Fused Imagery In Glass – The Process

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Michael Janis was setting up a firing the other day of his thick layered glass panels, and the Washington Glass School blog asked how he created his frit powder drawings.


Detailed sketches are created to plan the layout each glass layer. Michael sifts frit powder onto sheet glass and manipulates with an scapel blade tip, scratching the powder until he is happy with the imagery (his version of sgraffito – or ” little scratch” technique.) Each working is fired into the glass, and aligned with the successive panel.
This process can take a number of weeks and requires multiple kiln firings. Once Michael is satisfied with the color depth of the frit powder application, he begins his set-up inside a kiln for the final firing – or full fuse.


The panels are assembled into the kiln, sometimes with clear interlayers.


The top layer is placed in the kiln.

The kiln is then set for a long schedule to allow for proper annealing of 6 layers of bullseye glass.
After the glass cools, Michael then cleans and coldworks the slab, and prepares for mounting into one of his steel frames.
The piece shown here is titled “Somewhere I Have Never Traveled”, and will be shown by
Maurine Littleton Gallery during SOFA Chicago.

Michael Janis Awarded Saxe Fellowship

>This weekend was the annual auction at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI – a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and educating glass artists, students and the community).
Lots of beautiful and provocative works of art were auctioned, raising over $110,000 to benefit the school.

The judges chose the best piece in the auction, and three other Jurors’ Choice Awards. The criteria for these awards were uniqueness and creativity within the world of glass as well as for the individual artist, technical mastery, and content beyond mere technical beauty or mastery.

Awards were given, and the top prize, the Saxe Award went to Michael Janis for his piece ‘Meridians’.

Michael Janis / Meridians
Glass, Fused glass powder imagery, steel 12.5″ x 12.5″
photo: anything photographic

The Saxe Fellowship Award, named after world-renowned collectors George and Dorothy Saxe, is chosen by a jury of Dorothy Saxe, Maurine Littleton, Director of the Maurine Littleton Gallery, and Micaela Von Zwoll, Director of the Micaela Gallery. The winner of the Saxe Fellowship will receive a cash prize and will be invited to participate in BAGI’s Visiting Artist series. Previous winners of the fellowship include Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman.

Congratulations to Michael and all the artists!

There are still several pieces available – the full catalog is online… please call Chris Moore at 408 993-2244 to inquire about them.

Blue Spiral Gallery

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Tim Tate artwork in forground, L-R ‘The Conflict of Archimedes’, ‘Contentment Can’t Escape Me’, ‘Red Devil Bowl’.

NEW X Threeopened this weekend at Asheville, NC’s beautiful Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC to a great crowd. There was a lot of interest and excitement at Blue Spiral’s introduction of their newest artists represented, and (happily) a number of sales!

Tim Tate artwork L-R: ‘My Love Life Thus Far’, ‘She Was Often Gripped With The Desire To Be Elsewhere’. Michael Janis artwork L-R: tarot ‘The Sun’, ‘Death’, ‘The High Priestess’, ‘The Moon’.

Michael Janis artwork L-R: tarot ‘Wheel Of Fortune’, ‘The Hangman’, ‘The Tower’.


The show runs until March 21, 2010
Blue Spiral 1 Gallery 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801

Northern Virginia Art Beat

>Northern Virginia Art Beat

Kevin Mellema of FCNP reviews McLean Project for the Arts shows – including Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis’ glass artwork. Novie Trump’s ceramic works are also reviewed.
Kevin also reviews Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart at Maurine Littleton Gallery.

Click HERE for the link to the entire article.

excerpt from the FCNP:

To Tell the Tale: Works by Allegra Marquart, Michael Janis and Tom Baker, at the MPA (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean). The exhibit runs through Nov. 7, and the gallery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 1 – 5 p.m. For more details, call 703-790-1953 or visit www.mpaart.org.

Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis both work in glass out of the Washington Glass School in Mt. Rainier, Md. Tom Baker is a print maker from New Jersey.

Baker’s prints seem to juxtapose destructive and utilitarian objects in playfully similar ways. A coil spring stands beside a falling bomb with corkscrew spiraling trajectory trailing behind it. Similarly, an underwater mine sits ready to destroy anything that touches it, while a ship’s propeller motors past unscathed.

Allegra Marquart produces multi-colored relief glass panels that depict children’s fables. Maraquart’s works resemble wood block prints, not surprisingly, because she came from printing to glass making and at times, still makes wood block prints.

Marquart’s panels spare none of the gory details in what are often fairly graphic childhood tales. The combination of crude, often heavy handed childhood tales, with the cool, highly polished glass surfaces, gives the works a natural sense of tension.

Michael Janis is showing his re-interpretations of tarot cards.

In addition to the images here at MPA, both Janis and Marquart have works on view through October at the Maurine Littleton Gallery in upper Georgetown (1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.). The Georgetown gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more details, call 202-333-9307 or visit www.Littletongallery.com).

Marquart’s work seems of a uniform mien at both locations. Janis however has two new large panel works and nine smaller 12-by-12-inch panels at Littleton Gallery.

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Michael Janis’s “Words Left Unsaid.”

While the tarot card pieces are interesting, they come off as a bit literal at times. The new smaller pieces at Littleton, however, are anything but. Those works have a mysterious dream state sense of surrealism that engages the viewer on a deeper more engrossing level. Using figures, text and common objects we are left to our own devices to figure out the story.

One fairly straightforward image titled, “Words Left Unsaid,” shows a man with a jumble of letters floating in his throat. It’s a notion most all of us can relate to. How would things be different if we released the words behind our mouths. Would the world be better or worse for it? Would our lives be fulfilled, or would our deepest fears be realized by their release? Would we even have the chance to say them at all if we wait too long?

We can’t answer any of those questions here. All we can do is stare at the man and wonder at his fate and the fate of those around him. We sense his need to speak, but can’t make out what it is from the disjointed jumble of letters on view. Perhaps even he doesn’t yet know exactly what to say just yet. All nine of the smaller panels are filled with entertaining and somewhat voyeuristic questions.

Duane Reed Gallery

>Duane Reed Gallery celebrated their 15th anniversary and relocation to the trendy Central West End in St Louis this May. The inaugural exhibition (May 15 – June 13) features fiber sculptor John McQueen and Washington Glass School artist Michael Janis.
L-R Merrill Straus, Duane Reed, Michael Janis, John McQueen, Glenn Scrivner, Gaby Schaefer Naus

Michael Janis talks about his work and techniques.

Michael Janis Opens the New Duane Reed Gallery

>The prestigious Duane Reed Gallery has moved to 4729 McPherson Ave. in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. This move, which coincides with the gallery’s fifteenth anniversary, will allow the gallery significantly more space and locates it in a vibrant neighborhood with restaurants, galleries and other businesses.

The Re-Opening Celebration Friday, May 15, 2009.
The gallery will present the work of internationally acclaimed fiber sculptor, John McQueen and Washington Glass School’s Michael Janis as the inaugural exhibitions in the new space.

The exhibitions will open Friday, May 15th with an opening that evening from 6 – 9pm. The exhibitions will run through June 13th.

McQueen uses willow branches, bark, burrs and other natural materials that he strings together to create stunning basket-like sculptures. McQueen “weaves willow twigs into flat open work panels, that are tied together with wax string and built into sculptural constructions. Some works are cage-like while others resemble familiar objects — a book, a desk calendar, a painting.” Michael Janis @ St Louis’ Duane Reed.
Dealing with themes of identity and transformation, Michael Janis’ work involves kiln-working fused glass images together in an uneasy juxtaposition, or creating a transparent environment where reflections and shadows remove all boundaries. With a technique called “sgraffito”, the figures and forms are shaped by manipulating glass dust with sifters, brushes and scalpel blades. The delicate nature of glass powder is exploited and the slightest tap can change the frit powder images.

Palm Beach 3 Opens!

>Celebrating its 12th anniversary, the PalmBeach3 contemporary art fair returns to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on January 15-18, 2009. The glittering vernissage debuts January 14, 2009.
Washington Glass School is represented by Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate and Michael Janis showing in Maurine Littleton Gallery’s space.

John LaPrade, assistant director of Maurine Littleton Gallery sends his cell phone pix of the setup at the fair.

The gallery looks great!