Michael "Fig" Mangiafico

Michael Mangiafico is a glass artist and teacher working in Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated with a BFA in glass art from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, and has continued his education by attending glass art seminars at The Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle WA, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and The Pittsburgh Glass Center.

In 1996 Michael built FiG Studios: Forms in Glass, a fully operational glass shop. He designs and creates sculptures and craft items from glass by blowing, casting, torchworking, and coldworking. FiG Studios has work in fine art galleries around the country.

Michael has been teaching torchworking and glass blowing in the capacity of teacher or teaching assistant since 1993 at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pilchuck, Corning School of Glass in NY, Touchstone Center for the Arts in PA, and Penland. He served two terms as the vice president of The Three Rivers Glass Beadmakers, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.




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Artist Statement

I believe the art of glass craft is based in technique. Each task from gathering glass at the furnace and blowing a bubble. To gathering on a rod of glass at the torch and fashioning a marble; represent a world for the taking. I have discovered my inspirations are based in process. In the daily grind of life from cooking, gardening, reading, teaching and dreaming, in these I find my muse. Just the task of observing, looking at nature, at other artists, as well as those who came before me, not to mention watching what I am doing whiile I work. This molds me and shapes my art. For a while I used ot think what I made defined who I was. That was just my ego talking. For art to truly happen, I need to literally as well as figuratively throw everybody including and most importantly myself out of the room. There is a faith in the foundation of craft then a channeling if you will. Now I found it doesn't matter what I make, but how I make it that counts. By creating something truly well, it makes me.