Dr Shelley James

Artists & Designers

principal investigator

I am constantly delighted by the power of glass to shed a fresh light on the everyday and the extraordinary – from the way a straw appears to break or bend when dipped in a tumbler full of water to the discovery of the structure of DNA through crystallography. I work with scientists and other experts to understand the underlying principles and their wider historical and philosophical context. I combine traditional glass making and emerging digital technologies to interpret these phenomena through the material and optical properties of glass, often testing the limits of this beautiful and versatile medium. Sharing discoveries through public engagement, exhibitions, writing and teaching is a vital and rewarding dimension of my practice.

Current projects include constructing quasi-periodic symmetries with Sir Roger Penrose and Professor Brian Sutton, designing a new Artificial Anatomies course at King’s College, and analyzing the optical properties of glass spinning tops with Professor Ken Brecher of Boston University.


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