Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, glass sea creatures, 1853 –
One of the references for our research on glass (see: The Glass Delusion) were the representations of nature that father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka made from 1853 onwards. The meticulous handmade depictions of biology have been replaced by film and photography, but they are two– and not three-dimensional representations. Will VR bridge that gap?
‘Many people think that we have some secret apparatus by which we can squeeze glass suddenly into these forms, but it is not so. We have tact. My son Rudolf has more than I have, because he is my son, and tact increases in every generation. The only way to become a glass modeler of skill, I have often said to people, is to get a good great-grandfather who loved glass; then he is to have a son with like tastes; he is to be your grandfather. He in turn will have a son who must, as your father, be passionately fond of glass. You, as his son, can then try your hand, and it is your own fault if you do not succeed. But, if you do not have such ancestors, it is not your fault. My grandfather was the most widely known glassworker in Bohemia.’