Michael Janis to Go West


Michael Janis will saddle up and ride.

Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis will be heading West to talk about his glass artwork and his process. Michael will be talking to the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) groups in New Mexico and in Arizona.


Winterowd Fine Art, 701 Canyon Road, Santa Fe NM 87501

While in Santa Fe, Michael will have some of his newest works on exhibit at Winterowd Fine Art. For more info on his talk in New Mexico – email the gallery: info@fineartsantafe.com


Michael Janis; “Becoming Her Own Each Morning”; fused glass powder, 12.5″ x 12.5″; 2014


In Glass – Secede to Succeed! American Craft Magazine on “GS”


The website of American Craft Council has a preview of the April/May issue of American Craft Magazine. Editor-in-Chief Monica Moses interviews Tim Tate about “Glass Secessionism” and how artists are exploring and advancing the medium – a sure must-read! Check out the preview video trailer on American Craft’s youtube website – at the 2:00 mark – works by some familiar artists are featured. Online March 17 – on the newsstands March 25th.

Michigan’s Habatat Galleries’ 42 International Glass Invitational Features WGS Artists


Michigan’s Habatat Galleries presents a grand opening of the oldest and largest glass exhibition in the United States. Over 400 works of contemporary glass art will be on display opening April 26th at 8:00 pm.


Tim Tate

Located in Royal Oak, Michigan at Habatat Galleries, 2014 marks the 42nd year of this monumental event. The 100 Artists who participate are from over 23 different countries. This exhibition inspired April as Michigan Glass Month which for over 25 years offers 30 or more glass events held throughout the State.


Sean Hennessey

Three artists from the Washington Glass School – Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis and Tim Tate – are featured in this year’s exhibit.

HABATAT GALLERIES 4400 Fernlee Ave., Royal Oak, Michigan 4807 Click here to jump to pdf of gallery invite. Email: info@habatat.com www.habatat.com


Michael Janis

American Craft Baltimore Opens Friday!



Feb. 21-23 @ Baltimore Convention Center

A three-day celebration of all things handmade! This is the American Craft Council’s flagship show – a must-attend for craft lovers. More than 650 artists from across the country gather under one roof! Touch, feel, and explore high-quality American craft like you’ve never seen before. If you are going – make sure you check out Novie Trump’s ceramics at Booth 3508!


Novie Trump “The Evolution of Flight” Ceramic with pewter glaze, slipcast porcelain egg


Friday, Feb. 21: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


The Baltimore Convention Center is at One West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD.


$16 one-day pass; $30 three-day pass; FREE for American Craft Council members and children 12 and under. Join the ACC and get in free!

Art Wynwood Features WGS Artists


Miami’s international contemporary art fair “Art Wynwood 2014″ will feature 70 international galleries presenting emerging, cutting edge, contemporary and modern works and will have its own distinct identity and design. Alida Anderson Art Projects will be featuring a number of artists from the Washington Glass School and adjacent  Flux Studios.


Tim Tate’s cast glass and video artwork at Alida Anderson Art Project.

Works by Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey, Audrey Wilson, Michael Enn Sirvet and Novie Trump can be seen at  Booth C-9.


Audrey Wilson’s mixed media sculpture


Sean Hennessey’s cast glass sculpture positively glows!

Stop on by and say hi! Art Wynwood fair opens Feb 13th and goes thru Monday, Feb 17th, 2014.


Michael Enn Sirvet’s sculpture of perforated powdercoated aluminium

Trump.novie. Map_of_the_Night_Swallow

Novie Trump’s “Map of the Night Swallow”; Porcelain, Steel, Acrylic, Light

William Warmus’ Thoughts On Glass Secessionism

William Warmus – writer/critic/art curator/and Fellow of Corning Museum of Glass writes a response to some comments on the Facebook group page Glass Secessionism. William Warmus wrote extensively about the development and evolution of Studio Glass. In the interest of giving the comments a broader audience – we post below Mr Warmus’ text:

Forget and forgive?

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on other [Facebook] forums about Glass Secessionism and its relationship to studio glass. We are not opposed to the conceptual or material thinking that is associated with studio glass, and we hold skill in high esteem.

Our concerns are different. We look for innovation and seek to engender a thoughtful ongoing dialog about glass. The artworld is full of cynicism and infighting. It can be brutal. We want to create a sheltered circle within that context.

I suspect that it is Glass Secessionism’s willingness to move forward while others fight the old battles that creates some uneasiness. The idea that it is OK to forget is still quite unorthodox. But to move ahead, we need to sometimes secede and forget. Try it, it is pretty liberating.

I apologize for making this a very long post, but here goes.

In 1992 I wrote an essay about the End of Studio Glass, and in 2012 I updated that essay. I am attaching a long excerpt below. My attraction to Glass Secessionism seems natural to me: after postulating the end of studio glass, why wouldn’t I find the dialog that Tim Tate proposed an appealing next step?

As I wrote in the 2012 essay: “Coexistence applies to history as well as the present: We need to find a way to allow the weight of history to coexist with the present, not as a burden…but as inspiration. And yes, by the way, it is also sometimes O.K. to forget!”

Long Excerpt from the essay:

Is it Over?

Published in Glass Quarterly, Summer 2012

The author of an article charting the “completion” of the Studio Glass Movement reappraises the state of glass art.

By William Warmus

“The End” appeared in the Fall 1995 issue of Glass, although essays targeting the same theme appeared in American, Australian and Japanese publications between 1992 and 1993. My argument was that by the early 1990s, the techniques and aesthetics of Studio Glass were essentially complete. Read those essays for the details.

I did not use the term then, but tabletop sculpture seems an apt description of the glass from that period, and I use it in praise: Studio artists (and not just in glass) reinvented small-scale sculpture suitable for display in urban apartments and suburban homes. The work was aesthetically innovative and lovely to look at, or at least engaging. And alongside the artists grew an enthusiastic community of collectors, dealers, museums and scholars. I also observed that Studio Glass is largely about technique and broadening the definition of the factory.

The essay attracted attention. For example, the artists who call themselves Yukanjali (Anjali Srinivasan and Yuka Otani) cited “The End?” as influencing their curatorial and artistic work, quoting: “Studio glass itself is not stagnant, it is complete.” They used the term “post-glass” to distinguish between the new glass and Studio Glass, and concluded that: “Glass is not an art” but rather “Glass is a material. An amazing and wondrous thing that inspires the human spirit to create. It cannot, by itself become passé, although perhaps human intent can be, and maybe that lack of breakthrough is what we are facing now.”

Advance to 2012, the 50th anniversary of Studio Glass. What happened, and where are we now? Certain masters of the field of tabletop sculpture have been clearly established, including Harvey Littleton, Dale Chihuly, Tom Patti, Richard Marquis, Dan Dailey, Toots Zynsky and others.

Although I stand behind my 1992–1995 essays that argued that Studio Glass was complete, my definition of Studio Glass has evolved slightly. It is: a focus on glass as a medium for art that respects past traditions while at times forgetting those traditions in order to innovate.

This definition references Harvey Littleton’s proposition in his 1971 book, Glassblowing: A Search for Form: “The method used by the contemporary artist is a constant probing and questioning of the standards of the past and the definitions of the present to find an opening for new form statements in the material and process. It is even said that this search is an end in itself. Although knowledge of chemistry or physics as they apply to glass will broaden the artist’s possibilities, it cannot create them. Tools can be made, furnaces and annealing ovens can be built cheaply. But it is through the insatiable, adventurous urge of the artist to discover the essence of glass that his own means of expression will emerge.”

The founding of Studio Glass in 1962 was a confrontation of one culture with another: art encountering industry. It matured during a time when no one style in art was dominant (the post-Pop Art era), and yet the prevailing styles of criticism were, and to a certain extent remain, highly skeptical of glass as an art medium. Ash, trash, and fecal matter are widely admired as art media. But glass? It’s kitsch. Or so some say.

This attitude makes me argue that the central problem confronting the art world since the end of the era of dominant styles has been one of coexistence. Can we overcome art world skepticism and isolationism? We have come to see skepticism as implicitly aligned with a search for truthfulness, but why? If anything, it is easy to be a skeptic, and far more difficult to find ways to coexist. And yet perhaps coexistence, in all realms of life and aesthetics, is the most profound (and interesting) challenge of this century. Coexistence applies to history as well as the present: We need to find a way to allow the weight of history to coexist with the present, not as a burden or a negative challenge, in the sense of that which must not be repeated (when in fact it is impossible to repeat history—just try!), but as inspiration. And yes, by the way, it is also sometimes O.K. to forget!

My beloved medium of glass seems unusually open to coexistence. Glassmakers are willing to appropriate other art media; to range from an extremely small scale to a large one; to show their work at galleries, craft shows, flea markets, on eBay; to bond with collectors; to go anywhere, anytime; to have outlandish parties dressed in glass fashions; to engage in “athletic” contests centered on the medium. Perhaps that is what irritates the rest of the art world, this kitschy embrace of all things—even a willing self-flagellation, seemingly forever and ever, over the art-or-craft question. And in the middle of this carnival are the curators, historians, editors and other “gatekeepers” who are trying to discern themes and detect quality….[excerpt ends]

“Primary Colors” Opens @ Alexandria’s Del Ray Artisans

Betsy Mead’s “roll-up” vase

Opening with an artist reception on Friday, January 3, 2014 from 7-10pm is Primary Colors at Del Ray Artisans’ gallery in Alexandria, VA. This all area artist show kicks off the New Year with an artistic challenge to create artwork using only the three primary colors.
Curator and glass artist  Betsy Mead challenged Del Ray Artisans and all local-area artists to think outside the box in using basic red, yellow, and blue to create their compositions. The only restrictions were that artists must not tint or mix primary colors; they could use white and black to highlight, outline or lowlight objects in their compositions.

In conjunction with the Primary Colors exhibit, the non-profit artist group will feature the movie Primary Colors, a 1998 drama based on the novel Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics.
Opening Reception on Friday, January 3 from 7-10pm: Chat with the artists in the show and other art appreciators during the reception!
View the Show: January 3 – February 2, 2014 during gallery hours at Del Ray Artisans gallery at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22301. 

Betsy Mead’s glass in a flat state.

As a side note – read about how artist Betsy Mead created the work featured as the show’s image in an earlier WGS post about what happens when fused glass is introduced to a hot shop! Click HERE to jump to “Roll-up your glass!”

Audrey Wilson SOLO Opens at WGS Gallery Jan 11

The Aberrant Collection of the Spurious Calamus”, by glass artist Audrey Wilson opens at the Washington Glass School on January 11th thru 31st, 2014 with a reception on January 11th from 6-8pm.

“Generator” by Audrey Wilson, 2014, 16″ x 10″ x 9″ mixed media, blown and pate de verre glass. photo: Pete Duvall
Audrey Wilson

AudreyWilson‘s sculptures are a blend of created and altered elements that reflect evolving science and machinery and explore the relationship between man and technology. Technology is merely an extension and reflection of mankind. In fact, no objects contain more human essence than do tools.

Audrey’s sculptural projects and multi-media works are metaphors evoking our endless manipulation of environment, our need for control, and our longing for a meaningful union with nature and the other, in a supreme balance of power and delicacy. People are becoming increasingly alienated from the objects which surround and sustain them, as they have lost the emotional link to technology.

“Ibn Firnas’ First Glider”, Audrey Wilson, 2013, 26″x 9″ x 6″,
mixed media, pate de verre glass. photo: Pete Duvall

“The Aberrant Collection of the Spurious Calamus” captures our complicated relationship with technology, mirroring it back with poetic glances.

“The Aberrant Collection of the Spurious Calamus” by Audrey Wilson
Washington Glass School Gallery
3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Opening Reception – Saturday, January 11, 6-8 pm
On View January 11 – 31, 2014 and is free and open to the public.

Glass Sheds Light On the New Year!

In honor of the regulations that phase out incandescent light bulbs starting in 2014, photographer Pete & Alison Duvall had a cast glass light fixture for their home in Silver Spring, MD. 
In 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law an energy bill that placed stringent efficiency requirements on ordinary incandescent bulbs in an attempt to have them completely eliminated by 2014. The law phased out 100-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs in 2013.

As artists that depend on light and its transmission, the photographers worked with artist Erwin Timmers to get every kind of light bulb they could referenced in their ceiling mounted glass artwork. 

Cast glass lightbulbs


Inspired by a commissioned ceiling mounted artwork that Michael Janis did in 2007 for a Washington, DC collector. The couple that commissioned the work had limited space in their apartment, and felt that the creating an artwork piece mounted on the that diffused light would be a crossover of art and function. In the earlier suspended artwork panel, faces look down from a textured surface. 
Pete Duvall noted that the light source for the new artwork piece is from energy efficient LED bulbs.

Original cast glass panel by Michael Janis – Photo by Pete Duvall.