Featured Artist Mari Aoki Knight, Salem, Oregon

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I was born and raised in Kamakura, the ancient capital of Japan. Located just south of Tokyo on the Pacific, Kamakura has been a popular home to artists and authors for more than a century. Because my parents were artists — my father was a painter and my mother was a fashion designer and a potter — I was always surrounded by visual art. Growing up in an artistic and creative household fostered my artistic feeling and sense of color. After a long search for the perfect medium to express my own, I encountered and fell in love with the glass art formed in kiln — fused glass — and developed my own style in jewelry as Wearable Glass Art. After moving to Florida in the 1990s, I took various workshops at a leading art center near my home. Over the course of fifteen years, I got to know the wonderful and magical traits of glass and am still very much in love with it.

Mari Aoki Knight
Fused glass necklace : Summer Bride

About My Glass Jewelry — Wearable Glass Art
My designs are often inspired by glass itself. I have been always fascinated by the interplay of glass with light, and the colors that their fusion creates. The harmony produced by layering diverse pieces of multicolored glass is an extraordinary creation. Light passing through glass emits distinctive and fanciful qualities that transform colors in magical ways. The blending of my jewelry with light yields an infinite array of colors.
My jewelry is based on kiln glass, combining both regular and dichroic glass. I also create original glass by painting it with distinctive colors, leading to nuance and subtlety, including organic colors found in nature. My signature jewelry is based on flower blossoms. I cut glass petals one by one, building a blossom using fiber paper to create 3D forms, with as many as five layers. I also incorporate “pure silver foil” into my glass, which induces reactions giving rise to unexpected patterns. Silver reacts to certain minerals in glass, resulting in unique and organic designs. My inspirations come from the colors and forms of nature – leaves in the Fall, withering Winter flora, flowers in Spring, and the brilliant colors of Summer.

Fused Glass and Metal: Bracelet and Necklace
Fused Glass: Spring Has Come Necklace

The most challenging phase of my art is the trial-and-error of creating multicolored jewelry in manifold layers. At the same time, such experimenting can result in unexpected creations of truly novel light and color. I was delighted to join the PNW Glass Guild this past year. I look forward to meeting and learning from the many talented artists who make this amazing community their artistic home.

one of several bright floral pieces
One of Mari’s newest — Three Circle necklace. The three circle glass pieces themselves depict the different phases of the moon, with the silvery pattern in the middle depicting clouds over the moon. Japanese culture places special appreciation on each phase of the moon.

See more of her work at https://www.mari-wearableglassart.com/