David Ruth


David Ruth’s glass sculpture forms a geological connection between a man-made material and sources in nature such as icebergs and rock faces. Ruth makes sculpture molds from objects like glacier ice and stone as a way to record that which is facing tremendous change in our current climate. The sculptures record the things we see in nature while at the same time, comment on the fragility of our environment.

Raw, natural patterns are molded and translated into glass sculpture through a combination of processes. After the molds are made, glass is hot cast to make parts. These pieces are then fired to a barely molten state to fuse the bits into a solid mass. Any color or images contained in the smaller pieces are then visible, almost undistorted, in the larger, complete piece. The fusing, heating and cooling process can take anywhere from a few days up to several weeks, depending on the thickness of a given sculpture. Working with this precious material, Ruth aims to transform glass into the raw and organic forms he’s observed in places like Antarctica. Each glass sculpture invites you to contemplate its natural source of inspiration and how we as humans interact with our environment.


David Ruth is an Oakland-based glass sculptor who has been working with large-scale cast glass sculptures for over thirty years. Ruth’s sculptures have been exhibited widely both internationally and domestically: from Tokyo, Japan to Oakland, California. In 2006, Ruth received an award from the National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Program for travel to Antarctica resulting in a series of work based on his time there. Ruth has also completed various public as well as private art commissions throughout the country. In the mid-1970’s, Ruth studied under artist Roger Darricarrere, where he learned valuable techniques in glass casting.