Raven Skyriver Hits the Studio with a Salmon Commission

This past weekend we had the opportunity to join Raven Skyriver (Tlingit) and his team at PRATT Fine Arts Studio to watch him blow a salmon as a special commission for a client. Salmon have become an iconic creature for Raven to blow in glass, and watching him use a cage punty (shown below) on the fish’s face and flowing clear glass over foil is a spectacular experience. Take a look at some of the photos from the blow, and keep an eye out for Raven’s solo exhibition in September!

Thank you to Raven Skyriver for the images, which were taken by Sayuri Fukuda.

Raven Skyriver shapes the gather of glass with a hand tool, while a member of his team shields him from the heat with a paddle.


A close-up of the glass gather. Raven has placed a sheet of silver foil onto the glass, and then another layer of clear glass over it. As he shapes and manipulates the gather into the body of the salmon, the foil breaks apart and begins to look like fish scales.


The team is in the final stages with the salmon, and Raven (far left) will soon crack it off the pipe and hustle it into the annealer for cooling. All of the pre-made fins and eyes have been added, these are the final firings. The salmon is being held onto the pipe by a “cage punty”, which allows multiple points of contact between the glass (in this case, the salmon’s head) and the pipe.


A close-up of the “cage punty” around the salmon’s head. These are the points of attachment to the pipe during the blowing and sculpting. Once the sculpture has cooled, Raven will remove the cage and grind off all the excess glass. Good job, salmon friend, you made it!