Miyuki Shinkai was born and raised in Shiga, Japan. After earning a BA in English and Comparative Culture in Osaka, she relocated to the United States where she studied in Hawaii, California and Vermont, earning an MA in Social Administration at Georgia Southwestern State University. While there, she developed an interest in glass and earned a minor in glassblowing. This interest led her to the Pilchuck Glass School, Washington and a career in the art of glassblowing.
Miyuki now lives and works in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast, where she and her husband, Wayne Harjula, run Mellon Glass Studio. The couple met in the States, where they were both developing their craft and moved to Canada together to start their own studio. After working in Vancouver’s Strathcona area for a number of years they relocated to the Sunshine Coast, looking for a place that was closer to nature to raise their young family. Both artists have had numerous exhibitions of their work at galleries around the world.
"The environmental sustainability and the growth in local economy has become a mainstream concern to the general public. It seems to be the industrial age is coming to the end after we have gone through the saturation of materialism and consumerism. I feel strongly we are going through the transition period before the new era to come. As the artisan who works in traditional medium, it has been a challenge up against mass production economy, but now is the time that gives us special meaning to work with natural resources and emphasize truthfulness and the slow process of creation.
Through my visual art practice, I have been searching for unity. I believe that we are all together as one, while respecting many diverse cultural traditions and the uniqueness of individuality. Freedom of thoughts and creativity promotes innovation. I am interested in evolving flow, not staying static. Art expression allows me to overcome the differences in language and in our foundation of human beliefs. It has always been an ultimate communication method for me to feel closer to my higher self and interact with the rest of society. The presentation of the creation has been an important event for my personal development, integration and participation in the community. The Kizuna project in 2010 was a milestone: I have spent half my life in Japan and half living in North America. I feel a new chapter has just begun as an artist and mother. I will continue to push the boundary to be true to myself and stay in tune with my original intentions."