Featured Artist Mike da Ponte

Mixed media artist Mike Ponte combines sculptural technique with his background in graphic design to create a compelling collection. View more of his portfolio on his website.


mixed media glass sculpture

“K is for Kin” cast and hot sculpted glass, acrylic, steel 13” x 10” x 4”


My name is Mike da Ponte, and I am a glass and mixed media artist and educator from Grayslake, Illinois. I started studying glass at Illinois State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in glass blowing and sculpture.


mixed media sculpture with bullet casings

“G is for Guilty” cast glass, acrylic, 9mm casings, 16” x 14” x 3”


Since graduation, I helped develop curriculum as well as build the equipment for a hot glass studio in a high school located in Winnetka, Illinois. Although I had no original intentions of working in secondary education when I left college, teaching has quickly become a passion in my artistic career.


mixed media sculpture by Mike da Ponte

“Lowercase Incompetence” cast glass, acrylic, papier-mâché, wood, steel,
38.5” x 4” x 2”


Glass is a unique medium for students to learn because it does not rely on traditional forms of art making like painting or drawing, to be successful. Removing this kind of intimidating element from an art program has been one contributing factor to the rising enrollment and curiosity for those willing to give an art class a shot.


glass sculpture with infant by Mike da Ponte

“C is for Carry” cast glass, ceramic, acrylic, watercolor, steel
14” x 11” x 2.5”


Our studio boasts a two-thousand square foot space that allows for many different forms of glass making under one roof. Being a well-rounded and versatile teacher is something that has forced me to work in many different mediums and processes for my own artwork.


mixed media glass sculpture by Mike da Ponte

“Q is for Question” cast glass, acrylic, resin, poplar
11″ x 8″ x 3.50″


This kind of exploration and experimentation has opened many new doors for making glass with both hot and cold techniques. I am a huge fan of grinding, cutting, coloring, and engraving the surface of glass to change the typical shiny and seductive surface of the material.


mixed media sculpture of the letter S

“Syndicate” (Collaboration with Zhanna Martin) cast glass, acrylic, steel, ceramic


Before I discovered glass in college, I was heavily involved in the graphic design program at Illinois State University. One of the last areas I had been focusing on before fully committing to glass was typography, which is the study of lettering and hierarchy with visual elements in the design world. I really enjoyed learning about this. Every typeface is so unique based on its creator.


Glass and acrylic sculpture by Mika da Ponte

“Cluster” cast glass, acrylic, 12” x 12” x 12”


All my work explores identity and questions my own path as an artist. Can my artwork help guide me through being someone who was adopted at birth and has no real ties to a biological family? Much like the typefaces that exist today, every single one has a story to tell and comes from a different place in the world.


Glass sculpture by artist Mike da Ponte

“A is for Abode” cast glass, steel, acrylic,
Height: 17” Base Width: 15.5”


My most recent body of work titled “Communication,” is woven out of these themes and questions. Creating letters in glass and discovering new, hidden meanings using negative space and scale has helped me navigate through these ideas and continuously create and reflect along the way.


glass and steel sculpture by Mike da Ponte

“The I’s in Friendship” cast glass, steel, 16” x 14”


My goal is to keep working on this body of work and share my story with a global audience.


Mike da Ponte invites you to follow on Instagram



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