"I create original and custom designs in copper, hammered brass, nickel silver, silver and wood. I primarily work in the Arts and Crafts and Craftsman Style, inspired by the works of C.R. Mackintosh, Greene & Greene and The Roycroft Art Metal Shop."
After World War II ended, Franz Michel Glapa was born in Germany and emigrated with his parents as a small child to Buffalo, NY. in the 50's. His interest in the Arts & Crafts was piqued early in Buffalo, while visiting the Albright Knox Gallery and the nearby Frederick Law Olmsted designed Delaware Park neighborhood. This National Trust historic area with its Frank Lloyd Wright designed Burton and Heath Houses, and later The Larkin Company Building which once stood near his old neighborhood made an impression on him as a student. A full college scholarship sent him to The Columbus College of Art and Design before transferring to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago because of his interest in sculpture. Frank also pursued photography and printmaking and was a T.A. in the etching department while at The Art Institute.
The Rockin' 60's found Frank in Boulder, CO at which time Uncle Sam's long arm reeled him in and he served our country honorably for 2 years training at Fort Dix, NJ, Fort Belvoir, VA (outside DC), and final duty at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX.
After permanently relocating to Chicago, Frank spent 20 years in the P.O.P. advertising industry utilizing his photography and honing his design skills. With his wife Anastasia they looked for a well-built house with good design, and when a super size 1924 Chicago brick bungalow was available, now registered with the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association it became home. Living in an A&C Prairie house became part of Frank's everyday life, so copper metalworking was the next natural progression and began his metalwork in 1996, because a new neighbor needed a spacious A&C mailbox to accommodate his magazines. Frank designed and made it in copper getting his inspiration from the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh from Glasgow, Scotland and the Roycrofters Guild of East Aurora, NY. An ad in American Bungalow Magazine for the "Bungalow Mailbox" brought more orders and he was on his way.
He has since added many new designs from that initial mailbox especially inspired by nature and visits to Pasadena, the Mecca of Greene & Greene architecture and the majestic Olympic Peninsula of the Pacific Northwest. You will find Frank's mailbox and lantern designs on Bungalows, Craftsman, Mission, Prairie and Arts & Crafts style landmark homes in the U.S., Canada, Japan and on some Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes.
The invitation to participate at the 1st Annual Symposium at Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Farms, in Parsippany, NJ in 1996, started Frank on the road to becoming a Roycroft Renaissance Artisan in 2000 and 2001, and a Master Artisan in 2003, followed by more invitations to exhibit at the Pasadena Heritage Weekend in California and the very prestigious show in The Grove Park Inn Annual Arts & Crafts Conference in Asheville, NC every year since 1998. He is also a State of Illinois Artisan.
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