Upon arriving in Atlanta in 1986, Matt discovered there were no glassblowers and therefore no studios to work out of in the entire metro Atlanta area. He decided then and there that he was going to blow glass in Atlanta even if he had to build a shop himself. Having a bit of a “one track mind,” Matt talked about this idea from 1986-90 through getting married, his first child and successfully building a jewelry career.
In 1990, Matt moved his family back to his native Ohio and his alma mater Kent State University to attend graduate school on a teaching assistantship where he received his Masters in Glassblowing. In his journey towards obtaining a shop, Matt believed that one of the most likely ways to get a studio would be with a university affiliation, and a Masters degree would help. Returning to Atlanta in 1992 armed with a new credential, Matt tested the waters contacting different galleries and universities to test interest in the medium and discovered that glassblowing was not well understood in this area.
Without saying much, Matt began stockpiling his basement with steel, barrels and other random pieces of wood and metal. Kim (his wife) yelled at him to “get rid of the junk” from about 1992-1995, until one day when she went into “Matt’s world” and realized that he had built an entire glass studio by himself. It was clear to her at that point that Matt was driven to be a glassblower and have his own studio.
Janke Glass Studio was founded the summer of 1996 and are permanently located in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward in Studioplex on historic Auburn Ave.