ISGB Opens July 27.


The Glass School Gang celebrates Rob Kincheloes birthday at Franklin’s Restaurant.

L-R: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, visiting artist Melissa Stern, Erwin Timmers, Robert Kincheloe, Sean Hennessey & Nancy Donnelly. Photo by Chip Montague.

The Washington Glass School had lunch at nearby Franklins to:

1). Celebrate Rob’s Birthday.

2) Wish Rob well at the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) Gathering in Louisville, KY, opening the 27th. Rob will be presenting at the conference, and he promised photos for to post on the school blog.

Looking forward to the postings!

Fun Weekend Events

>A couple of events take place this weekend -

The Capital Fringe Festival continues its July Festival performances. Capital Fringe Festival is the only major unjuried, self-producing, open-access Festival in the Washington, DC area and occurs in July each year. The Fringe Festival provides all artists, whether new or established, a venue to express and develop their talents and artistic visions in total freedom.

One of the events is MatchGame DC – where area celebrities have agreed to sit on the answer panels for a live version of the classic TV Game Show presented live on stage. Proceeds to benefit 3 local charities: Food & Friends, The DC Film Alliance and The Washington Literacy Council. Our Tim Tate is one of the artists performing in the silly, naughty fun. Go see Match Game DC, no matter how you feel about game shows, DC celebrities, or improv-based, audience participation-filled semi-theater, because in the end, it supports three really important causes.

Where:Studio Theater, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington DC

When:Saturday, July 23rd, at 9 p.m & Sunday, July 24th, at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $17 and can be bought online at

More info on MatchGameDC – click HERE.

100 Washington, DC Artists book should be available at most DMV area bookstores very soon and a book release party will be held this Saturday, July 23rd at Conner Contemporary in DC. The book release party is by invitation only, so please RSVP to if you’d like to be added to the invite list or RSVP on Facebook here. Most of the artists will be there, so this is your chance to get your copy signed by them. You can bring your own copy or a very limited number of books will be available for sale at the party. The book is also available online at the usual sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, etc.) or directly from the publisher. If you want to support your local bookstore, you can have them order it for you here.

Book Details ISBN: 9780764337789

Size: 8 1/2 x 11 Illustrations: 735+ images

Pages: 224 Binding: Hard Cover

Conner Contemporary Art
1358 Florida Ave, NE
, Washington, DC
Date: Saturday, July 23, from 3-5 PM

Art Camp at the Glass School


Kids & glass – the perfect companions!

Prince George’s County Brentwood Arts Exchange has its summertime Creative Expressions Camp where kids get to explore a variety of artistic media as well as contemporary reading and writing activities around such themes as animals, nature, and adventure.
One of the camp sessions (the adventure one) was held at the Washington Glass School

Rob Kincheloe helps direct the children on the finer aspects of working in glass.

Artistic expressions are nurtured (ie yanked out) from each student.

Mini masterpieces inside the kiln.

Black Artists of DC


This past weekend, the Washington Glass School was host to the Black Artists of DC (BADC) monthy meeting. The artist group often conducts studio visits as a way to network and offer new opportunities for the members.
The mission of BADC is to promote, develop and validate the culture, artistic expressions and aspirations of past and present artists of Black-Afrikan ancestry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Click HERE to jump to BADC’s facebook page.

élan Magazine Profile of Michael Janis


élan magazine, the
Northern Virginia publication about artists has a great profile on WGS artist Michael Janis. Written by Polly Nell Jones, the article delves into Michael’s influences and inspirations. The color quality of the images is amazing – below is the text from the magazine:

Layered Stories
The Magic of Everyday Life
By Polly Nell Jones
élan magazine, July 2011/ page 40-43

At first glance, the pensive portraits, whimsical botanicals and delicate architectural structures might appear to be acrylic layered with a polymer or watercolor or even pen etchings covered in glass. For many viewers, the intricacies of the glass medium are secondary to the sensitive and somewhat provocative impressions: a raven’s head atop a female body, a teasing collage featuring a manila folder reading, “other side first” or an ironic 19th-century lady titled “Somewhere I Have Never Traveled.” Whether creating the figurative or the surreal, glass artist Michael Janis is a storyteller, a promoter of symbolism and a connector to interior worlds.

After making a rough initial sketch to achieve a sense of scale and proportion, Michael creates an image on a Bullseye glass slab, working sgraffito-style with a fine silica-based frit. He begins by spreading the frit onto a glass surface and then sketches an image using an X-ACTO knife and a synthetic brush to reveal the desired result.

To attain delicacy and depth in his detailed assemblages, Michael employs multiple firings to stabilize each section of a piece. He also creates additional plates, layering them experimentally until he is satisfied with backgrounds, sometimes blocking out an opaque section with enamel paint. A final firing fuses all the plates together, as many as six for some pieces, and when he is finished, his images seem to float within the glass.

“I say I collaborate with glass,” says Michael, “but glass is the master. When I close the kiln door, I always do my glass mojo dance.” Kiln schedules are computer-regulated, but Michael is still able to achieve innovative results through annealing or graduated temperature reductions. Vagaries in the layering process can lead to unexpected air bubbles that are mostly appreciated.

Born in Chicago and the youngest of three brothers, Michael is a study in diversity. His father was Greek-German, and his mother was of Filipino-Chinese-Spanish descent. “I was the odd one,” he says. “I wanted to do the art stuff. That’s why I studied architecture, but then I discovered that it’s not art.”

He reflects on his time at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the architectural program designed by Mies van der Rohe, it was there that Michael learned from a tradition predating computer-generated design programs – a tradition that emphasized the basics of drafting beginning with how to shave a pencil point. Michael acknowledges that the rigorous training gave him the skills he continues to use to lay out and design his constructions.

For 10 years, Michael and his architect wife Kay lived in Australia. While there, he began to work with art glass installation. Returning stateside in 2003, the couple ended up in Washington, D.C., with Michael determined to work with glass full time.

While Kay supported him, he experimented with glassblowing, worked with Jeremy Lepisto, president of the Glass Art Society, on kiln-fired imagery. Eventually he took a class at the Washington Glass School in Mount Rainier, Maryland, becoming the self-described “shop monkey,” cleaning up after classes, watching various projects progress and learning about the behavior of glass under fire. He worked on engraving and image transfer but yearned to go larger, which led him to what he refers to as “pushing powder.”

At the Washington Glass School, where Michael is now a co-director in charge of public art and architecture, his desk is piled with papers helter skelter, not at all in keeping with the precision and detail of his work. Several weeks before a show, he shrugs, chuckling at the prospect of looming deadlines, including one for a site-specific eight-foot sculpture made up of seven panels hanging within a freestanding metal frame.

Showing a work in progress for his solo exhibit, A Lighter Hand, at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, he explains that his architecture training allows him to work with a composition from any angle.

“I was often working upside down on drawings because another architect was working on the drawing on the other side,” he says, comparing the process of manipulating the frit to creating sand painting. Though it seems obvious that walking in front of a fan while moving a piece of art with loose frit to the kiln is not a good idea, Michael finds that students still need to be reminded of such risks.

While working with other artists at the Washington Glass School, he often collaborates on large-scale commission projects that come to the for-profit studio. With his design background, Michael is a natural for making presentation to architectural committees – the difference is that he doesn’t have to wear a suit because now he’s the artist.

Michael’s portrait of his mother includes a map of Manila, timepieces and drafting sketches. Robert Rauschenberg’s collages and Dadaist influences sometimes informs his work. He says he likes viewers to draw their conclusions about meanings. However, he does admit that poetry, symbolism and the magic of everyday life are guides he follows by scratching the surface to plumb the proverbial riddle of life.

“The Memory of Orchids” 12.5″ x 12.5″ fused glass powder

During last month’s GlassWeekend show at the biennial International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass in Millville, New Jersey, Michael was designated as “Rising Star.” It is only one in a growing list of awards for Michael, who has been tapped for a Fulbright Teaching Scholarship that he hopes to complete at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, England. In 2010, he received the California Bay Area Institute Saxe Fellowship, and he was named Outstanding Emerging Artists by the Florida Glass Art Alliance in 2009. Michael is represented by Maurine Littleton Gallery in Washington, D.C.

DCMud Covers Washington Glass Studio

(…well get a hose then!)

The Washington DC Real Estate and Architecture blog, DC Mud has an insightful review of the architectural design and applications of glass by the Washington Glass Studio. The article provides a synopsis on a number of WGS design projects – their history and some great photos of the finished works.

Design writer Beth Herman reveals the origins of some of the glass techniques and process used by WGS: “…But he revealed their signature prowess evolved from an Erwin Timmers experiment, and has essentially been a work in progress over the last decade.

“Someone had mentioned they’d heard if you push something into dry plaster, you can melt things into it,” Tate recounted of the process, adding it just didn’t seem right. “You’d think the thing would fall apart, or smoosh, with no detail.”

m.l. duffy working on cast glass made from recycled glass for Safeway Inc project.

Over what Tate called a very strong objection (“it’s how we do things”) on his part, colleague Timmers tried it, placing his hand into the plaster to make an impression, adding a piece of glass on top which was melted down. Technically, “the heat went on to expand the molecules of the dry plaster, hardening it just enough so that when the glass melts in, it doesn’t move out of the way,” Tate explained, adding they pulled out a piece of glass with Timmers’ fingerprints on it, as it was that detailed. Realizing they had something in this process, Tate said they’ve spent years refining it because they’re using both glass and plaster in ways they were not intended, and formulaic changes need to be made to accommodate seasons and other variables.”

..Of the perpetuation of WGS’s work, and specifically of his students at the school, Tate said “…a rising tide floats all boats. We try to help everyone achieve their next goal. We came together to make an impact on Washington.”

For the link to the entire DCMud article link – click HERE.

World Crafts Council Visits WGS


Tim Tate addresses a group from the WCC, as PBS film crew documents his comments for posterity.

A contingent of international guests—leaders of national craft federations and craft advocacy groups, as well as diplomats and government officials— came to the Washington Glass School on Thursday.

The North American branch of the World Crafts Council (WCCNA) along with its counterparts in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America sent representatives here to participate in the business seminars held as part of the Buyers Market of American Craft being held at Baltimore’s Convention Center.

Erwin Timmers shows the group the inside of a hot kiln (and how glass and dry plaster powder can mix to produce artwork).

Wendy Rosen, producer of the Buyers Market and a North American representative of WCCNA, and publisher of American Style Magazine and Niche Magazine, had brought the group to the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios as part of a tour of “Craft in the Capitol”.

Artomatic Is Back! In Frederick, MD


Artomatic is a five week unjuried exhibit scheduled to open Wednesday, September 28th and run through Sunday, November 6th, 2011. The event will be held at the old Board of Education Building located at 115 East Church Street in downtown Frederick.

Artomatic@Frederick will be a collective presentation of visual arts, music, theatre and poetry.

Registration for exhibit space will begin on August 1st and runs through September 9th. Building tours will be held at 9 am and 11 am each Saturday and Sunday beginning July 9th through July 31st (with the exception of July 17th). Artist Registration begins August 1st.

UPDATE: Here are the revised building times:
Artomatic will be conducting tours on:

Saturday July 16th at 9,10 and 11
no tour sunday the 17th
Sat. July 23rd at 9,10 and 11
Sunday July 24 at 10 and 11
Saturday July 30 at 9,10 and 11
Sunday July 31 at 10 and 11

Phone: 240-285-3758

Debra Ruzinsky @ Brattleboro Museum


Debra RuzinskySweet Escape” cast glass mixed media, 16.5 x 18.5 x 16 inches 2011

We had mentioned in an earlier post that Studio Artist Debra Ruzinsky was preparing for an upcoming show at Vermont’s Brattleboro Museum. Above is a finished artwork image of Deb’s sumptuous glass artwork and below is more information about the show and link.

Deb’s cast glass confections were selected as part of a show “Glass in all Senses” which opens this Friday, July 15th.

Glass in All Senses
July 15 – October 23, 2011

A kinesthetic investigation into the possibilities of glass, Glass in All Senses features the work of a dozen artists from around the world. Visitors can take in the fragrance of Robert DuGrenier’s glass flowers, create light murals with Alejandro and Moira Sina’s Touch Plane, and even eat Yuka Otani’s Edible Glass. This collection of inventive glasswork will indeed tickle all the senses.
Glass in All Senses is part of ARTCraft, six concurrent exhibits that explore the boundaries between fine art and fine craft.

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
10 Vernon Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301

California’s Bay Area Glass Institute Seeks New ED


Mark Murai

BAGI Executive Director Mark Murai Returning to the Private Sector

The Board of Directors of the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) has announced that Mark Murai will be leaving his position as Executive Director to return to the technology sector. Over the past two years as the organization’s leader and as a staff member since 2006, BAGI has grown its impact by expanding class offerings, adding programs for kids, bringing in thousands of new students of all ages, while continuing to be a resource for local artists to work and learn.

Mark said, “It is a bittersweet choice I have made but this decision will help take care of a situation very important in my personal life. I will be part of the interview team for the next Executive Director and will continue to help BAGI with events, studio repairs and as “an Artist” … The next Executive Director will have a chance to work with some great people and an organization that is truly something very special in the South Bay.”
You can read more of his note to the BAGI community here.

“Mark brought a great spirit of entrepreneurship to his role,” said Steven Aldrich, BAGI Board Chair. “His energy and passion to expand our outreach has grown the organization in the past two years through challenging economic times. Mark has had a tremendous impact and opened a number of doors by building relationships in the local community.”
BAGI’s Board has started the search for a new Executive Director and multiple Board members are working to ensure a smooth transition when Mark leaves in mid-July. Tom Upchurch, Board member and BAGI’s Executive Director before Mark, will serve as Interim Executive Director during the search.

Click HERE to read about BAGI’s search qualifications.

The Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI), a non-profit arts education center founded in 1996, is the only public access glass-working facility in the Santa Clara County that has fully functional glassblowing, fusing, cold-working and torch working studios. BAGI educates the public about art glass by teaching a variety of glass-working classes, offering free public demonstrations, and bringing in guest artists to conduct free demonstrations and lectures. BAGI’s goal is to continue expanding its education and program offerings to artists and the general public.
BAGI is located at 401 East Taylor Street, in San Jose, CA.

For more information about BAGI, click HERE.