Walking into an exhibit of Raven Skyriver’s work at the Museum of Northwest Art, the visitor stepped into an indersea mirage with sea otters diving and spiraling through seaweed fronds, fish and whales semmingly in motion, gracefully navigating unseen waters. This experience of sculptural glass work was unforgettable.
Discovering Raven hails from Lopez Island, it became clear that his work brings the spirit of these marine creatures to life as if voicing the calling of the Salish Sea and the fragile ecosystems of the marine worlds.
Raven Skyriver started blowing glass on Lopez Island in high school at the age of sixteen. Beginning with mentor Lark Dalton in that Lopez hot shop taught him how to build glass blowing equipment and trained him in the traditional Venetian technique. In 2003 Raven was invited to join the award winning glass artist William Morris’s team in the Seattle area. He worked on the team until Morris’ retirement in 2007 and was exposed to glass as a multi-cultural, visual art storytelling medium.
The experience of working with such a talented group of artists galvanized his decision to follow Glass Sculpture as a profession. Working in hot shops in the Seattle area, he developed his own potent imagery that speaks from his island and Native heritage, bringing to life the creatures and elements of the Salish Sea.
Returning home to the San Juans, Raven has built a new hot shop on Lopez Island (thanks to crowdsource funders), and is the pre-eminent glass artist in the Islands. Raven continues to show his work nationally, and has been featured in group shows internationally
Video courtesy Lopez Island Garden Club