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Heart of Glass
October 25, 2012 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Glass anatomical models: "Gary Farlow [...] and his team of 10 at Farlow’s Scientific Glassblowing are able to transform the body’s vasculature—and nearly all of its other parts—into an ornate borosilicate glass sculpture, from the heart’s ventricles to the brain’s circle of Willis[...]Their anatomically correct models can be designed to simulate blood flow, teach placement of catheters and angioplasty devices, or simply test or demo new surgical gizmos. Individual arteries, veins, and capillaries are shaped and fused together, one at a time."
posted by OmieWise (17 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gorgeous. Just looking at it makes me nervous that I'm going to break it though!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:58 AM on October 25, 2012


Boy, between this and the medical cakes post a couple posts down, this is like Body Horror Day here on the blue.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 AM on October 25, 2012


Well, this is cool!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:08 AM on October 25, 2012


These bongs must be impossible to keep clean.
posted by three blind mice at 6:08 AM on October 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow, gorgeous. Some of those are definitely going on my "won the lottery" wishlist.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:13 AM on October 25, 2012


Fantastic skill although I worry that this is the sort of thing that 3D printing will render obsolete.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:20 AM on October 25, 2012


If anyone is interested in buying one, here is his website.
This will probably be the coolest thing I see all day.
posted by TedW at 6:55 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really lovely. and the functionality!
posted by sciencegeek at 7:38 AM on October 25, 2012


Huh, they're in Grass Valley, about four miles from where I'm sitting. Their work makes for a lovely sculpture, but their site doesn't list pricing and I suspect if your research laboratory has to ask...

I'm amazed this stuff is all hand made. In this age of 3d printing and a zillion computer driven manufacturing technologies, there's something reassuring about someone crafting fine, accurate glasswork by hand. See also Harvard's glass flowers collection.
posted by Nelson at 7:47 AM on October 25, 2012


Gorgeous. Just looking at it makes me nervous that I'm going to break it though!

I too, am painfully aware of Why I Can't Have Nice Things.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:50 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also the Blaschka invertebrate models at Cornell (made by the same people who did the Harvard glass flowers), which are incidentally in the very building I am sitting in right now.
posted by peacheater at 9:05 AM on October 25, 2012


From the fpp, I thought this was going to be some clever method of dissolving cadavers and leaving glass casts of the vasculature behind. But it turned out to be pure blown glass artistry. Remarkable.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2012


These are so beautiful!

Huh, they're in Grass Valley, about four miles from where I'm sitting. Their work makes for a lovely sculpture, but their site doesn't list pricing and I suspect if your research laboratory has to ask...

Your suspicions are correct. From the article:

A full-body setup could cost $25,000, so don’t get any bright ideas about using one as a brandy decanter.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:54 AM on October 25, 2012


brandy decanter? woa that's an amazing idea (for maybe a less correct and cheaper version)... TO ETSY!
posted by fuzzypantalones at 10:00 AM on October 25, 2012


Gorgeous. Just looking at it makes me nervous that I'm going to break it though!

I too, am painfully aware of Why I Can't Have Nice Things.


Me too -- they were named Dusty and Lucinda when we adopted them, and I have to nightly sweep up their hair off my pillow so I can sleep without allergy attacks.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:17 AM on October 25, 2012


The 10th Regiment of Foot : Gorgeous. Just looking at it makes me nervous that I'm going to break it though!
The Carnegie Museum of Art had an exhibition of blown-glass sea creatures, many of which were exactingly made to the real animals. Squids, spiny stars, coral, jellyfish...

In between moments of awe and wonder, I kept thinking, "HOW IN HELL DO THEY MANAGE TO SET THIS UP WITHOUT BREAKING HALF OF THEM?"

Maybe the exhibit used to be 64x as large, and they'd only allowed 6 viewings in the last century.

(Google reveals it was Leopold & Rudolf Blaschka's work.)
posted by IAmBroom at 11:41 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this! Both for the beauty and craft of the glass work itself, and as a process engineering exercise.

I enjoyed the Blaschka's work at Harvard's Natural history Museum any number of times on grade school field trips, years ago. There were large scale glass insects there as well.
posted by Abinadab at 3:47 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


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