Curdled up in an outstretched hand, this charming crystal baby, called A Great Wish, is the work of Taiwanese artist Loretta Yang. Her artistic approach is influenced by her power of observation, her understanding of human nature and her knowledge of traditional Chinese artistic vocabulary. By some accounts, she is one of the most influential Chinese glass artists of our times.

But glasswork is not her first claim to fame. In the 1970s she was as an award-winning film actress, and a household name throughout Taiwan.

In 1987, Yang left the film world to immerse herself in the techniques of modern Chinese glass art. She became a master of a technique known as pate-de-verre, which mixes finely ground glass with a binder. The resulting paste is then melted and the liquid poured into a mold. The final product emerges after a process of drying and firing.

Yang's work is represented in more than 60 locations worldwide and in 2008 her glass sculptures were included in the VIP gift baskets at both the Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards.

Step16-A Great Wish by Loretta Yang, 1998

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