Long before scientists had detailed images of planetary geology, Sally Rockriver was determined to explore the glass processes that were occuring beyond our solar system. Rockriver was convinced that there must be other planets which contained chemicals and heat similar to those used in her studio. From the moment she blew glass, Rockriver was engulfed by a recurring theme of planetary geochemistry and physics that were connected to places in the Universe.

On July 12th, 2013 NASA announced the existence of Planet HD 189733b
CNN : The Real Azure Planet that Rains Glass which recirculates molten sand and minerals that form into glass in the atmosphere..  In 2008, Rockriver had already started her series of works that focused glass storms. In these pieces, sprays of glass cooled into a crystalline webbing. and various gases erupted from molten pools. Trapped gases allowed the hot glass to bubble form enormous domes. Rockriver's theory of a "glass rain" came to fruition in her exhibition: "Unfound: Geochemistry of the Universe".

Rockriver's approach is not representational nor is it abstract. Her dialogue is based on the concrete reality of the world it creates. It is an outgrowth of blend of processes that evolve and mutate. The high-temperature intersection of blown glass, ceramics, and kiln architecture is captured in her installations and videos. View: Live Landscape of Unfound Planets. Reef-like growths encapsulate a post-human dialogue that she refers to as a Narrative Material Realism.

Roberta Smith, NEW YORK TIMES...
"it is not clear if Ms. Rockriver
is the next Dale Chihuly,

an unusually festive heir to Eva Hess,
or an artistically inclined scientist.

But she is definitely something."  

  Glass Quarterly Interview


PIONEER: Rockriver paved the way for a generation of artists who embrace the geological nature of molten glass. Similar to many other Glass Secessionists, her unique processes are self taught. Although Rockriver uses a Conceptual framework influenced by her MFA years in NYC, the origin of her inspiration preceeded her education. In 1989, she grew her first ceramic crystals, and by 1993, she had developed the concept of a "Geochemical Landscape". When Rockriver started blowing glass in the mid 1990's, she applied her chemicals blown glass. Once cooled, these reactions became "Frozen Moments". With her 1998 body of work entitled "Research Station", she had pioneered the chemical experiment as a glass artform.

BLOG LINK: Alternative Critique

"The works Sally creates can leave us feeling as if we have actually traveled into the unknown to find glass that remains after an eruption. Perhaps we will find a carbon bubble frozen in time, or jewels encrusted along a volcanic crater. Rockrivers art allows us to live in a beautiful world that is much more exotic than our own. We become aware that sudden forces instantly transform the landscapes of planets in faraway galaxies, just as it happened on Earth. Elsewhere, if a hot meteor hits solid silica ground, the heated surface could burst into tendrils of glass that explode from a newly created hole."
- Mike Lamastra