Transparency and Reflection as Entities in Sculpture of Carved Acrylic Resin

Inspired by Oriental carvings in transparent rock crystal, the author attempted to carve this form of quartz but without success because of its hardness. The availability of clear polymethyl methacrylate (an acrylic synthetic resin), slabs of which can be bonded to make large blocks, led him to use this material for transparent sculpture beginning in 1968. Although the main property that originally attracted him to this acrylic resin is its optical clarity, he finds it alone is of limited aesthetic significance. When the eye is attracted to a shape in clear acrylic resin, this is to a great extent due to the object’s brilliance. This brilliance is present only when light is reflected from the object’s internal and external surfaces, as from mirrors, to the observer. He concludes that reflection and transparency should be added as separate entities to the generally accepted concepts of sculptural form.

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