Tell us about yourself!
My name is Janusz Walentynowicz. I am a Polish-born, Danish / American citizen, working out of my main studio in the US for the better part of the year, and from my Danish studio over the summer months.
After graduating from The School of Applied Arts glass program in Copenhagen in 1982, I came to the US with the intent to study at the ISU glass department for one year, but 37 years later, (10 of these at ISU), I am still finding myself, in the midst of the cornfields of Illinois.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
Having started out as an autodidact sculptor working in clay, I discovered glass during my first year at the School of Applied Arts in Copenhagen and knew immediately that this would become “my” material. Working with glass appealed to my natural love of challenge, and I very much appreciated the inexhaustible well of possibilities and discoveries the material had to offer.
Over the years, I have enjoyed exploring and using the material’s inherent qualities, and, in pursuit of expression, I have often chosen to both subdue as well as accentuate these.
For a number of years, my work consisted of blown forms, but I eventually found that the casting process better served the expressive-style I was seeking, and in discovering the possibilities the casting process offered, I seized the opportunity to return to my roots as a sculptor, but now working with a new fascinating material, with new and unique qualities.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
Although I occasionally, (both simply for the love of it, and also for the sake of exploration) make work which mostly seek to fulfill an aesthetic/decorative purpose, the bulk of my production tend to address various aspects of the human condition, questions that reside deep within us, but also responses to events and trends, past and current which impact our existence and, In my opinion, are demanding of attention.
I am one who enjoys having a broad pallet to work with, and cannot accept restrictions when it comes to technique and process. Likewise, when it comes to themes, I have to go where the current mood, notion or inspiration leads me.
What is your dream project?
My sketchbooks contain many sketches of work which may take too long for galleries and collectors alike to connect with and “understand” and are thus, due to the cost of development and production, at present unfortunately unrealizable.
A dream project would be to get 2-3 years financial backing to develop and produce a large body of such work, culminating in a museum show, where financing through sales would not be a necessary factor.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
So hard to say, but I would certainly still be found somewhere within the arts. If not on stage as an actor, then very possibly as a musician.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
As much as I enjoy socializing, I also love solitude.
Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS gives the glass community a platform to connect, exchange ideas, find and access resources, and just general relevant information within the glass world . An important tool both for established artist and newcomers alike.
For these and many more reasons, GAS is an organization I find very worthwhile supporting and being a part of.
To learn more about Janusz Walentynowicz, go to his GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE
Or, visit the following links...
Janusz Walentynowicz Studio Facebook Page
LARGE PHOTO: "Gnome Busting Apparatus", 2016, reverse painting on cast glass, steel. 43 X 55 X 1.75
PHOTO 1: "Ultima", 2014, cast glass.
PHOTO 2: "What we built", 2018, cast glass
PHOTO 3: "Mobile Processor 2", cast glass