Artist Kelly O’Dell is bringing extinct marine animals like ammonites back to life with her colorful glass sculptures. While showing the world the beauty of these creatures, O’Dell’s works also explore themes like extinction and conservation of species as well as the impacts of humans on nature.
Born in Seattle, Washington, O’Dell spent most of her childhood living on the Big Island of Hawai’i. There, her parents had an art studio where they crafted all sorts of glass sculptures and artworks, prompting her interest in the medium. At the same time, she was surrounded by captivating natural beauties and diversity, becoming interested in Oceanography and Astronomy, among other fields.
O’Dell later followed her parents’ footsteps in exploring glass art while her island upbringing and interest in nature led her to pick out extinct marine animals as the main subjects of her creative efforts.
“Glass often evokes a perceived fragility. With wafer-thin screen-printed glass powders, I am able to convey the commonly perceived fragility of glass within a theme like animal extinction,” O’Dell explains on her website. “In contrast, Glass can also be massive and impervious. By casting thick blocks of transparent glass embedded with patterned inclusions, I try to communicate hope in Nature’s persistence.”