“Ben Young”

Broken Liquid: an interview with glass sculptor Ben Young

Raised in Waihi Beach, New Zealand, Sydney-based Ben Young’s love of the surf and trade as a boat builder organically brought him to glass sculpting. His fluid, hand-made creations have propelled him to the forefront of Australia’s emerging glass art scene. AMA spoke to Ben about how his aquatic sculptures take shape. How did you come to sculpting and why with glass? When I was younger I loved building things, however it was my Dad who inspired me to use glass. My family and I were travelling around the Greek Islands when I was 12, and after seeing a glass sculpture in a shop window display, my Dad recreated it once we were home. He wasn’t a sculptor, but he liked to get in the shed and make things, and I guess it rubbed off on me. When I got older I picked it up, had a go, and it’s developed from there. Tell us about your process from idea to creation… Once I’ve come up with an idea, I’ve got to nut out if it’s actually going to be feasible! I’ve now learnt what the glass is capable of doing; which shapes work and those that don’t. I start with a lot of working drawings to help me build. The more I can plan it on paper, the easier it is to complete. Once I’ve got what I think I need, I head out to the studio and start working away. Sometimes it means I have to come back and make more plans. There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing involved. How has your boat-building experience aided your sculpting? I’m a boatbuilder by trade so I’ve made lots with wood, but for some reason I was really taken by working with glass and so I’ve stuck to that. The skills that I’ve picked up through my...

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