“I have found inspiration in looking at the artifacts from many different cultures that are able to convey a sense of mystery about mankind’s existence through time. I use images of totems and boats and figures in my work to explore ideas about the cycle of life and death. I try to create archetypical images which are not culturally specific. In working with these images I am seeking a way to combine ancient forms and my own life experiences. I want my work to maintain a connection to the past and at the same time reflect a sense of the immediacy of the moment when glass, light and color interact.”
Abildgaard has been working as a studio artist since 1986. His process begins by first sculpting his pieces out of pottery clay. Next he pours a plaster mixture around the clay, creating a mold; this process destroys the original clay sculpture, but leaves him with a vehicle able to produce a glass object with more detail than the traditional sand-casting method. He then fires crushed glass in the plaster mold. Using crushed glass allows him to create a depth and translucence in his sculptures. The interior texture of his vessels is created by remnants of glass pieces that are not completely fused together. After the object cools for a week he chips away the plaster mold, exposing his one-of-a-kind creation.