Fucking Sculptures began one year ago, when Lee Miltier and Maria crafted several dildos in Lee’s glass studio in Berkeley, California, and gave them as gifts to friends. When their dildos were accepted into the store for the 2012 Seattle Erotic Art Festival and began to make sales, Lee and Maria decided to turn their idea into a full business, and the Fucking Sculptures website officially launched last December.
At the invitation of Lee and Maria, my friend (and amazing photographer) Jeremy and I visited the glass studio and watched as these unique dildos were forged by hand. Lee has been working with glass for over twenty years, and his studio is a wonderful artist space; housing walls, shelves and tables crowded with all kinds of tools and colorful creations. Every now and then, an Amtrak train thunders past the windows. This particular morning was overcast and chilly, but the studio remained cozy and warm from the multiple fiery glass ovens.
Fucking Sculptures are made from soda-lime glass sourced from Utah. Soda-lime glass is very common and has been used for centuries to create windows and bottles. Glass sex toys are generally made from either soda-lime or borosilicate glass, both of which are very body safe, nonporous, and easy to clean and sanitize. The main difference between the two glass types is that soda-lime glass is slightly more temperature-sensitive. Soda-lime glass can still be boiled or frozen, but care must be taken to ensure any temperature change is done gradually.
Each glass toy starts out completely clear. Once a fresh blob of honey-like molten glass is formed into a slightly elongated shape, the blob is then rolled in a powdery substance that colors the glass. After several layers of color, the dildo is shaped with various metal tools: pinching motions for the Pussywillow, dragging motions for the G-Spoon, and twisting motions for the Corkscrew. Throughout the sculpting process, the dildo is rhythmically thrust in and out of a 2100°F vagina-shaped oven (which, to my delight, is apparently called a glory hole) to reheat and soften the glass in between shaping the dildo with tools.
Once the shaping is finished, the oven temperature is turned up even higher to provide a quick blast of extreme heat, which fire polishes the glass and alters the color of the surface. White glass turns a shiny dark chrome, and translucent amber glass turns a dark opaque hue. Each and every dildo is treated as an individual work of art. Surface bubbles are clipped off, and even tiny blemishes are carefully removed and smoothed over. The sculptures are created at a speed of about four per hour.
Fucking Sculptures come in five basic styles: the Corkscrew (the most popular style), the G-Spoon (the second most popular), the Pussywillow, the Hooded Nun, and the Two-Cumber. Occasionally, a few unique dildo shapes will make their way into the collection, to provide variety at trade shows and festivals. The two artists plan on eventually adding more styles to their line of glass toys, including anal plugs. Custom orders are also welcome; apart from dildos, Lee’s studio deals almost exclusively in custom orders for lighting and other glasswork.
I asked Maria if there had ever been any total flops when it came to creating designs. She laughed and mentioned some have ended up far too large in size. Maria also recalled spending an entire day making dildos with a pronounced ribbed texture, only to discover that the ribbing, though pretty, was extremely uncomfortable to actually use. These flops are the toys she uses to test for strength and safety: she has intentionally dropped dildos on the floor, banged them together like caveman clubs, boiled them in water for hours, and left them in the freezer for days. So far, after all this extreme abuse, only one toy has broken at an obvious weak point. These glass dildos are very strong, and definitely will not break with normal use.
Maria and Lee strive to make Fucking Sculptures an eco-friendly business. Glass in itself is a naturally sustainable material, and their glass is sourced from Utah to cut down on shipping distance. Reusable bits of clear glass are melted and reused, while extra bits of colored glass are sent to be recycled. Packaging is kept to a minimum: instead of packed into wasteful boxes, the sculptures are wrapped in reusable storage bags created from upcycled fabric.
You can find these beautiful artistic dildos for sale at SheVibe.com. Check out my review for my beloved medium G-Spoon (I am obsessed), and view all the photos Jeremy took during our visit on his Flickr page.
All photos copyright 2013 Geartooth Productions.