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Sold OutGlass Female Sockeye Salmon
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Glass Female Sockeye Salmon

About Glass Salmon.

It is the spiritual aspect of the Salmon that give me inspiration.  Each individual fish, on of millions, has the aura of immortality, of a life given with a purpose, sustaining and enriching the other lives in contacts.  Truly a gift from God.

The economic, cultural and spiritual importance of Salmon to the Northwest Coast is reflected in the iconic manner and recognizable image of these fish.  In pre-contact society, the abundance of the source of sustenance to the First Peoples was a divine gift from the Creator, harvested and used with great respect for its origin.  The image of spawning salmon, fighting through great cataracts and rapids, providing themselves to the bears, eagles, wolves and latter in their death after a successful spawn, providing nutrients to the roots of the great giant fir, spruce and cedar of the coastal rain forest, is a powerful one.

The settler culture soon found great wealth in the abundance of fish and plentiful timber.  Communities sprung up, up and down the coast, to capitalize on these resources.  In fact the modern economy of the Northwest Coast is built on fish and timber.

I make the Glass Salmon, not to reproduce the fish but to create a likeness in glass that is glass with a Salmon appearing.  Each Glass Salmon is an individual, one of a kind.  I do seriously try to make each fish a recognizable species and sex, with appropriate colouration.  But I make them as glassy as possible and each individual has a personality and spirit.

The process makes it so that each fish is one of a kind.  I begin by carving a clay Salmon.  I give this clay fish as much character and detail as I can.  This is what my finished cast glass surface will be like.  When I'm happy with my clay fish, I'll coat him or her in a plaster/refractory mix.  When that sets up I'll remove the clay from the mold.  In the meantime, I will have fused a glass fish skin, giving it the colouration and surface iridescence that I want.  The mold is cleaned and volume determined, loaded with glass for eye, fins and other detail elements, then glass skins and finally glass billet to weight.  Each Glass Salmon weighs up to 2 kilograms and sometimes more.  It is then fired for up to 4 days.  When cool the glass filled mold will come out of the kiln, the plaster/refractory is broken away, leaving a Glass Salmon.  Some finishing and cold working of the glass may be required.  I then hand the Glass Salmon over to sculptor Nelson Shaw for the creation of the metal reed grass bases.  I presented the original concept of how the bases should look to Nelson.  His creativity adds to the individual personality of each Salmon sculpture.  Finally I collect, glue and clear coat river rocks to the base and complete the work.

Product code: 64-2k
Medium: Kiln Cast Glass/Stainless Steel Stand/Stones
Length: Base 17 1/2" - Salmon 16"
Width: Base 7 1/2" - Salmon 3/4"
Height: Base with Salmon 6 3/4" - Salmon 4 7/8"

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Meet the artist

Smith, Christopher

Smith, Christopher

As a life long lover of the natural world, Christopher Smith expresses this passion through his art, connecting the viewer with the magic and miracle of nature. Following decades of creating, custom stained glass and sand carved work in architect...

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