Growing up in Pinconning, Michigan, Mark Bleshenski worked in his grandfather Roy Diamond Smith's stained glass studio. Roy started working in his uncle's stained glass studio in Toronto in 1905. Mark and Roy spent countless hours discussing art, learning the art of critique. This set in motion events that would lead to a lifetime of working with glass as an artistic medium for Mark.
Mark studied design at Michigan State University and a summer program of Decorative Arts and Architecture at the University of London in Great Britain where he wrote a paper on stained glass art. After graduation he founded Markroy Studio and, following in his grandfather's footsteps, created stained glass and cast glass windows for dozens of churches, commercial buildings and homes around Michigan.
With boxes of scrap glass and a spirit of curiosity, he began experimenting with fused and cast glass, unaware of a burgeoning popular interest in the medium. Every scrap of glass would go into the kiln as he passionately experimented with the medium and pursued independent study of his art. He designed and built his own tools and equipment and developed techniques to accomplish his artistic goals.
In his current work, he manipulates common glass bottles so they maintain their recognizable origins, but flow and bend in unusual ways as if they were compacted like soda cans. He deconstructs the vessel from its original purpose and reconstructs it to give it new meaning. These common vessels become metaphors for the shell of the psyche; gestures of emotion; representations of cultural influences, or purely an experiment with form, shape and line.