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Seattle glass artist's whimsical work looks good enough to eat

Eriko Kobayashi, a Japanese glass artist now in Seattle, aims to freeze a moment or memory in her art. #k5evening

SEATTLE — A glass artist who started her journey in Japan is now whipping up delectable-looking and realistic creations in western Washington. For Eriko Kobayashi, moving to Seattle was about accessibility.

"When I was little, art to me was special. I had to go to a museum or somewhere to see art,” said Kobayashi. “But I want to get rid of that barrier to the people."

She studied at Toyama Glass School in Japan. 

"In Japan, there is so hard to find a place that focuses on only glass," said Kobayashi. "That's why I decided to come to Seattle. Pratt Fine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization, so the production is so accessible for all artists."

Credit: KING 5 Evening
Eriko is currently an Artist in Residence at Pratt Fine Arts Center

At Pratt, Kobayashi is continuing her work of transforming everyday objects into art that at times looks almost edible.

"Food to me or everyday object to me, it's a universal language. I have always in my memory, or past memory, always have a relationship with food as a happiness moment," said Kobayashi. "Food is temporary happiness, I feel, so I want to capture or freeze the moment into the glass."

"I like glass blowing or working with glass because it contained a time that I feel," she said. "So, each moment I work with glass, it captures my moment. And then I feel like it's freezing the moment."

Her latest project is inspired by Pike Place Market's infamous gum wall. She even made a bronze cast of a mouth to give the glass gum teeth marks.

"Teeth marks are so important to me."

Credit: KING 5 Evening
Eriko's latest project is inspired by Pike Place Market's gum wall.

Kobayashi tries to capture moments from her past experiences in her glass art.

"I'm using the everyday object as a universal language that even if I brought down to, like Europe, or any other country, I can't talk, but each person has a different story with the object."

Whimsical and relatable - Eriko Kobayashi's glass art needs no translation.

"I want to give the viewers positive feeling or happiness feeling through my art," she said.

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