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Biography: Mike Plane

Name: 
Mike Plane

Born in Durban, South Africa, Mike Plane moved with his family to Australia, then to rural Pennsylvania a few years later. He began experimenting with glass in 1994, while he was working as a chef in Vermont. In 1998, Plane began an 18-month apprenticeship with Gallagher, learning off-hand glass while maintaining his flameworking studio. He is now facility director at the Eugene (Oregon) Glass School. He is also a guest lecturer at other glass schools, including The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass.

Plane pushes the envelope of what is physically possible to accomplish in flameworking glass. Using specialized equipment — a glass lathe which has been modified to be controlled with foot pedals so that both of his hands are free to work the glass, and a torch with a flame so big and hot that he wears a reflective thermal suit, gloves and a welder’s mask — Plane spins superheated glass into sculpture. Using the earthy tones of South Africa, he creates vessels in historical context, yet he explores the boundaries of size, color, detailed imagery and texture.