Bill Poceta is ranked among the leading studio glass artists working today. He creates one-of-a-kind blown glass vessels that resonate with both the past and the present. His pieces, inspired by his travels and history, are influenced by and evoke various glass and ceramic forms found in ancient cultures including Greek, Roman and Egyptian. The result is glasswork that speaks a contemporary voice in the context of a more ancient form.
Poceta states (as a former painter), ”I have always been excited about surface design, color and texture. The Minoans were one of the first cultures to draw intricate designs on their pottery using the sea as a reference. Much of my color reference is from Roman glass shards located in the Toledo Museum of Art. In the design of my vessels, I apply up to five separate layers of glass threads varying in color and size. I design the pattern on each vessel while it is being blown and shaped.”
Poceta’s fabrication process involves several assistants. While keeping the hot soft glass constantly moving, a small thread of colored glass is brought to him and it is applied as a thin line onto the glass, repeating this application process until the art piece is vivid in waves of color. Once the piece has been annealed, the surface of the vessel is sand etched and bathed in a sugar acid solution. In the end Poceta says: “The nicest glass is the least manipulated. The closer you can get to the form that the glass wants to do is the most beautiful form. I try and leave it unmolested, free-flowing. The hardest thing is knowing when to stop.”
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1946, Bill earned a BS in Art Education and an MA in Painting. He studied glass at the Center for Creative Studies also in Detroit. He has worked with internationally known glass artists, including Hank Adams, Herb Babcock and Albert Young. He maintains a studio and teaches glass at Michigan Hot Glass in Detroit.
Bill Poceta has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions and his work can be found in private, public and corporate collections. Bill’s work has been featured at The Toledo Museum of Art which has one of the largest collections of ancient glass in the United States.