Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger tea

Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger

Glass is a unique medium within the arts. Both the tools and the methods used to created glass art are very different from those used when working with other substances. Even the finished product is unique: highly durable to aging and natural degradation, yet at the same time extremely fragile.

There is something mysterious and captivating about great glass sculpture, almost like it comes from another dimension. Janis Miltenberger’s glass sculptures are like frozen time – her natural subjects are so lifelike that you have to remind yourself they won’t move.

Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger plant

The recurring images in her sculptures – birds, nests, hearts, vines – make them feel connected somehow. In the “about” section of her website she talks about using “everyday images” that are recognizable to us in symbolic ways, making use of our shared experience and our attempts to make sense of the world by connecting symbols. Her sculptures definitely accomplish this, as they feel like a moment pulled from a folktale and crafted into a visual scene. From the way she talks about her art, it doesn’t appear that her sculptures are referencing a particular story. They just give the impression that they are. The common symbols she uses leave you with a lingering sense that you recognize the scene or that you can identify the narrative they come from, but you never quite get there.

Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger comp2

Her use of nature imagery adds to the mythical feeling of her work. The “glass topiary” section of her website has a series of human figures made from glass vines. These are astonishingly ornate figures, and you get a little bit of that unsettling wax museum feeling from them, as if they are real people, even though they appear to be made of leaves and vines instead of flesh.

Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger comp1

Art is always a subjective experience, and different people naturally find differing levels of value in the same work of art. But this is sculpture at the highest level, the kind of art that stops people in their tracks. It has that “wow” factor (to use a corny phrase) that allows you to imagine marveling at it for hours. No matter how many times you look at these sculptures, you still struggle to believe that someone was able to create such effects from raw glass. Anyone who can’t appreciate this work probably doesn’t have a pulse.

To learn more about Janis’ work or to contact her directly about purchasing a sculpture, visit her website. Her work is truly extraordinary.

Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger close2

Glass Sculpture by Janis Miltenberger close