Michiko Thompson

Life Through The Glass

I first fell in love with art as a child in Portland, OR, as dancing and music became my lifeline, especially as a restless teenager. Being of Native American descent (Nii Mii Puu, aka Nez Perce), traditional imagery is an important aspect of my creative vision. I have to balance two worlds and different cultural influences, but I come from a long line of Native artists and I consider my artistic sensibilities grounded in the family tradition and a strong vision for our shared future.

I attended a performing arts high school and that allowed me to branch out to other avenues of self-expression, especially dance. Eventually, art became three dimensional for me as I trained in making ceramics and eventually, stained glass. I graduated from the University of San Francisco with degrees in Environmental Science and History, but I have moved on to another stage of my life with a clear desire to make my future as an artist.

I have been working with stained glass for more than seven years, after discovering it accidentally through a course at Sharon Art Studio in Golden Gate Park. I find the colors, patterns, textures and, of course, the light effects of colored glass extremely intoxicating. I appreciate traditional stained glass aesthetics, and I strive to create designs that are both organic and modern with an emphasis on patterns seen in nature while incorporating clean lines of interior design concepts. In my repertoire are flat windows, wall hangings, mirrors, 3D wall installations, terrariums, lamps, jewelry and sun catchers. 

I value expansion of my artistic range and to represent topical imagery. As a result of my involvement in dance-music culture
I created a body of work that embodies musical ideas and imagery. Two of my first works include a stained glass boom box and a large disco ball, though I have ventured into various other directions since then. My work has been seen and displayed at festivals, galleries and outdoor concerts. 

My commission work includes glass logo designs for music businesses such as Om Records and Dirty Bird Recordings, installation pieces for outdoor events such as the Sunset Campout and Burning Man, and large scale windows for popular venues including the San Francisco nightclub, the Monarch and the pot club, Barbary Coast. My home installation locales range all over the West Coast.

Moving forward, I am focused on creating work that combines stained glass work with other materials including ceramics, other mixed media and wood. My goal is simply to keep creating pieces that are uplifting, functional, and most of all, beautiful in the light.