Mel Munsen was born in San Diego in 1946. He received his Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Portland State in 1969 followed by 6 months of graduate work in glassblowing. He immigrated to Canada in 1970 where his career in glass began in glass blowing.
Interestingly, Munsen spent from 1975-1993 buying and selling art and antiques specializing in late 19th century and 20th century glass and ceramics. Pursuing his love for glass, in 1993 he spent the year pouring hot glass in a glass factory. Beginning in 1994, he began teaching himself the process of fusing and slumping glass which he uses primarily today to form his pieces. Munsen arrived at his current fusing and murrini techniques through a fascination with the production Italian glass maker Venini’s designs. He has the ability to produce incredible detail with maintaining a fine tuned balance of proportion and symmetry. He grinds and polishes his pieces until they are unusually thin but produces a transparency rarely found in fused and slumped glass. He uses both murrini and fused cane for the majority of the detail in his designs. His work is unmatched in his perfection of the technical aspects of fused and slumped glass.
Mel Munsen’s work can be found in selected public collections. Due to the difficulty and time necessary in creating his pieces, no two pieces are the same and those who have collected his work know they have something special.