I am Michal Ann and I share my studio with my husband Frank, who is a sculptor and woodworker. Our studio has four different rooms because we work will multiple materials and processes that need to be kept discreet from the others. We have a room for glass casting, fusing, and torch-working; another for all woodworking, mold-making, and cast-prepping; another is my smithy with several gas forges, anvils of various sizes and stakes, sand-blasting cabinets, and an equipped fabrication area. The last room serves as a dry room for painting, drawing, photography, a display wall for 2-D work, and teaching area. Welcome to Luna Song Design.
Visit Michal Ann’s studio
What is local and immediate is what draws me in. The flora and the fauna, the birds and the insects— particularly, the ways the florae germinate, grow, and decline and the creatures’ behavior as they court, mate, and migrate. I study and draw movements or passages and respond particularly to how their physical forms metaphorically project growth, transition, and adaptation—all which archetypally represent our human condition.
Works in steel
These concepts must then be translated into steel and glass, which by necessity require simplification and abstraction. My processes involve heating raw, industrial steel to 2000 degrees. I then use whatever strength I can muster to hammer, twist, and bend it into new forms. Each heat allows for up to 90 seconds of hammering over anvils or stakes or into hollows in tree stumps before it must be put back into the fire. The material is muscular and recalcitrant; its natural molecular structure resists synclastic and anticlastic movement. The irony of an old gal set in her ways, pounding and pleading the iron to shift into a softer, organic form is not lost on me. Our psychological constructs — those both in the light and in the shadow, seem calcified in our bones and shift or change only with tremendous effort. That is both my subject and my process and I hope that the viewer will take the journey with me.
Works in glass
Like ancient artisans, I am drawn to abstractions that emerge from observing nature and its complexities. Color, shape, and placement form the relationships and compositions in the natural world that induce flora and fauna to live, breed, and intoxicate. I study these formal and behavioral relationships which then inform my stylizations, motifs, and designs in my artglass.
Each object is also a response to the hues of each piece of glass, the manner in which light passes through or is transmitted from it, and the way that it is transformed when submitted to heat. Works that are kilnformed are preliminarily designed and laid up; but, with each successive firing, alterations of color, texture, and shape distort and refine the original conception.
At the torch, the work becomes even more intuitive and experimental. As the heat of the flame melts the glass rods, I must keep the mandrel spinning to sustain centripetal force and keep the glass from puddling on the table. Each shape and color is created with flame, graphite and brass marvers, and chemical reactions between the metal oxides and nuclei in the glass. This process mimics that of the geological and geographical formations created by volcanic eruptions, meteors, and water and sand abrasion, albeit on a microcosmic scale. Each piece or bead, when combined with others and silver, gold, and semi–precious stones becomes a unique piece of embellishment, richly organic in both its conception and its aesthetic.
To contact me regarding purchasing or commission work, for instruction in torchworking, blacksmithing, or drawing, or to explore possibilities for your own projects or functional works for your home, please email or call me.
My website is LunaSongDesign.com. It is currently under reconstruction to include my husband’s work, but will be launched in the very near future.