Glass Fun Facts

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Franz Adolf Berwald

Franz Adolf Berwald (July 23, 1796, Stockholm – April 3, 1868) was a Swedish Romantic composer who was generally ignored during his lifetime. Due to this, he was forced to make his living as an orthopedic surgeon and later as a glass blower.

This must be one of the few times that one could make a better living as a glass blower, rather than as an orthopedic surgeon.

In the early 1850s, a German music critic asked Berwald if he was still a composer. His surly reply was, “No, I am a glass blower.”

His Piano Concerto, finished in 1855, did not see the light of day until 1904, when Berwald’s granddaughter Astrid performed it at a Stockholm student concert. Particularly in its last movement it may be compared to Robert Schumann or Edvard Grieg.

Berwald’s music was not recognized favorably in Sweden during his lifetime, even drawing hostile newspaper reviews, but fared a little better in Germany and Austria. The Mozarteum Salzburg made him an honorary member in 1847.

When Berwald returned to Sweden in 1849, he managed a glass works at Sandö in Angermanland, owned by Ludvig Petré, an amateur violinist. During that time Berwald focused his attention on producing chamber music.

Berwald died in Stockholm in 1868 of pneumonia. The second movement of the Symphony No. 1 was played at his funeral.

Click on the YouTube link below to sample Berwald’s music – his Symphony No. 3 in C Major, ‘Sinfonie Singulière’.

Art Glass Today

>As mentioned in an earlier post, Schiffer Books is Pennsylvania based publisher specializing in books about architecture and design, arts and crafts, and collectibles.

Their newest book “Art Glass Today” features a number of works by Washington Glass School artists – Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate & Michael Janis. The handsome book – edited by Jeffery Snyder – features over 60 contemporary, international glass artists and has over 350 color photos of artwork. Besides a strong showing from the Washington Glass School, a number of NCAGG artists are also included in the book.

Other notable glass artists in the book include Christopher Ries, Jamie Harris, David Reekie, and many more.

Congrats To Teddie Hathaway

>Washington Glass School resident artist Teddie Hathaway’s work was juried into an exhibiton of contemporary glass art from an array of local, regional, national and international artists, selected by a jurying committee that is part of “The Glass Art Festival” held every year in Sequim, Washington.
The juried exhibition was for artwork in any area of including, but not limited to, blown, cast, fused, kiln-formed, torchworked, pate de verre, stained, mosaic, and sand-carved glass.

Teddie Hathaway “WaterSong Triptych“, mixed media; recycled glass and slate, 2010.

In her artist statement, Teddie talks about her love of “…the interplay of color and textures, contrasting matte finishes against glossy surfaces and opaque with clear and translucent. All of this is possible with glass, which is why I was attracted to the medium in the first place. I often use recycled glass as a major component in my work; although it can be a challenge to work with I find the transformation in this material exciting and the artwork becomes a reference to our shared environment…”.

The Glass Art Festival features an array of events during the month of September. These include glass demonstrations, artist talks, workshops and glass-centric events throughout the picturesque town of Sequim, WA.

Transcendence - The Magic of Glass. MAC Exhibit Center, 175 West Cedar Street, Sequim, WA. September 1 through 25.

Congratulations Teddie on the show selection!

Click HERE to jump to pdf file of the Festival events.

Art and Architecture: Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda
Rounds VanDuzer Architects

Safeway has started construction of a new supermarket in Bethesda, MD. The new store will be a LEED certified supermarket as Safeway is committed to the greening of its stores. Besides going green, the supermarket will be built to what Safeway calls the urban “lifestyle” market, with high-quality urban design. Safeway is one of North America’s largest supermarket chains with more than 1,700 stores.

As part of the project, Safeway commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to integrate artwork into the architectural façade of the building. The wall of artwork will activate the street along the Bradley Street façade, and marks the first public artwork commission by the national supermarket chain for its stores.



The cast recycled glass and steel artwork is integrated into the architectural façade.


Over 30 feet long and 9 feet high, the glass and steel artwork will be a strong element located in Bethesda. The new building design will act as a “civic gateway” to Bethesda‘s Central Business District (CBD).

Responding to the architectural design by Rounds VanDuzer Architects the large scale artwork will feature colorful cast recycled glass made from glass salvaged from the original Safeway supermarket on the same site. Ecoartist Erwin Timmers had slogged thru the site demolition, removing glass for the artwork. Erwin’s integration of reconfigured and recycled components has made him a leader in sustainable design and he continues his work in multidisciplinary LEED projects.


Cast recycled window glass sample of custom “fresh herb” design for Safeway.

Above is the “bay leaf” pattern.


UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to images of finished project.