Tenderfooted by Janis Miltenberger

A lovely photo captured by Ümmihan Agirman.

The wind unsettles me and it is very windy and cold out there. From my bed I hear the gusts and the consequent stretching of all the structures, the trees, the gate all bending in it’s force. And I find myself awake with thoughts that during the day were just small challenges but now loom large and ominous. The cacophony of accumulated internal voices rise to match the crescendo of the wind’s force and I abandon any chance of sleep. Oh for gods sake what am I so stressed about? Two demos, in the next few months I am doing two demos, what on earth do I have, what skills do I have to share? Yes of course in the morning all these questioning parts will settle and rest and I will have a clearer sense of which course to take.

I am no slacker, for years I have put in the hours needed to become skilled at what I enjoy making, but I think the real skill lies in the approach. In the setting of a demo how can I impart my approach in an hour and a half? How do you engage and tease the audience into new possibilities?

Many glass enthusiasts/artists focus on technique and process, for the majority it is all about replication. Each technique has it’s limitations and strengths and these are very much tied into what is doable and reasonable within that particular skill set.

I will be playing to my people, not the ones closest, near and dear to me in spirit, but closer than any others as a collective group. My goal and hope is to spark one, if I am lucky.

Listening by Janis Miltenberger

Dividing Line Photo credits: Peter Kuhnlein @ACME Creative

Dividing Line
Photo credits: Peter Kuhnlein @ACME Creative

Dividing Line detail Photo credits: Peter Kuhnlein @ACME Creative

Dividing Line detail
Photo credits: Peter Kuhnlein @ACME Creative

My newest work are a series of four wall pieces. All four of the series are mounted on steel frames approx. 30"H x 20"W x 4.5"D  they are mounted to the wall on an adjustable steel french cleat.

Guided by my interest in history and our human ability to make sense of the world through stories and myth, I did some exploring into how medicinal plants were discovered. I came across the Doctrine Of Signatures, which simply stated was a commonly held belief that the outward appearance of a plant was a God-given sign of the medicinal value contained within (CE 40-80). The notion that there was a god or supreme spirit guiding us, was a belief carried by many peoples across the globe. If we were observant of the growing conditions, outward appearance, sap or root structure of a plant, these would be a signs of it’s medicinal properties. Regardless if this is scientifically true, I embrace the thought. These observations lead me, they nurture and give nuance. Overall what inspires me in this series is how committed people were to listening, and out of that quiet place this body of work was born.