“I have been interested in the human condition since my teenage years. I became involved in the dance community in NYC in the early 1980’s, and the dancers themselves became a powerful influence on my style. This led to my focus on the clean lines and strongly articulated forms that have become such a central aspect of my work.
Trained as a classical musician, I grew up living and breathing art as discipline, with a goal to achieve transcendent virtuosity as a means to expressing inner thoughts, feelings and impressions. This grounding shaped my approach to the development of my artwork, and I unconsciously followed the same pattern, working without questioning the hundreds of thousands of hours necessary to achieve mastery of the form. This classical, traditional approach has rewarded me over and over again, especially now that I am past the onerous repetition and can make my figures fly…
I very much enjoy collaborative ventures, in the shop and with clients, to arrive at a successful fulfillment of the expectations and ideals of all those involved in the project. I believe that creativity does not exist outside the context of problem solving activity, and that the less we have to work with, or the greater the constraints, the more we’ll be required to pull from within ourselves to achieve an excellent result.”
Milon Townsend has been making artwork in glass for nearly 50 years. Self-taught, he has created a vast body of work, from perfumes and paperweights to one-of-a-kind sculptures. His training in classical music was instrumental in his tendency to create objects with form, balance and harmony.
12 years in NYC exposed and immersed him to the world of dance. This interest quickly evidenced itself in his work. To this day, he is known for his understanding of the human form, and his expressive use of it in his artwork. Primarily a flameworker, for the past 15 years Townsend has been exploring kiln casting, creating, experimenting and transferring his vocabulary of human forms to this new process.
“I am interested in human relationships and development, and use the figures in my pieces to look at how we grow, change, influence and are influenced by our environment. I use both positive and negative forms within the glass sculptures that I make, as the glass itself can appear either solid or instubstantial.”
Townsend is the author of numerous books, and hundreds of articles on the topics of glass process, creative thought, and career development for artists. He has also produced a series of videos, demonstrating the techniques that he has developed, making them available to other artists in his field.
His work is included in the collections of the Carnegie Art Institute, the National Liberty Museum, and the Corning Museum of Glass. He has created works for Pres. George Bush (the elder), Arnold Palmer, and Cyrus Vance. Corporate clients include Bristol-Myers-Squibb, AT&T, Ford, & BusinessWeek magazine. His work has been featured on the covers of Omni and Aviation Week & Space Technology magazines.
He was a board member of The Arts Business Institute, a non-profit organization that assists artists in acquiring the skills to succeed in their careers. He speaks and teaches at seminars and workshops around the world, on glass technique, marketing for artists, and on living a fulfilling life.
He has taught at RIT’s School of American Crafts, at Urban Glass in NYC, been a visiting artist at RISD and is a regular teacher at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. Milon works just outside a small village near Rochester, New York, with Kiyoko, his wife of nearly 40 years.