Glassblowing is a fascinating art that dates back at least a couple of millenia; the introduction of molds in the process helped usher in the mass production of highly-detailed glass objects during Roman times. German designer Marco Merkel plays with this long-standing history with his tree-based glassblowing molds -- attempting to explore what he calls "randomness" hidden within these arboreal forms.
Titled "Scolyt" (perhaps after Scolytidae, a family of tree-boring insects), the project began with the collection of rotten wood, split logs and other found forest detritus, which were then used as glassblowing molds.
Instead of relying on the precise parameters usually found in this controlled process, Merkel consciously chooses to meld the imperfections and "disfigurements" created by nature with the smooth forms of man-made glass.
The result is are one-of-a-kind works that exude an easygoing harmony between the found and the hand-made, between nature and craft, choosing to meld the chaotic element with its maker. Several pieces of Merkel's work is now on exhibit at “Talente 2012” in Munich. More of Marco Merkel's work on his Tumblr.