Site Map

Artist of the Month
April 2010

Artist of the Month

Miriam Di Fiore

Glass Art has rarely appealed to so many and reached this level of sophistication. The appeal is beyond the technical challenge. It is the resultant object that is mesmerizing. People get easily attracted to Miriam’s signature landscapes. However, when they realize that these are NOT paintings the attraction becomes a love affair. 

Miriam Di Fiore

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

My addiction and dedication to the forest landscapes come from the time of my childhood.

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1959. When I was 5, my family moved to Marimar, a little town near the ocean. It has a big pine forest planted to anchor the sand dunes at the city border. I spent my childhood between the beach and the forest. My relationship with the trees was also fostered from playing in my mother’s garden. There is no place I find more comfortable than a Wood.

In Argentina I obtained a degree in Pottery and art education. In 1980 I moved to Italy and in 1985, I was able to open my own studio. It was in Milan, where I used to make ceramic and where I begun my first experiments with glass. It was like a mad love. Within few months I was thinking only in glass…

I experimented with all kind of work: fusing, making little objects, designing large architectural pieces doors and windows…Meeting Narciso Quagliata was the turning point in my career. He widened my horizons and taught me the possibilities of the light painting technique. Playing with frits and stringers, between 1997 and 1999 I developed my own technique, adding the effect of depth to my pieces. In 1999 I showed my pieces for the first time in Murano. That is where the owners of Mostly Glass saw it and invited me the following year to exhibit at SOFA Chicago. Since then, both Mostly Glass Gallery and Habatat Galleries exhibit my Work in the US.

An important activity in my life is the time I spend teaching. I love working with people, particularly with students. My teaching activity begun from working with children in 1986 and it never stopped. I had the opportunity to teach in several places around the world, and finally I have my own summer program of classes in my house in Italy. We moved in 2005 to the hill south of Milan where my husband Daniele and I are restoring a complex of several old buildings in a beautiful nature setting. I give classes there now, and my dream is to glass school here.

My technique is a long and tedious process that combines soft flame working, fusing and multiple firings, all for the same piece. I begin to build the landscape from the part that is in the background (horizon). The trees and the branches are glass stringers modeled in the flame. I use glass frits like other artists use water color. I sift the frits in a way to have at least nine sizes of glass grains. When the background of an image is set, I fuse it through firing in the kiln. After the first firing, I cover it with a thin sheet of clear glass, and build over that the next part of the image. The process is repeated over and over till all the landscape is created. Some time the image may not allow me to use the basic process. I then have to use other processes to achieve my goal.

To complete a piece I need at least 20 days and at least 7 firings. 

About Miriam Di Fiore

Miriam di Fiori’s objects are divided into different categories. Her signature work consists of multiple fused glass panels encased in found objects. Musical instruments are often the settings. One of her masterpieces is Sonata in Sol Minor in which she scattered her superb pate de verre leaves.

Drawers are the most frequently used objects. It is not a mere drawer supporting the glass panel; it is a dream in a drawer. A drawer is the place where Miriam has saved her precious memories and hidden her nightmares. Another frequently used object is the saw. It is not only symbolic of tree killing, it is an overall symbol of violence.

Miriam is as multifaceted a person as are her creations. She seamlessly moves between photographing a memorable site and weaving and crystallizing this memory in glass. She then incorporates the glass in the appropriate niche.

Miriam’s work has many stories associated with each object. There is a story about the photographed site, the challenge in translating it to glass, and the meaning of the object encasing the glass. Up until a few years ago, each object was also accompanied by a poem. If she does not write a poem, there is a short story about the whole experience. The result is one art expression layered over another, and another, and another.

Miriam’s newer work explores new horizons. In the Seed series, cast glass or layers of clear glass cover or encase the fused panels.

Her figurative work is unbelievably realistic. Powdered glass becomes the paint. This is illustrated in her work Silence.

Click here for an artist's resumé.

Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Mostly Glass Gallery (Englewood, NJ) for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.

« back to all artists
Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.