John Rais has been engaged in the field of metalsmithing and applied design all of his adult life.
He has a BFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and in 1998, received an MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Bloomfield Hills Michigan. From there, he was Department Head of Blacksmithing at Peters Valley Craft Education Center in Layton, New Jersey. John has operated his own studio business since 1998, where he designs and creates one of a kind furniture, sculpture and architectural metal art.
John’s work is shown, commissioned and collected internationally. He has had solo shows at many places including Purchase College, The National Ornamental Metals Museum, and Massimo Bizzocchi NYC. He has designed and created works for many architecturally significant buildings including a Frank Lloyd Wright home, Louis Kahn home, Addison Mizner home, and many others. His work is regularly featured in various publications including American Craft, Departures, Ritz Carlton, and a cover article in Metalsmith Magazine, as well as numerous books.
John has taught at many universities and schools such as SUNY Purchase, SUNY New Paltz, University of The Arts and Penland School of Craft. He lectures on his work and applied design throughout the U.S. He was awarded an Arts/Industry Residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. In 2007 he was a Windgate Artist in Residence in applied design at SUNY Purchase. In 2012, John Installed a large series of decorative panels for the main staircase at Yale Univer-sity Art Galleries. This project was a museum acquisition for their permanent collection. The following year, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has grown his studio to include typically several highly skilled employees. His employees move from all parts of the U.S to work for him.
Most recently, John was hired to design nearly all of the metalwork for a mas-sive renovation project for a famous Addison Mizner Home in Palm Beach Florida. He and his elite group of artists made and installed the work in 2015.
In 2019 John co created and co chaired Looking Forward, Contemporary Iron Symposium at Bryn Athyn College. He is always busy with commissioned work as well as new speculative pieces that continue to be shown and collected internationally.
He is currently represented by Gravers Lane Gallery, in Philadelphia.