Albert Young’s Community Arts @ Paramount Debut

(Crystal A. Proxmire)


Copper and water. 


No, not even just water – “liquid studies.”  That’s what Albert Young calls his observations of the way little pools of water collect in the random metal shapes of a junkyard after a nice rain.  Something about the way the water settles, and nestles itself in the shape of man’s forged objects, has inspired much of Young’s work.


His sculptures are a mixture of metalwork and glass, with his most recent pieces combining copper shapes with a unique blue glass that is tinted with copper oxide. The metallic geometry of his work cradles the most fluid-looking smooth, water-colored glass that one could dream up.  This is the bluest blue, that of the ocean or teardrop.  The metal is strong and ribbed with the scars of welding, yet it cradles the watery glass in almost a protective way.


 “I’m like a construction worker here,” he said.  “There is a lot of cutting and welding, and working with the metals.  It’s like all this heavy construction, but also with a lot of thinking going on too.”  His work is indeed a concrete process, but his inspiration – the water – is flowing, soothing and noticeably gentle in his work.


Even in his most dramatic story-telling pieces, done in remembrance of lives that have been taken by the chilly rough waters of the Great Lakes, the glassy bits of water are simple and serene in form, yet the depth of the color indicates the potential for cold power.  Storm Dance is a bowl-shaped piece inspired by a boy who died in Lake Superior about ten years ago.


When asked if water was a common theme in his work, Young replied, “Water is a theme of life.  When the glass is hot it is like water.  Glass has its own fluidity.  It is more than a vase, or a window, or a camera lens.  There is a psychology behind it, and behind the process of letting it be shaped.  Liquid studies are the peaceful tone in my work.”


Young has a Masters in Fine Arts in Sculpture from Wayne State, as well as a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics.  He is also a blues musician, leading the group Albert Young and the Straight 8s.


At his studio, Michigan Hot Glass – 1604 Clay Ave in Detroit, Young sells one-of-a-kind glassware, and does glass blowing demonstrations.  More information can be found at and  His exhibition at Community Arts @ Paramount on July 16, 2010, and is expected to run through the end of August.


More information on Community Arts @ Paramount Bank go to  Paramount is at 22635 Woodward Ave. in Ferndale.