Inspired by ways we transform ourselves, I creates glass pieces that have both visual and spatial depth. By layering and fusing sheets of glass with overlapping imagery I create an interactive commentary using simple forms with intricate glass powder drawings.
My kilnformed work takes scenes and suspends them within layers of fused, formed and coldworked sheet glass. Using crushed glass powder to create the images, I play on the elements of light, color and also sequence. The glass powder is sifted onto glass sheets, and worked with delicate scrapers and picks to create the imagery by scraping and scratching the sifted black glass dust. The glass panel is then fired in an electric kiln at temperatures up to 1600°F. This time consuming process facilitates drawn out contemplation of often overlooked imagery.
Seamless construction and simplicity of form contrasts with the intricacy of my imagery.
Michael Janis is a Co-Director of the Washington Glass School and has taught at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina and at Istanbul’s Glass Furnace in Turkey. He first began working with glass as an architect in Australia, where his projects received international awards.
His architectural discipline is evident his precise and detailed ‘sgraffito’ technique, where he manipulates glass dust to create incredibly detailed, almost photographic imagery within layers of fused glass.
Michael was named ‘Outstanding Emerging Artist 2008-2009’ by the Florida Glass Art Alliance and was a finalist for the Washington, DC Mayors Arts Award 2009. Michael was included in a book on the best of international glass art, ‘50 Distinguished Contemporary Artists in Glass’, published in the UK. His work is shown at international art expositions including S.O.F.A. New York and S.O.F.A. Chicago, Palm Beach 3 and New York Affordable Art Fair. Michael has held several solo exhibitions and is featured in this year’s Corning Glass Museum’s ‘New Glass Review 30’ publication, and his work is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.