They both say they stumbled into their medium quite by accident.
Pozniak, a glass artist for 18 years, says he was looking to do ceramics or metal work. Once exposed to glass, he became fascinated with the unique material and decided to pursue a career with it.
"There is an immediate gratification to working with the material as a glass blower versus a kiln worker," explains Pozniak, a native of England. "It is very satisfying, very intense."
Glass working also is an emotional experience, as it is for any other visual artist, Pozniak adds. And the challenge, as with many artists, is to not give up - and to continue to come up with original ideas, he notes.
Walters, a glass artist for 15 years, was in school to study sculpture, but the program in which he was enrolled was in transition, and he was encouraged to think about glass. Once he did, his love affair with the medium began.
"It has limitless possibilities," Walters says. "I enjoyed the casting, and the hot shop is always a draw. It's a theatrical thing to watch. And it's athletic, with the hand-eye coordination. "In an hour, you have (a work of art). I can't think of any other material you can do that with."
Over time, Walters adds, his interests in drawing and sculpture have merged with his glass work. His style incorporates themes from children's fairy tales into the works of art.
"In the glass blowing side of things ... I try to bring something from the narrative to the form so they work cooperatively together."
Pozniak says his style works in two ways. One, he produces vessels that have a more contemporary feel to them. The other work - more personal work, he says - uses "the association of shapes and colors people can relate to themselves." "I use patterns and the whimsy of shapes, forms that can pass along an idea to the viewer through the pattern and form," Pozniak says.
Glowing talk about their time in Danville
The artists are glowing - and not just from a recent session in the hot glass studio - when they talk about spending a little time in Danville demonstrating their art. D.H. McNabb, a 2002 graduate of Centre, now works with Pozniak and Walters in Seattle. McNabb wanted them to visit his alma mater.
"He was very excited to bring new friends back to Centre College," says Pozniak. "It's good for students to see" professional glass artists at work, he adds.
Pozniak and Walters also know Centre College Stodghill Professor of Art Stephen Rolfe Powell, an internationally known artist, through Lino Tagliapietra, the world-renowned Italian master glass blower. "Stephen is so enthusiastic and generous - he's a great draw to the school," says Walters, adding Powell is quite well-known in the Seattle glass artist ranks. "He's so likable and approachable."
Adds Pozniak, "He's a true ambassador for the school, and he's one of the truest gentlemen I've met in my life. ... Few (glass artists) would turn down the opportunity to come here and it's because of Stephen."
Both men say the "steady stream of visiting artists" to the glass program at Centre is unusual, and certainly a useful tool for the students. "The more information you can get, the better," Walters notes.
Adds Pozniak, "It's of value to the students. They have a (teacher) who is successful in his own right with his work. They're lucky he is here."
Janusz Pozniak and David Walters are giving free glass blowing demonstrations from 7-9 p.m. today, 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Friday and 9-11 a.m. Saturday in the hot glass studio in the Jones Visual Arts Center at Centre College.