Guided by her interest in stories and myth, glass artist Janis Miltenberger creates intricate, narrative glass sculptures. Working with borosilicate glass, Miltenberger explores the medicinal value of plants in relation to the human ability to make sense of the world. She cites the Doctrine of Signatures as a point of intrigue and inspiration for recent work. This ancient document revolves around the idea that certain plants mirror human body parts in shape and form, and therefore, show a certain "signature". These plants were belived to cure ailments to certain body parts, such as the eye or heart.
Her recent work plays upon this concept through a series of delicate renditions of flora. Miltenberger states, “Regardless if this is scientifically true, I embrace the thought. These observations lead me, they nurture and give nuance. Overall what inspires me in this series is how committed people were to listen, and out of that quiet place this body of work was born”.
"As curious creatures, we attempt to make sense of our world connecting lines and creating stories based upon the images we see. We hold a vocabulary of common imagery that the human experience has provided. It is the everyday images I seek out as elements of fables that can speak to each of us in symbolic language. A nest, wishbone, and glass cage, those images have recognizable meanings and draw upon feelings and experiences of our shared humanity." – Janis Miltenberger