All the qualities that made lucite a beguiling material in the 1960s and 70s—lightness, both visual and literal, a touch of glamour—remain true today. The California-born glass artist Dorothy Thorpe was something of a pioneer in the use of lucite (the material is, more accurately, acrylic; lucite is the trademark name coined by DuPont), experimenting with the stuff as far back as 1941.
Unlike her Mid-Century contemporaries, though, Thorpe exchanged hard-edged geometry for free-form, amorphous compositions: knotted, twisted, spiraling tubing that, even today, looks technologically advanced. Much of Thorpe’s earlier glasswork was characterized by Art Nouveau–influenced floral motifs. But by the 1970’s, and evidenced by these graceful pieces, she smartly traded in bells and whistles for pure, sculptural elegance.