Growing up in Berkeley California, I was influenced by the Bay Area ceramics and glass movement, becoming involved with hot glass in 1978.
Initially apprenticing with glass artist Richard Marquis for three years, I then concurrently studied with both Ron Nagel at Mills College and Marvin Lipofsky at California College of Arts and Crafts.
Several years later I had the opportunity to explore lampworking at Pilchuck Glass School, in Washington state. Over the course of three summers, I had the privilege of studying with three excellent teachers; Susan Plum, who introduced me to working with Borosilicate glass, James Minson, who has an innate knowledge of the medium and lastly Cesare Toffolo Rossit. I think it was Cesare who resonated with my own style, using the hot glass tools which were already familiar to me. These summers became a pivotal turning point in my relationship with glass.
I found torch work more autonomous than furnace work, the solitude allowing me to focus. Working alone has helped me define my voice, recognize what it is I want to narrate and share.
Many of my ideas derive from myth and biblical stories, creating analogies between ideas, words, heart and actions. I believe that this vocabulary of archetypal images exist in all of us, like seeds of ancient shared understanding, each viewer comprehending this unconscious language.
Now, more than ever, I enjoy the exchange of teaching, watching students tap their own creative source, being a part of their excitement and discovery.
Sculptures by Janis Miltenberger • All Sculptures • All Artists
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