Janet Place – Reflections of Her Past
Interview by Vidabeth Bensen and Forrest Greenslade, May 2023
Janet Place, of Janet Place Glass Designs Studio in Pittsboro, will make her Chatham Studio Tour debut the first two weekends in December 2023. She will introduce her brilliant utilitarian and decorative fused glass art and jewelry. Janet assembles glass fragments and fires the designs in a kiln. The designs can be molded into three dimensional objects by further firing. “I am inspired by the colors and flow of the glass. Further, my designs are markedly influenced by the mid-century-modern home in which I grew up.” Janet’s childhood home in the DC area was designed by a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright. “That esthetic and simple design influence has stayed with me and guides my current work.”
Janet has always been involved in art and music, studying musicology, anthropology, and public health. She followed a career in public health, working at UNC providing guidance to public health departments. She always maintained her love of music, performing with guitar and vocals.
Janet’s current love affair with glass art is a response to the COVID pandemic. She and her husband rented a cabin near Gatlinburg to isolate themselves from the disease. “I visited a nearby fused-glass store and was hooked.” She started fusing her glass elements in a microwave kiln but has graduated to new professional kilns. Her current kiln is housed in a shed just outside her home and studio.
Her work fits into the category of warm glass, including fused and slumped glass, as opposed to hot or blown glass. “Since I am completely self-taught, my glass pieces reflect my unique experience and aesthetic. I love texture and color. I make a lot of pieces that draw in sunlight. Some people say some of my work looks like Murano glass, but that is too kind. It is really that I like the look of blown glass.”
Janet shows her work in a variety of festival shows throughout the area. It can be viewed on her website: https://www.janetplaceglassdesigns.com/ and on her presence on the Chatham Artists Guild website: https://chathamartistsguild.org/artists/janet-place/
Visitors to the 2023 Chatham Studio Tour will enjoy reflecting on Janet Place’s story and stunning glass art.