Portland-based sculptor, Eric Franklin constructs an anatomical study of the human body considering the mind and body as one entity out of flame-worked borosilicate glass filled with ionized krypton, causing it to glow like a neon light. Embodiment, handcrafted out of 10 separate glass units, took Franklin over 1,000 hours to produce in a two-year span. Franklin’s description of the painstaking process:
Every glass seal has to be perfect, and this piece contains hundreds. Everywhere one tube joins another, or a tube terminates, glass tubes were sealed together. They have to be perfect in order to preserve the luminosity of the krypton. If one rogue molecule gets inside the void of the glass tubing it can eventually contaminate the gas and it will no longer glow. There are times when the holes in the seals are so small that you cannot actually see them with your eyes without the help of a leak detector. Once the glass pieces are ready to get filled with gas, I pull a high vacuum while the glass is hot in order to evacuate any dust or water vapor from the interior surface until there are literally no molecules inside the void of the glass. Then the krypton can be introduced and the glass sealed off. It’s an extremely tedious process, one I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with.
Photos by Brad Carlile.
See more of Eric Franklin’s work on his website.