Biography of Jerry Catania
BFA 1969 Michigan State University
MA 1985 Western Michigan University
Post-Graduate Work 1985 - 1990 Michigan State University
I began working in glass as a part of the experimental beginnings of the now famous Pilchuck glass school. In the summer of 1972 I was accepted to be one of 30 students to work and study glass under the direction of Dale Chihuly and Fritz Dreisbach. The following year I returned home to Southwest Michigan and constructed my own private glass studio called Fiasco Glass, located in Stevensville. The word "fiasco" refers to the Italian, straw-wrapped wine bottles as well as the glass "seconds" sold in the streets. In 1990 I moved my studio 35 miles north of its original location to Glenn, Michigan, where I worked in a 19th-century barn studio and with my wife Kathy, turned the 1860’s farm house into Vesuvius Art Gallery.
I work professionally as an art educator as well as being a practicing artist. My desire to teach the medium of glass has played a great part in my overall career. I have been teaching glassblowing for over 30 years and currently coordinate the glass program for Ox-Bow - The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's summer program in Saugatuck, Michigan. My heart lies in the teaching of this unique medium and I am continually inspired by my students.
My work includes: one-of-a-kind vessel forms that are narrative or decorative in nature, limited edition functional stemware and sand-cast glass/ mixed-media sculptures. I like to let glass do what it does best - display its wonderful optical and fluid properties, using the medium to communicate ideas and intrigue my audience.