Thursday Salute to Originals: Glass Fairy Tales

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

—    Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

In a new collection of “sculptural paintings,” glass sculptor Amber Cowan crafts vintage figurines into exploding, three-dimensional landscapes. Her images of female figures in a forest of monochrome evoke memories of fairy tale illustrations, portraits of mythology, and maybe even the psychedelic chronicle of Alice in Wonderland. Cowan tells her own fairytales, however, and each work has its own original symbolism and storyline.

“The figurine is standing in front of a pyramidal line pointed towards the sun; next to her is her feline companion and across from her is the totem animal of the giraffe symbolizing the ability to see into the future and obtain things that are normally out of reach,” said Cowan in an interview with (Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose).

The three works pictured here – Bridesmaid’s Forest, Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose, and Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph – use carefully selected vintage pieces from shiny snails to porcelain giraffes to craft the fantastical landscapes of Cowan’s stories. Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph actually draws inspiration from existing Greek Mythology and art — Jan Brueghel the Elder’s painting A Fantastic Cave with Odysseus and Calypso.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Amber Cowan and her masterful storytelling through glass. To view more of her work and learn about the history of the figurines used, you can visit Cowan’s website and Instagram.

Sources: Amber Cowan, This is Colossal