BJ Katz

BJ Katz

Tempe, AZ, USA


The apprenticeship of an artist is a lifetime journey. I began my studies early. Born to parents who encouraged my passionate interest in art; they introduced me to literature, theater, music, dance, and a wide array of visual artists. Drawing, painting and sculpting throughout my childhood, I have taken inspiration from nature and from the subtle use of color and texture in Oriental art. Themes and imagery recur in my artwork. I work on a theme until I feel it is resolved, move on to another theme, and always return again. In my Ocean of my Mind artwork series, water symbolizes the subconscious and at times also has sculpted imagery from my dreams. I interpret rock and earth in glass, the contrast between the solidity of the material and the innate fragility of glass. My Cosmos series combines orbs and nebula to create installations with the feeling of being in outer space. My signature figurative artwork reveals the uniqueness of the human spirit and I have completed three major torso series. Art classes were the foundation for my earliest educational years and included painting and sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Mesmerized at an early age by the paperweight, Oriental art and French Impressionist collections of the Art Institute, spending time there set me on a course for a career and life's calling creating original works of art in the challenging medium of glass. Later I majored in Art at Northwestern University in Illinois. A love of Art History showed me the path of the Masters and provided an understanding of contemporary art informed by its antecedents in the history of art. In 1991 I attended Pilchuck, the preeminent American glass school founded by Dale Chihuly. The Artistic Director William Morris encouraged me to pursue a career in glass art. I purchased my first kiln for my studio in my garage in Arizona in 1993. Eighteen-hour days spent laboring over technique and detail; I honed my skills through practice, experimentation and an unwavering love of glass. After several years of hard work and self-study, I embarked on an educational pilgrimage to Australia and New Zealand. While there I apprenticed to Ann Robinson and David Wright, dedicating myself to learning new techniques and improving my glass skills. David Wright inspired me with the joy of commissioned artwork. In 1998 at the Glass Art Society Conference in Japan, I met and worked with several Shibori (traditional Japanese fabric dying) artists. The cultural exchange of ideas and aesthetics are reflected in my artwork. Meltdown Glass studio has grown in concept and in form. I hire artists and artisans who enjoy working collaboratively. In addition to sculptures, the studio produces all kinds of functional art glass: art walls, water walls, room dividers, glass doors, and windows to name a few. Functional art is made on a commissioned basis for art collectors, corporations, architects, interior designers, and anyone with an eye for beauty. Clients come from across North America and around the world. They include the Phoenix Art Museum, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Conservatory in New Zealand, the International Cat Museum in Amsterdam, Phoenix and Texas Childrens Hospitals, hotels, casinos, and restaurants and cruise ships as well as numerous private, corporate and hospitality collectors. My capability is reflected in the wide range of installations that I have created. Most prestigious to date are my award winning sculptural art murals: “Feeling Fall”, commissioned by American Express Corporation, “Ideas Create Reality”, commissioned by American College Testing (ACT) “Enchanted Forest”, commissioned by Midwestern University. “Elements of Nature”, commissioned by Baylor University Hospital “Peace Portal”, Commissioned by the Phoenix Arts Commission “Free Flow”, commissioned by The Frisco Public Art Commission "Flow of Life", commissioned by the Chandler-Gilbert College "Ethos of Imagination", commissioned by the Santa Clara VTA As Ernest Hemmingway once remarked, We are all apprentices at a craft no one can master. I feel the same way about glass. I wake up each day eager to meet the next challenge. My spirit thrives on learning as I create. Glass is only limited by ideas and creativity. the sky is the limit.


  • kilnforming
  • accept commissions
  • fusing/slumping
  • architectural/public


Business Name:
Meltdown Glass Art & Design LLC
PO Box 13098
Tempe, AZ 85284-3098;