Michael Mortara was first introduced to glass blowing as a student in high school and has been working with that medium for over 24 years. In 1980, he joined the glass blowing department at Punahou School as a technical assistant while completing a degree in Architecture from the University of Hawaii. Several years ago, he began a shift away from his architectural and construction endeavors to focus more time on his work in glass.
In the summer of 1998, he began the construction of his new glass studio on the upper slopes of Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii. As a full time glass artist, he and his wife, glass artist Misato Mochizuki Mortara, divide their time between the production of their limited edition vessel series and one of a kind sculptural pieces. His glass is in private collections through out the US and Europe, and has been included in the permanent collection of Hawaii State Foundation of Art, and The Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu.
"There is something both dramatic and
dynamic about the manipulation of a molten mass of glass, such that the process
has almost as much appeal for me as does the product. Hot glass is a medium in
constant motion, where balance, timing and rhythm are the essential tools in the
process. Once you start, you canít stop until itís done, and after more than
twenty years in glass, Iíve conceded that it is the glass that is really in
control, as much as I would like to think other wise.
My work is successful if the people whose lives it becomes a part of derives some satisfaction from itís beauty and a sense of mystery as to how it evolved."
- Michael Mortara, 2002
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