Brief BiographyBorn in 1951 in Fort Belvoir , Virginia and raised in Honolulu , Hawaii , Roberts formal education ended after one year of college. Heapprenticed with a professional lampworker for two years in the mid-seventies and then sold his own designs at outdoor craft fairs for tenyears. In 1987 he took a class from Paul Stankard that opened his eyesto the possibilities of his medium. In 1989, he stopped doing craftshows and began marketing his work exclusively through galleries.Since then, his career has taken off. He shows his work in some of thefinest galleries in the country and participates in prominent exhibitionseach year. His work is exhibited in many prominent collectionsincluding the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts at the SmithsonianInstitution, the Corning Museum of Glass, The Toledo Museum of Art,The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Mint Museum, The ClevelandMuseum of Art, The Museum of American Glass at Wheaton Village .He has taught extensively at the major glass schools including thePilchuck Glass School , Penland School of Crafts, The Studio at theCorning Museum of Glass, and The Eugene Glass School. He has filmedand produced two videos on his flameworking process, and he hasdesigned and maintains an elaborate web page dedicated to his ownwork and the galleries that represent him(www.mickelsenstudios.com). He has published numerous technicaland historical articles on flameworked glass. He served for six years onthe board of directors of the Glass Art Society and was their treasurerand vice-president.
Artists Statement"I am primarily interested in the personal expression of ideas and feelingsand how the resulting sculptures fit into the environment of our lives. Ibelieve strongly in the uniqueness of my own vision and strive to express itin the purest and most honest way possible. This often means steppingcompletely away from the traditional forms that have always beenassociated with my chosen medium (glass) and embracing forms, materials,and techniques that are not only non-traditional, but even controversial. Ibelieve in breaking rules to achieve what I want and revel in thedisapproval this approach often generates. I identify myself less and lesswith the material and technique of glass and more and more simply withliving the life of an artist, making work that fulfills my need to be creative.The objects I create are narratives… personal vignettes that reveal thesecrets of my innermost thoughts. These are often mysteries even to meuntil the creative process reveals them and so the work becomes a form ofself-discovery. The work provides me with a path to understanding thingsthat I otherwise would not be aware of and sharing them with others whocan then identify those things within themselves.“Robert Mickelsen - 2010