sculpture.  Design parameters resulted in a mere two inch difference in the diameters of the two sculptures.  And, because I needed at least 1 ½” of glass to sculpt  dramatic movement and character, I was left with just a 1/4” gap all the way around in the interior.  Finally, of paramount importance, the glass needed to be precisely the right color and density to create the desired ethereal effect.

Then there was the wood. Choosing the right species of wood took a lot of time and experimentation. Too dark, it absorbed too much light. Too light and it got “lost” in the glass. A mid-tone, highly figured, somewhat reflective wood was needed. Maple burl turned out to be just right for creating a distinctive contrast between the sculptures.

In the end, the viewer sees the wood through the openings and its ghosted outline behind the solid glass. This draws the eye in and out to capture the true essence of the entire work as well as the individual structures.

Creating GENESIS… wax sculptures, glass from foundry, rough wood sculpture, finished work

Wax cylinder and Pollitt's rough design lines for the outer glass sculpture.

Just a wax cylinder with a few design lines for GLASS sculpture.

Wax cylinder will become a positioning model for the eventual wood sculpture "insert."

Wax cylinder to become model for WOOD sculpture.

Two waxes nested by Pollitt to visualize aestehtics and confirm the inserted wood sculpture will fit.

First look (in wax) at the nesting concept…GLASS over WOOD.







Standing alone, the finished wax shows off its curves and negative space. Now ready for its transformation to glass at the foundry.

Finished wax ready for GLASS foundry.

Sweeping upward, this completed wax sculpture will stand as model for the maple burl Wood sculpture to come.

Finished wax provides model for eventual WOOD sculpture.

"Lagoon" kiln cast glass presents perfect translucent color for Pollitt's first combined glass and wood sculpture.

Translucent GLASS sculpture finished.

Pollitt uses highly-figured maple burl wood for the second piece in GENESIS, his first glass and wood nested sculpture.

Finished WOOD sculpture, with bolder facets than wax model.







Pollitt's wood and glass sculpture commission completed.

GENESIS by Harry Pollitt. Cast Glass entwines Maple Burl sculpture.

A wood and glass sculpture commission becomes a combination of sweeping lines, negative space and ethereal shadows.

GENESIS. A sculptural dance of cast glass and highly-figured wood.

Other Collected Glass Sculptures

  • Midnight moves in Sofa Chicago 2014 catalog
    Five Pollitt sculptures sold
  • Pollitt completes wood and glass sculpture commission
  • Adagio
  • Shape Shifter
  • Cascade
  • Midnight Moves
  • Blue Pyro
  • Limoncelli
  • T with 'Tude
  • Blue Tango
  • Blue Shift
  • Mythic Fire
  • Levitation
  • Event Horizon
  • Canyon Song
  • Unfathomable
  • Firth of Forth
  • Mystic Light
  • Second First

Glass Sculpture Tags

Apricot Awards Blue Blue glass art built-up sculptural technique Burl Citrine Collectors Commission Glass glass art glass sculpture Glass Wall Art Glass Wall Sculpture Green Holsten Galleries Hyacinth Jade Green Lilac Maple New News Process Red Riley Galleries SOFA CHICAGO Traver Gallery Wall Art Wall Sculpture Wood

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Contacting Harry

I'm mostly here, sometimes there. I get around to galleries, shows and events, SOFA hopefully always, and enough international travel to keep a smile on my face. But you can always reach me! Question? Price Inquiry? Studio Visit?
Try these:

Webmail: Go to our form.
Phone: +1 505-795-8937


Whether you are an avid collector of glass or wood ... or just love sculpture, I am pleased you are here. I invite your reactions to and impressions of my work. And, if a piece calls to you, please be in touch.

Contact: Go to our form.
Phone: +1 505-795-8937