Catching a Wave: What will it take to create a public for the ocean?

Lisa Beth Robinson and Kristin Thielking were attempting something completely new—to digitally capture, and cast in glass, a three-dimensional model of a real, live wave.

The two artists have worked together for years, exploring a mutual fascination with the ocean, creating glass boats of different colors and textures. But their goal to sculpt a wave represented new levels of challenge. First, there was the technological feat of digitally capturing something moving and transparent. Second, they aimed to use their art to catch people’s attention and wake them up to vast changes that loom for the ocean.

“Every second breath you take comes from oceans,” says Robinson. “All that phytoplankton is a huge generator of the oxygen you breathe.”

“People don’t consider the ocean’s relevance to their lives, especially if they are not on a coast,” observes Thielking.

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