An influential teacher, Franz Xaver Höller (German, b. 1950) studied glass cutting before earning a degree in sculpture. His unique, minimal vessel forms introduce the techniques of glass cutting and engraving-traditionally used for decorative and functional objects-into the realm of contemporary sculpture. Balloon I is made from a large bubble that has been blown out almost to the point of collapse. After cooling, Höller carefully cut away the top section and covered the walls of the sphere with engraving inspired by natural patterns found in the winter landscape.