Leaf Nation Logo
Photo by boro.vision

Leaf Glass Special: Yunk Glass

Much of Yunker’s work seems to speak to both the adult and child brain simultaneously.

Yunk Glass doesn’t just blow glass, he breathes life into it. His work features cartoonish appendages or fully formed, tiny humanoids that look like they could move across the table and hand you a lighter. Like something out of an old TOOL music video, these faceless homunculi seem both ready to spring to life and trapped in a moment of expression – prompting the artist to refer to them on his website as “Yunktionals.”

Operating out of the Lone Star State, Josh Yunker has spent the last 15 years honing his craft. Originally taught to make spoon pipes on a production line style, afterwards he found himself spending any time outside of the nine-to-five grind out in his mom’s garage practicing glassblowing. After two years of moonlighting, he turned to the craft full time and started working on the style he’s become so well known for. Alongside these animated pipes and rigs, his work with pendants, marbles and glassware are all in high demand when released online and sell out quickly. Perhaps it’s because much of Yunker’s work seems to speak to both the adult and child brain simultaneously – impressing you with its contrasting use of black with clear glass, the skill in the shaping of the tiny appendages, and also making you feel as if you’re holding something that could come to life at any moment. It’s a style that is both super individualistic and yet calls back to the work of Osvaldo Cavandoli, Hayao Miyazaki or Disney Animation. If “Beauty and the Beast” would have had a pipe in the castle, it would for sure have been a Yunk Glass piece voiced by Werner Herzog. 

If you ask, Yunker will tell you his work is a distilled mixture of two prominent glass art styles: Sculpted and Venetian. Sculpted references a glass object’s ability to reference something familiar in our world. Venetian style often makes use of intricate and ornate techniques to exemplify and play with the language of glass. His aim is to “combine both philosophies by using the human form.” This duality that your brian perceives when seeing his work is the artist’s intention, hoping to convey something “both sterile and personal, high-brow and low-brow, black and white.” 

Yunker says his favorite kind of piece to create is something that allows him to work a new shape or style of piece into that of the human body, something that offers a challenge as to how much personality he can instill into the Venetian style. We asked Yunker what helped stoke the fire of inspiration and he said that he’s found the ability to take inspiration from seemingly everywhere – finding that much of it seems to spring out of everyday interactions with people and a desire to communicate with others. 

yunkglass.com | @yunkglass

Photos by @boro.vision

Are you 21 or older? This website requires you to be 21 years of age or older. Please verify your age to view the content, or click "Exit" to leave.