Robert Mickelsen’s second act in glass not only pays homage to his early career in flameworking, but couldn’t have happened without it. The artist gracefully transitioned from sculptural to functional glass, promoting his artwork to an entirely new fan base and resulting in the most successful years of his career.
Born in 1951 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mickelsen apprenticed with a professional lampworker for two years in the mid ‘70s, then sold his own designs at outdoor craft fairs for 10 years. In 1987 he took a class from Paul Stankard that opened his eyes to the possibilities of his medium.
Mickelsen stopped doing craft shows in 1989 and began marketing his work through fine galleries and exhibitions in high profile shows nationwide. His work can be found in many prominent collections including the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning New York; and The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Ohio.
Beginning in the mid 1990s, Mickelsen taught flameworking at major glass schools including the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood Washington; Penland School of Crafts, Bakersville, North Carolina; and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. He has published numerous technical and historical articles on flameworked glass and served for six years on the board of directors of the Glass Art Society as treasurer and vice-president.
June 19 - 23, 2017, Mickelsen will co teach with Jared Betty the first flameworking workshop at Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle, Washington, to include pipe making as part of the curriculum. From July 17 – 21, 2017 Mickelsen returns for his ninth year in a row to Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to teach the creation of organic forms made from bubbles of borosilicate glass. He also teaches private workshops at his home studio in Ocala, Florida.