Jon Michael Route
wisconsin arts board artist fellowship award winner, 1998
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I have been in love with metal and metalsmithing for over 30 years. I design and execute all of my work from flat sheets of pewter; I add copper, brass and bronze in the form of lips, rims, hinges and decorative details. Construction techniques include raising, stretching, folding, filing, soldering and fusing. Surface patterns are created with handmade dies, stamps and textured hammers. Roll printing, embossing and hydraulic pressing techniques are also used to give texture and form to the metal.
I have no employees, although my wife, Deb, assists me with accounting, photography and final finishing touches of the work.
Born in 1954, Jon Michael Route received a B.S. in art from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Route worked in an architectural metals firm and as a jeweler before striking out on his own as an independent craft artist. He was invited to teach at the UW-Stout, Menomonie, Wis., and has given many workshops throughout his career on the technical aspects of his craft. He has exhibited his hand-constructed vessel forms and teapots at many of the best art/craft festival events in the United States. He is a 1998 recipient of a Wisconsin Arts Board Individual Artist Fellowship and featured in Metalsmith Magazine's 2001 "Exhibition in Print."
Route's work was chosen recently to be included at the American Craft Museum in New York in an exhibition entitled "Objects for Use: Handmade By Design." In 2006, Route was invited to participate in an exhibition honoring the 28-year teaching collaboration between Fred Fenster and Eleanor Moty at the UW-Madison art metals program, organized by the Chazen Museum of Art, and an exhibition at the West Bend Art Museum entitled "Time For A Nice Cuppa: Wisconsin Teapots," in West Bend, Wis.
Route has served as a juror and advisor to several fairs and festivals and two years as a director on the board of the National Association of Independent Artists. He lives and maintains his studio in the rural countryside of northwestern Wisconsin.