Michael Janis

Inspired by ways we transform ourselves, I work at creating glass pieces that have both visual and spatial depth. By layering and fusing sheets of glass with overlapping elements, I aim for an interactive commentary using simple forms with intricate glass powder drawings. These works are a continuation of my frit powder drawings that I have been working on for some time now. The layered compositions allow me to create unusual relationships within the imagery.

Using crushed glass powder to create drawings, I can affect the elements of light, color and also sequence. The glass powder is sifted onto glass sheets, and by scraping and scratching the sifted black glass dust, the figures take form. The glass panel is then fired in an electric kiln at temperatures up to 1600°F. The time consuming process of my artwork helps me to focus and experiment with the ways and means to depict the poetry, symbolism and magic of the everyday. That the substrate is glass just adds a visually “different” treat to the eyes, and a three dimensionality that paper cannot deliver.

I work hard to create some kind of meaning out of my artworks – a dream-state surrealism filled with haunted, subtle images that hint at questions. The work has an intrinsic meaning for me, but they remain open to multiple interpretations. I count on the viewer to draw their own conclusions, and find meanings beyond those I put there.

-Michael Janis