California-based Rick Satava found the sight of thousands of jellyfish lazily swimming in a glass aquarium mesmerizing when he visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the late 1980s.
Satava saw an opportunity to make art out of what he saw, and had the idea to capture the haunting beauty of jellyfish in glass.
He spent the next three years in experimentation, trying to get the colors right and master the glass-in-glass technique.
This technique is an art form that has existed for many centuries. It works by encasing a glass sculpture in a second layer of glass — hence, ‘glass-in-glass’. Glass is malleable when it’s still warm, so the artist can easily manipulate it into any form.
With the help of translucent pigments, Satava was able to capture the undeniable beauty of jellyfish.
He describes his sculptures as: “Vertically oriented, colorful, fanciful jellyfish with tendril-like tentacles and a rounded bell encased in an outer layer of rounded clear glass that is bulbous at the top and tapering toward the bottom to form roughly a bullet shape, with the jellyfish portion of the sculpture filling almost the entire volume of the outer, clear-glass shroud”.
Satava’s jellyfish sculptures were finally ready to be sold in public in 1990. And by 2002, he was designing and producing an average of 300 sculptures monthly.
The jellyfish sculptures have become so popular that two of them even made an appearance in Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.
“Our jellyfish sculptures are in the recent movie, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, during two scenes in the broker’s gallery and we are thanked in the film’s credits. They used two pieces, one small Ribbed Purple Jellyfish and the other a Magnum Moon Jellyfish. If you had a chance to see the film, we hope you spotted them.”
Satava’s amazing jellyfish sculptures are available for purchase here.