ARTIST STATEMENT

Michael Mikula is always looking up - examining the built environment for its patterns, forms and details to spark his imagination.  

Early to mid twentieth century Art Deco structures most often attract his attention.  Designers in this period utilized and celebrated craftsmanship and ornament as important components and Michael is drawn to the optimistic nature of the era.

For more than two decades Michael has explored a process using multipart graphite molds as a tool to reinterpret architecture in blown glass, highlighting the visual effects of positive and negative form in this transparent material. He calls the resulting body of work "Architectural Blown Glass".  Industrial architectural landscapes and the restless energy of cities point the way for this body of work, with references to the effects of time and remembrance of place.

With a jazz-like sense of improvisation, Michael composes each mold from a large and growing library
of interchangeable parts that he mills and hand carves. As a result, no two compositions are ever alike. Once cooled, the resulting deeply dimensional blown forms are cut open, polished and thoughtfully recomposed within an integral metal armature of anodized aluminum and stainless steel. This custom structural system is "built to last the ages" and can be scaled up for larger installations. 

Michael also continues to make a series of related functional and sculptural blown glass vessels that were the genesis of the current sculptures, using the same graphite mold elements.

Michael says, "Think of a Louise Nevelson sculpture to imagine what a mold looks like as molten glass fills the form - taking it's shape in reverse.  My use of color is purposefully understated to focus attention on form and how the imagery and light is captured and reflected through it”.

"My goal is that each piece be a well designed and crafted object with integrity and lasting value". 

  Michael Mikula,  2014