It takes the skilled hands and vision of a true artist to transform an ordinary piece of window glass into an etched work of art. Zachary Knudson, known as The Glass Artist, began creating these delicate structures at the age of 12. Coming from a family that is filled with unique artistic genius: His mother is an interior designer and his father is a biomedical engineer.
Glass etching is a rare form of artwork. The transparent material starts as a piece of ordinary window glass, the clear kind used in houses, office buildings, and cars.
Mistakes are unforgivable due to the fine nature of the product. The process is done mostly by hand; it’s an acquired form of art, something that takes time to learn.
He says, “This type of art was really popular back in the day. It died out, and now I’m trying to revive it by putting a modern twist on it.”
Bees die we die: Since his grandmother’s passing, Knudson has been inspired to create exhibits of glass that reflect the beauty and intricacy of a bees honey comb and hive structure. His favorite piece, “Bees Die, We Die” is a reflection of this work.
Knudson begins by sketching his design on paper, transfers it to a computer, and then transfers it onto a custom stencil. This is then placed over glass and sand blasted. Once the glass is fully etched, the stencil is removed and the artwork is finished.
Knudson says, “Glass art is almost like tattooing the glass.”
Amongst a handful of talented artists, Knudson was selected to create the entrance to the ArtWalk in downtown Coral Springs. His unique approach is anything but ordinary. He maintains that his inspiration for this piece is “innovation and forward thinking”. Instead of just creating a sculpture that stands off to the side, Knudson envisioned an elaborate entrance. “This piece will be the largest infinity glass sculpture ever made. It’s the first of its kind and will be the tallest brightest and only sculpture that has been made for outdoor use.”
More of his public work includes the creation of a seven-foot-tall illuminated glass memorial in the City of Marathon Key Fire Station, to honor the 343 fire fighters who lost their lives in the attacks of 9/11. Knudson’s résumé also includes unique pieces for people such as former Miami Heat basketball star Mike Miller, Ringo Starr of the Beatles, and he has been featured on HGTV’s Color Splash Miami. This year, his goal is to make it to Miami’s Art Basel.
“I want people to truly appreciate what they are looking at, and also I want the art to feel completely foreign and new to the viewer. Art is very personal to me and it’s a part of my physical being; without it, I wouldn’t be the same. It would be as if I were missing a vital organ.”