The Grinch In Art


Gaylord National Harbor Hotel Strictly First Glass shop

A number of years ago, the Washington Glass Studio was commissioned to create custom glass elements for the Gaylord National Harbor complex’s presidential suites lighting and for the signature glass sculpture in the center’s “Strictly First Glass” art gallery. Made from recycled glass, the ceiling mounted sculpture was intended to allow lighting to filter thru from recessed lights mounted in the ceiling.

Erwin Timmers installs the components made from recycled glass into the ceiling mounted sculpture.

A waggish designer commented that ribs that made up the steel support framework for the glass resembled an umbrella, and due to the tapered form, alternately to an upside down Christmas tree. Soon the artwork was compared to a scene from the 1966 animated Chuck Jones “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” television special where both a Christmas tree and umbrella are combined.

The Grinch steals the Whoville Christmas Tree.

So, somehow it is fitting that the sprawling resort and convention center features a sculpted holiday wonderland with scenes carved in ice based on Dr. Seuss’ classic story, on now thru January 9, 2011.

The Grinch in Ice

Click HERE to jump to the Gaylord National Harbor site.

Washingtonian Magazine on Tim Tate


Washingtonian Magazine photo by Stephen Voss

A nice article about Tim Tate was in the November issue of Washingtonian Magazine. The writer, Paul Barbagallo focuses on Tim’s original motivations for working in the glass medium, and how it keeps him going strong.

…”Always interested in art, he decided to try his hand at glassblowing: “I was going to leave behind a vase for my nephews and nieces to remember me by.”
Since then, Tate’s glass sculptures have been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, and the Steps Gallery in London.
In 2001, he cofounded the Washington Glass School, carving out a communal studio space in an old Mount Rainier warehouse to mentor young artists. It’s here that he conceptualizes large installations, such as a donor wall for the DC-based charity Food and Friends, which features stained-glass squares.”…

Ignoring the fact the Food & Friends donor wall is not, in fact, made from stained glass – the magazine article is a nice, if brief, recap of Tim’s early glass history and how he was able to overcome his obstacles to emerge stronger as an artist.

Click HERE to jump to the Washingtonian Magazine article.

Happy Turkey Day!


So much to be thankful for….

Our friendly UPS guy had brought a gift for the the glass school’s library : a 1944 edition of a book on Victorian Glass.
Inside the book are great examples of antique glass forms – some photos below:

Glass chicken & fowl tureens, bowls, dishes, servers and toppers abound – as they were a favorite motif of the decorative / functional novelites.

But the extensive and elaborate glass shoes and rollerskates are a surprise- who knew the Victorians had a foot fetish?

A Big Thanks to our UPS guy – and Best Wishes to All for a Safe & Happy Thanksgiving!

American Style Magazine – Fred & Susan Sanders’ Collection


The latest edition – Issue #74 – of American Style Magazine is soon to hit the newstands (subscriber issues are already out!).
In the winter issue is a great story by Lee Lawrence about the amazing collection of Fred & Susan Sanders of Brooklyn, New York.

Both Fred & Sue Sanders have had a lifelong love of the arts, and Fred is the President of the Metropolitan Contemporary Glass Group and is on the Board of UrbanGlass in Brooklyn.

The article – written by Lee Lawrence & with photos by Stacy Bass – focuses on the exuberant and diverse collection of the Sanders and gives a great insight into the background of the collectors and how that informs the selection of the works that they live surround by.
Within their large collection are works by WGS artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis, and the magazine article gives a nod to some of those pieces.

A great view of a fantastic collection and of the Sanders beautiful New York place.

Click HERE to jump to AmericanStyle weblink.

Michael Janis Goes West!


photos by Demetra Theofanous

An earlier WGS blog post mentions that our own master of glass imagery – Michael Janis – was heading out west to teach a series of workshops at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI).
Michael’s workshops were about integrating imagery into glass – one workshop was creating deep bas-relief and in the other workshop he taught how he does his unique frit powder drawing technique.
Below are some photos of the California workshops:

Making clear and color bas-relief samples.

The students try out working in the plaster molds.

Mark adds color to his work; a student’s work shows the cast glass bristles of a paintbrush.

BAGI Executive Director Mark Murai is amazed at the detail captured by the kilnformed glass.

Michael Janis describes what goes on inside the glass during the firing.

Michael reveals all his secrets in how to use frit powder for drawing and how the layers of glass create the depth of the work.

Michael said he had really enjoyed working at BAGI’s facilities: “It’d be my new home… it has that experimental vibe – where as an artist you can really respond and can take your work the next level.”

Click HERE to jump to BAGI’s website.

Glass and Steel Sculpture Development Class Working Flat Out


The sculpture development class held at both the Washington Glass School and DC Glass Works is working hard at completing their mixed-media sculptures.

Erin Antognoli sizes and fits her fused elements into her steel framework.

Lee Ann Taylor’s artwork.

Raya Koren marks the spacing for her glass & cast aluminum elements.

Tracy Benson’s cast ants cut around her cast glass leaves.

Brenda Dean shaping small elements.

Matthew Graham’s sculpture will feature delicate glass insect wings.

Joanna Viudiz assembles her cast glass elements into her steel framework.

Faz Besharatian working on the chop saw so fast, he becomes a blur.

The class is finishing up the works for a grand unveiling – stay tuned for photos of the finished works! The finished works will be part of the Washington Glass Studio’s Holiday Open House, Saturday, December 11, from 2-6 pm.

Glass Sparks: Teddie Hathaway


Teddie Hathaway

As part of the Washington Glass School’s upcoming 10 year anniversary, the WGS Blog will have a series of stories – “Glass Sparks” – stories and profiles of the school and its artists. The first artist we will feature is Teddie Hathaway.

Teddie’s career as an artist traces her transition from a distinctly DC career path. Teddie had worked in and for the offices of Members of Congress, most recently as the finance administrator for seven different members handling the strategic budgeting for their official activities and the execution and monitoring of those budgets.

As a way of finding a new career path, she took inventory of her own skills and interests and plotted out her options to make sure she used the opportunity presented by retirement. Teddie took numerous classes – at the Washington Glass School and at other glass education centers and studios – affording her explore to as many approaches and techniques as possible in her newfound medium – glass. Focusing on recycled glass, which she sometimes removes from old window frames and collects from demolition sites, Teddie works at changing industrial components into things of beauty that speak to her of form, rhythm, texture and heft.

Teddie working hot glass at DC Glass Works Studio

Teddie exhibited recently in a juried show in Sequim, Washington, as part of an international glass festival. Teddie also has work in a group exhibit here in the DMV area, as the Weisser Glass Gallery’s show: “Excavate – Unearthing The Artist” which opens this Sunday, Nov 21st.

EXCAVATE – Unearthing The Artist

November 21st – December 12th

Weisser Gallery, 4080-B Howard Ave, Kensington, MD 20895

Nancy Donnelly Solo Show at Foundry Gallery


Nancy Donnelly’s new sculptures are kiln‐cast glass, frequently augmented with paint and metals in a very contemporary palette. With a background in painting and anthropology, tone of the Washington Glass School’s studio artist is focused on gesture and movement. From glass birds swooping overhead to 4‐legged work nearly walking off the pedestal, these unique pieces express character and attitude.

F o u n d r y G a l l e r y

1314 18th Street NW, 1st Floor, Washington, DC 20036

Nancy Donnelly

Situations Made Visible

Exhibit Dates: December 1 — January 2

Reception: Friday, December 3, 6—8 pm

Artist talk: Sunday, December 12, 2-4 pm

Hours: Wednesday‐Friday, 1‐7 pm & Saturday‐Sunday, 12‐6 pm

From Foundry Gallery’s website:

Nancy Donnelly’s glass sculptures all in one way or another address issues of what it is like to be female, in this world, and living now. Clothed or nude, male or female, even pieces that don’t show a human being at all, they all express the situation of having a certain age, a certain gender, a certain stance and attitude. Wall labels will help explain matters, both in cartoons and in words.

The pieces in this show are made of glass, kiln-cast into plaster molds at around 1600 degrees, and then altered usually with paint and metals to clarify what Nancy sees as the most important visual elements. Some of them turned out to be surprising even to Nancy as she made them.

Nancy Donnelly moved to glass in 2006 after painting for about 10 years. Trained in oils, she has learned glass work at Washington Glass School, Pratt Fine Arts Center (Seattle), Bullseye Connection (Portland, Oregon), amongst other places. She is a studio artist at Washington Glass School, and shows at City Gallery and Capitol Hill Art League as well as Foundry. Her awards include a 2008 Artist Fellowship from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. Nancy’s work is in the collection of the Shakespeare Theater and in private collections.

Click HERE to jump to Nancy’s website.

Washington Craft Show Panel Discussion


As part of the Washington Craft Show, being held at the DC Convention Center November 19 – 21, 2010, Kelly Conway, the Chrysler Museum’s Curator of Glass, will be moderating a panel discussion titled “Fresh Perspectives and Paths in Glass“.

Join sculptors Matthew Fine, Charles Savoie and Tim Tate as they discuss topics that include: how they work to break the traditional rules and perceptions; how process informs their work; collaboration vs. solitary work; finding personal narrative expressed through their work and much more.

Fresh Perspectives and Paths in Glass

Friday, November 19, 2010 1:00 PM

Washington Convention Center
The lecture room is 204A – just around the corner from the Exhibition Hall.

At the Washington Craft Show, over 190 of the nation’s top craft artists will showcase new ways to consider objects for daily or special use, home décor, or what-to-wear—from hard-edged metals, silken ceramics and lustrous woods to ultra craft couture.

Click HERE to jump to the Craft Show Website.

Michael Janis in California


Michael Janis discussing his work.

WGS’ Michael Janis will be jetting off to sunny California to teach at the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI). Michael received the 2010 Saxe Fellowship for his work in glass, and he will be teaching bas relief casting and imagery in glass workshops. Click HERE to jump to BAGI’s workshop listing on its website.

The Bay Area Glass Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Art Education facility founded in 1996 to make glass art accessible to all and provide continued artistic and educational growth to artists, patrons and the community. BAGI is funded in part by the City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Council Silicon Valley.