The Uncomfortable Balance

blue eye

The Uncomfortable Balance

Words and artwork by Tim Tate; photos by Anything Photographic

I am a child of studio glass. I was, and can continue to be, in love with the sheer beauty of glass and art in general. As a lifelong student of Penland School of Crafts I developed a love of all things natural and extremely well made. Regardless of the medium, the more beautiful and skillfully constructed , the more intriguing the work.She Goes Walking after Midnight

I also have another side to my brain. I love all things thought provoking. I love edgier art, I love time based work…..I love video, electronics and technology in mixed media sculpture.

So I always have a choice when I create a piece.  Do I make it achingly gorgeous or do I embrace the edgier technology? Certainly if I choose one way or the other, my life will be made easier.  There are many more opportunities for makers of beautiful objects…..and many more institutions that love time based media.

As much as I want to though, I do neither.  Neither Ultra-Baroque or Techno-fetish, but a bit of both.  Whichever side of my brain calls to me, I always still hear the other whispering.  I live uncomfortably in the middle, always trying to find that balance between these 2 worlds.  The beauty of one side’s sweetness is always tempered with the saltiness of the other.Azelea Infinity

I have lived in this limbo of discomfort for so many years that it has begun to feel like the natural order of things.  The tension caused between the two sides always viscerally present, like a ghost photo at the turn of the last century.  Always hovering there, but just beyond reach, just out of direct sight and never fully resolving which side will gain dominance.  

So here I stand on the rope, feeling very balanced after so many years of not falling. 

4 seasons

Tim Tate

August, 2015

DC Commission on the Arts + Humanities Exhibit

afp.exhibitor.2016AFP16 Visual Arts Exhibition

featuring applicants of DCCAH 2016 Artist Fellowship Program 

This exhibition presents some of the District’s finest visual artists applying for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ FY16 Artist Fellowship Program (AFP) grant. Each artist has submitted a piece that represents their body of work and artistic perspective.

The gathering of these artworks in the District’s first operated public gallery captures the broad scope of the dynamic art scene and provides an opportunity for artists to express their visions directly to the panel of peer reviewers evaluating their applications and to the public.

Opening Night Details

Friday, August 14, 2015

6 – 8 pm

I Street Galleries

200 I Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003



Monday – Friday

9 am – 5 pm

Exhibition Closes Monday, September 30 at 5 pm


RSVP online HERE!

James Renwick Alliance Talk by King & Queen of Pâte de Verre

Artist Talk: Shin-ichi & Kimiake Higuchi

August 23, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

On Sunday, August 23 at 2:00 p.m., you are invited to join the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear and talk with world-renowned glass artists Shin-ichi and Kimiake Higuchi.

Self-taught in the ancient glass-casting technique called pâte de verre, the Higuchis have been called the “King and Queen of Pâte de Verre.” Their work in this medium possesses luster, translucency and shine that seems unfathomable. They have works in major collections around the world. Some of their work will be available for purchase after the talk.

Space is limited.

$25 JRA Members and their guests; $45 Non-members

Address and directions will be provided after registration.

*Due to the website difficulties, the JRA will be accepting reservations via phone, 301-907-3888, and via e-mail,

Watch Shin-ichi demonstrate his technique in this short two and half-minute video.
Watch Shin-ichi demonstrate his technique in this short two and half-minute video.

Pittsburgh’s SCC’s “Mindful” Exhibit: Exploring Mental Health through Art

Michael Janis;"Echoes" detail; fused glass, glass powder imagery; 2015

Michael Janis; “Echoes” detail; fused glass, glass powder imagery; 2015. photo by AnythingPhotographic

To raise awareness and increase understanding of mental illness, The Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) located in Pittsburgh, PA, will be mounting a “socially engaged art experience”  opening September 18th through March 12, 2016. 

The  traveling exhibition titled Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art is designed to break down societal stigmas and offers an opportunity to encounter and understand mental health through the lens of contemporary craft. Featuring more than 40 works created by 14 contemporary artists in the project’s main exhibition, and WGS artist Michael Janis’ glass artwork will be highlighted.

One in four adults lives with a mental health condition, yet this common illness often remains hidden behind a wall of secrecy and isolation. 

Presenting contemporary art in craft media by international, national and regional artists since 1971, the Society for Contemporary Craft offers cutting edge exhibitions focused on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art. The SCC remains one of the nation’s only non-profit institutions focused on contemporary craft..

Learn more about the Mindful project by visiting the SCC website for the exhibit:

The Society of Contemporary Craft

Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art

2100 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

For more info:

or call 412.261.7003.

Nikki O’Neill @ Waverly Street Gallery


Nikki O’Neill, “Synthesis 11″, 11″x 15″ x 2″, glass

Nikki O’Neill has been working with glass for more than 25 years, and currently uses kiln-forming techniques to create sculpture and vessels from recycled glass. Nikki has a great show at Waverly Street Gallery open thru August 1st.



by Nikki O’Neill

JULY 7 – AUGUST 1, 2015

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12-6 P.M.

Two exciting evolutionary themes inspire Nikki O’Neill’s visual diaries in kiln formed glass: the watery, primordial origins of life, and the delightfully intricate and richly colored primitive creatures that live there. Glass is the perfect medium to explore these mysteries, often revealing exciting visual discoveries as she manipulates heat, gravity, gasses, and time to melt and combines glass with natural raw mineral compounds, metals, salts, and oxides. These basic elements are also those of life’s origins, and perhaps provide a glimpse into our own organic beginnings.

After initial ideas are developed, glass is cut, heated, shaped, and cold-worked. She is often delighted to discover visages of primordial beginnings and early life emerging from the bubbling cauldrons of inhospitable environments. It is art and science; exploration and discovery; glass and nature that fuels her heart and imagination each day.

Along with formal studies in the studio arts, Nikki O’Neill earned a PhD degree and worked as a research scientist and educator in the biological sciences for 30 years. She has exhibited her art extensively in the Mid-Atlantic region in juried shows, receiving honors including “Best in Show” by the Creative Crafts Council in 2013. She regularly teaches workshops in kiln formed glass.

For more information about the artist please visit

For more information about the show, contact curator Elizabeth Wolf at or 301-263-0381

Waverly Street Gallery

4600 East West HWY
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Glassville in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina’s Center for Craft, Creativity & Design has an incredible showcase of area glass artists – titled Glassville in Asheville! If you are in Asheville,  in early August… should check out this amazing small show.

Featuring work from both emerging and established glass artists from Western North Carolina and the surrounding region, Glassville will offer an excellent opportunity for the public to meet and interact with the artists and their work. Artists will be present for the duration of the event and work will available for purchase. Many artists will be presenting experimental bodies of work, exhibiting pieces they have not shown anywhere else, or using the space to create installations specific to the site. The event offers the unique chance to view work that explores the future of glass while also recognizing the rich history of the medium in the region.  

Event Details

Location: The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801 (map)glassville.asheville.poster.

Date and Time:  Thursday, August 6 - Opening public reception: 8:00 – 9:30 pm | Friday, August 7 - 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admission: Free and open to the public. No registration required.

Participating Glass Artists

Kathryn Adams, Asheville, NC | Dean Allison, Penland, NC | Michael Allison, Nashville, TN | John Almaguer, Asheville, NC | James Breed, Knoxville, TN | Jennifer Bueno, Penland, NC | Thor Bueno, Penland, NC | Carla Camasso, Asheville, NC | Ken Carder, Vilas, NC | Matthew Cummings, Knoxville, TN |Courtney Dodd, Asheville, NC | Ben Elliott, Burnsville, NC | Joseph Falzone, Asheville, NC | Loretta Forde, Burnsville, NC | John Geci, Bakersville, NC | Ben Greene-Colonnese, Candler, NC | Judson Guerard, Bakersville, NC | Michael Hatch, Weaverville, NC | Jan Kransberger, Asheville, NC | Mike Krupiarz, Asheville, NC | Fred Mead, Forest City, NC | Sarah Mizer, Richmond, VA | Roger Parramore, Asheville, NC | Jacob Sadler, Raleigh, NC | Scott Summerfield, Bakersville, NC | Justin Turcotte, Asheville, NC | David Wilson, Burnsville, NC | Hayden Wilson, Asheville, NC

With special guest, 2010 CCCD Windgate Fellow Thoryn Ziemba, Knoxville, TN

Artomatic! Its Gonna Happen!

ArtomaticSTOP THE PRESS!! Artomatic - the non-profit, volunteer-run 501(c)3 organization that organizes and hosts a large arts festival - is moving ahead in its efforts to arrange for a 90,000 square foot space in Prince Georges County in partnership with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, who are the hosts.  The event is unjuried and showcases creative work in visual art, music, film, performance, and fashion. The 2012 Artomatic attracted about 1700 artists and performers and over 70,000 visitors. 


Here are the dates for the tour of the space for this coming October‘s event. 
Come see the space.

8100 Corporate Drive
Hyattsville, MD 20785

The site is 10 min from the New Carrollton Metro and lots of parking at the 8100 Corporate Drive.

Thursday July 16th ­ 6-7 pm
Saturday July 18th ­ 10-11 am
Sunday July 19th ­ 10-11 am

Questions: 202-607-0879 or

Penland School of Craft Auction Features Michael Janis’ “Flying In Place”

Michael Janis, "Flying in Place", fused glass powder imagery, steel, silver

Michael Janis, “Flying in Place”, fused glass powder imagery, steel, silver, 24″ x 7″

With less than one month to go until the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction, Penland, the national center for craft education located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains featured Washington Glass School co-director Michael Janis and his artwork “Flying in Place”. Below, Michael Rogers, Professor of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, describes Michael’s work and his process. “Flying in Place” and many other works of glass will be up for bidding at the 30th anniversary of the Penland Benefit Auction this summer. You can now view all of these works online in the 2015 auction catalog.

“Michael Janis is an exceptional visual artist, an innovator, and a master of the technique of fusing with glass powder-essentially ‘painting with glass on glass.’ It takes years of trial and error for an artist to achieve fluency in an area of artistic endeavor where one must charter unknown territory to make discoveries unique to themselves. Through skill, vision, tenacity, and dedication, Michael has created a strong and clear voice with the material that is truly his own. Certainly painters would envy Michael’s ability to orchestrate translucency, opacity, and transparency in tandem with chromatic diversity to achieve depth in the two-dimensional plane. However, Michael is much more than technically adept.

Michael Janis, "Flying in Place",glass, glass powder imagery, silver, steel, 24"dia x 7"

Michael Janis, “Flying in Place”,glass, glass powder imagery, silver, steel, 24″dia x 7″ The frit powder imagery is presented as distorted in the front-on viewing, and the distorted image is viewed un-distorted in the reflection of the silvered glass cylinder.

“After all, Michael is a storyteller, an artist who draws simultaneously upon the past, present, and future to develop the content of his work. Through memory, awareness, and intuitiveness, one could say Michael evokes meaning in his work. With Flying in Place, we are presented with a stunningly beautiful and fascinating piece of poetic narrative. Metaphorically rich in associations, this work preserves its mystery while engaging the viewer’s curiosity. In the end, Michael’s intense ability with material and technique allows him to transcend these aspects of making to communicate his intention directly. Michael’s genius is in suspending reality and creating an illusion one can get lost in. In this way, he captivates the viewer.

“When I see this work by Michael Janis I think that here is a mature artist, an artist at the top of his game.” – Michael Rogers

Please join the Penland Benefit Auction on August 7 and 8, 2015.

Join Penland’s event page to stay up to date on the latest auction news and stories.

Absentee bidders can register by clicking this link. For reservations, please contact Jackie Head at 828-765-2359 x 112 or

For more information about the 2015 Annual Benefit Auction, click here to visit Penland’s auction website or call 828-765-2359 x 112.

AACG Awards Cheryl Derricotte “Visionary Scholarship”

Artist/Author Cheryl Derricotte awarded AACG Visionary scholarship.

Artist/Author Cheryl Derricotte awarded AACG Visionary scholarship.

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) awarded Cheryl Patrice Derricotte the AACG Visionary scholarship to Penland School of Crafts. Cheryl is from Washington, DC, and was one of the Washington Glass School’s inaugural Artist-In-Resident program participants.

Cheryl  Derricotte, La Negresse, 2014, glass

Cheryl Derricotte, La Negresse, 2014, glass

Cheryl holds the Master of Fine Arts, (MFA), from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) (2015), a Master of Regional Planning (MRP) from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University (1989) and a BA in Urban Affairs from Barnard College, Columbia University (1987).Cheryl recently completed a Master of Fine Arts at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and lives in Oakland, CA.

Cheryl Derricotte, "Oil and Water" 2014, glass

Cheryl Derricotte, “Oil and Water” 2014, glass

Cheryl also writes nonfiction and is the author of the book Being the Grown-Up, Taking Care of Someone with a Terminal Illness. Her next book is about managing life changes and is scheduled to come out in the next year or two.

Sean Hennessey Class @ Penland

Sean Hennessey's class in the Spring 1-week sessions.

Sean Hennessey’s class in the in the new Penland Catalog

The renown craft education center – Penland School of Crafts – located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, will have Sean Hennessey teaching his mixed media cast glass technique. sean.hennessy.cast glass_artPenland’s 2016 Spring one week session (April 24-30, 2016) looks to be a winner! Sean’s artwork often combines cast glass, concrete, photography, drawing, light, vdeo, found objects and steel. He holds a BA in Sculpture and a Minor in Philosophy from Berea College and also studied at the Institute for International Studies in Florence, Italy. has also exhibited at SOFA Chicago, John Hopkins University and was a featured artist at the National Institute of Health Gallery, as well as many select group exhibitions. Click HERE to jump to Penland’s online listing of the Spring 2016 classes.