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SOAR Welcomes Fine Glass Artist Micheal Korpa

Mike Korpa

 We’re thrilled to introduce Fine Glass Artist Michael Korpa, who was referred to us by fellow artist in glass, Jannie Ledard. Mike’s spectacular landscapes and wildlife in glass are truly works of fine art, created with painstaking attention to detail using frit, lampworked glass trees and layer after layer of color, fused multiple times to create glowing scenes which have top-shelf visual appeal whether viewed backlit or lit from the front. His glass panels range from desktop or curio size to large wall art, and he includes wall sconces and other glass objects in his repertoire. We had the opportunity to view a large number of his works in August and must add that though it’s inevitable to think “He created that landscape with glass?” when looking at pictures of Michael’s work, viewing it in person is an experience deserving of words such as “transcendent” and “stupendous”.

Following is his excellent artist statement, and a slideshow with a few of his works for you to feast your eyes on. Michael has been preparing for months for a December show, in which many new works will appear for the first time, at Illahe Studios & Gallery. The opening reception will take place on Ashland’s First Friday ArtWalk. We’ll post more details once we have them.

Michael often works with his wife, Vicki, who creates decorative and functional fused glass art which pairs perfectly with her handcrafted soaps and lotions for reasonably priced holiday gifts. Michael does not have a website yet, but is working on that. Meanwhile, you can make contact with the Korpas to learn more about their work with the information in Michael’s listing at the Southern Oregon Artists Resource.

Autumn Birch,  textured and layered fine art glass landscape by Michael Korpa

Autumn Birch, textured and layered fine art glass landscape by Michael Korpa

My world has always been an interplay of color and light. Their energies exchange and the result is a powerful emotion, a memory or a mood. As a youngster I tried to capture this power in my primitive artwork. My art then, as it is now, was all about nature and wildlife.

I departed from art to pursue biology in college and then medicine. I began my career in medicine in 1981 as an emergency room physician and continue to practice at this time in occupational medicine. My wife and I raised two children during this time and now that they are grown we have stepped up the pursuit of our other goals in life, often working on our art together.

I first started working with stained glass in 1982 and most of my work involved windows with landscapes. Stained glass, however, is limited by its pallet and soldered joints. With the development of fusible glass a new world of “hot glass” possibilities arose. Fusible glass can be blown, kiln-casted or lampworked (formed with a torch). Colors could now be layered and shading could be achieved.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to study under three world-renown glass artists: Miriam DiFiore, Roger Thomas and Kathleen Sheard. My passion is Nature and my pieces are all about landscapes and wildlife. Most of my art is constructed of components, individually fused elements layered into the final piece, often with multiple firings. I lampwork many of the elements, sometimes hundreds of them, to go into a final art piece.

There are three techniques that comprise most of my work. “Painting with Light” is the use of frit (tiny pieces of glass) and lampworked glass to create a scene in multiple layers starting with the background first and adding successive layers to create depth in the image. The final piece may be in the kiln 10 to 15 times to create this depth, each firing taking a full day or more to fuse and anneal.

“Reverse Layering” utilizes sheet glass and frit, building a piece from some pre-fused components and frit. The image is made “face down” to preserve the sharp lines of the components making it impossible to actually see the art until it has been fused. Its construction must therefore be a well thought out process.

“Textured Glass” comprises most of my architectural glass. This technique allows me to create a textured image into the glass and colorize it at the same time with frit in a single firing to create architectural tiles, room dividers, sconces or other light fixtures.

I am fortunate to have a large well equipped studio in my home with three kilns and a very large inventory of glass, frit and accessory equipment. I am available for custom work and architectural pieces and can work with your builder or architect to design a unique art design as a part of your home or business.

[slidepress gallery=”michael-korpa”]

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