Residing in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Ben Young is a self-taught artist who has been making glass sculpture for over 15 years and has exhibited alongside well-known glass artists both internationally and in Australia.
Having spent most of his life living in the beautiful Bay of Plenty (North Island, NZ) it seemed natural for him to explore the local landscape and surroundings for early inspiration in his art. A keen surfer and a boat builder by profession, he is largely influenced by the ocean and brings these passions together in his evocative glass forms.
Each of Young’s sculptural works are hand drawn, hand cut and handcrafted from clear sheet float glass, then laminated layer upon layer to create the final form. He constructs models, draws templates, makes custom jigs and then cuts the layers with a glazier’s hand-tool. The complexity comes from the planning phase, where he says ‘I do a lot of thinking before I even start to draw or cut’. He then sketches the concept by hand and creates a plan using traditional technical drawing techniques: ‘I work with 2D shapes and have to figure out how to translate that into a 3D finished piece. Sometimes my starting point changes dramatically as I have to find a way to layer the glass to create certain shapes.’
We talk to sculptor Ben Young about his incredible glass and concrete sculptures and how he began making these unique pieces.