Washington Glass School Wishes All A Peaceful Memorial Day

One of the fused glass panels made for the new Laurel Library public artwork.

One of the fused glass panels made for the new Laurel Library public artwork.

To many, Memorial Day, the federal U.S. holiday that takes place every year on the last Monday of May, is just another excuse for a three-day weekend. It’s also known as the day that marks the official start of summer and as a day devoted to getting great deals at the mall. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and mattress sales.

The holiday began after the Civil War, and at that time was known as “Decoration Day.” While it was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, today, Memorial Day is a day to honor all of the Americans who have died in military service.

Patriotic Americans should take a moment from their day of celebration and leisure to reflect on the brave sacrifices of those who have given their lives for this great nation. 

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. George Washington


James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist: Donald Friedlich

Don Friedlich, "Navel Orange Brooch" cast glass

Don Friedlich, “Navel Orange Brooch” cast glass

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is committed to advancing scholarship, education and an appreciation of craft art as well as promoting individual achievements of excellence and innovation in craft. The JRA’s mission is to promote education, support and appreciation of craft. Each year, the JRA sponsors its Distinguished Artist Series, where craft artists prominent in their fields conduct workshops and give lectures. Each of the “Distinguished Artist” weekends include a workshop and the artist presents their work in the newly renovated Grand Salon at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery.

On June 4th & 5th, Donald Friedlich will present and talk about his innovative contemporary jewelry that incorporates cast glass.

Donald Friedlich has been an innovative jeweler for over 40 years. Lauded for his stark, designerly forms and, most recently, for his luminous jewelry pieces in glass and gold, his work can be found in the collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass. 

Don’s work involves a wide array of techniques in this new jewelry – including artwork inspired by food, which combines four of his passions: food, humor, glass and jewelry. He literally is doing “lost celery casting” and “lost asparagus casting”. By casting these mundane materials in glass Don hopes that the viewer will see them in a new light and realize what beautiful forms they are. 

Don Friedlich, "Asparagus Brooches" cast glass

Don Friedlich, “Asparagus Brooches” cast glass

Some of the other designs are press molded and are in line with his recent series inspired by water and geometry. 


The JRA Distinguished Artist Workshop will take place on Saturday, June 4th from 9:30am to 12:00. There are still some spaces in the Donald Friedlich workshop on June 4. He will be demonstrating press molding hot glass, creating molds and cold-working techniques. For more information, go to the linkhttps://www.jra.org/events/donald-friedlich

Location of workshop: DC Glassworks

5346 46th Avenue
Hyattsville MD 20781

The Sunday, June 5th lecture is free and open to the public and will take place from 2:00pm – 3:00pm in the newly renovated Grand Salon at the Renwick Gallery.

Baltimore Sun Covers Washington Glass Studio’s Laurel Library Artwork Workshops

The Washington Glass Studio was awarded the commission to create the new landmark artwork sculpture for the Laurel Library (now under construction next to Emancipation Park in Laurel, MD). Baltimore Sun reporter Lisa Philip visited the Washington Glass Studio last week as the Library area residents and interested citizens collaborated in glass-making workshops to make the inset panels . Click HERE to jump to Lisa Philip’s article on how the artwork is engaging the community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group
Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

JRA Distinguished Artist Sibylle Peretti Workshop and Lecture @ Smithsonian Renwick Gallery

Sibylle Peretti; “Siblings”; glass; 15″ x 22″ x 10″, 2005. What stands out in artist Sibylle Peretti’s artwork are the intense images of children in nature – part dream and part fairy tale.

As part of the James Renwick Alliance “Distinguished Artist” series – glass artist Sibylle Peretti was in Washington, DC for a workshop and presentation at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery.


Artist Sibylle Peretti demonstrates her techniques at the JRA Distinguished Artist workshop held at Weisser Studio.

The JRA gets to pull their thumb out!

The JRA gets to pull their finger out!

Sibylle’s workshop – held at Weisser Studio was great fun, the attendees were able to see how Sibylle creates the molds and forms for her enigmatic artwork. 

The JRA held dinners in her honor  – and many were able to talk with the artist about her inspirations, process and history. 

Michael Janis introduces JRA Distinguished Artist Sibylle Peretti

Michael Janis introduces JRA Distinguished Artist Sibylle Peretti

On Sunday, May 22, Sibylle Peretti presented her works to the audience that gathered at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery. The Renwick Gallery has had such a tremendous upturn in attendance with the “Wonder” exhibit – that even with the constant rain, a sizable crowd listened in rapt attention.

The JRA has had so many great artist presentations – we can’t wait for the next one! Click HERE to jump to the James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Series page.


Sibylle Peretti talking about her work at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival @ Reston Town Center Features Glass By WGS Artist Syl Mathis


Syl Mathis, cast glass, mixed media, 2016

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival promises to brings artist and art lovers together on the streets of Reston Town Center to enjoy a wide range of art including hand crafted, one of a kind artwork, contemporary and original performances, artist demonstrations, acclaimed children’s activities, and live music. Over 200 master artisans in 16 different categories, including ceramics, digital and multi-media art, drawing, fiber/textiles, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media 2D, mixed media 3D, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and wood.

Dates: May 21-22, 2016

restonAdmission to the Festival is free, however there is a suggested voluntary donation of $5 to Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) at the event. Visitors will receive discount coupons to dine at participating Reston Town Center restaurants. Donation proceeds benefit year round educational and outreach programs produced by GRACE throughout the Northern Virginia area.

syl.mathis.reston2Syl Mathis will be showing some very strong work – his artwork at the recent Bethesda Fine Arts Festival was awarded “Best In Show” – and he will be showing his latest work at the Northern Virginia Festival.

Reston Town Center 

12001 Market Street, Reston, VA 20190


SATURDAY    MAY 21, 2016    10AM – 6PM

SUNDAY        MAY 22, 2016    10AM – 5PM

James Renwick Alliance Presents Artist Sibylle Peretti @ Smithsonian Renwick Gallery

Sibylle Peretti; "Land Mine"; slumped, engraved, painted and silvered glass, paper; 60" x 80" x 0.5"; 2015

Sibylle Peretti; “Land Mine”; slumped, engraved, painted and silvered glass, paper; 60″ x 80″ x 0.5″; 2015

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) was created as an independent national nonprofit organization to celebrate the achievements of America’s craft artists and to foster scholarship, education and public appreciation of their art.  Founded in 1982, the Alliance helps support our nation’s showcase of 20th century American craft, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. 

 figurative glass art, feminist art

Sibylle Peretti; “Twins” cast glass, 18″ x 24″ x 10″; 2010

As part of the JRA Distinguished Artist Series, on  the JRA will welcomes glass sculptor Sibylle Peretti to speak about her work and inspirations at the Renwick Gallery – home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection of contemporary craft and decorative art.

Sibylle Peretti at work.

Sibylle Peretti at work.

Sibylle Peretti is an artist who grew up surrounded by traditional glassmaking. Trained as a glass designer at the State School for Glass Making in Zwiesel Germany, she learned techniques of enameling, engraving, cutting and designing glass. She expanded the range of her artistic voice as she received an MFA from the Academy of Fine Art in Cologne and was trained as a Glass Designer at the School for Glassmaking in Zwiesel, Germany. Sibylle Peretti lives and works in both New Orleans, LA and Cologne, Germany. Sibylle often works collaboratively with her husband – artist Stephen Paul Day

Sibylle Peretti; "To Know A Hawk" cast glass, 16" x 17" x 13", 2013

Sibylle Peretti; “To Know A Hawk” cast glass, 16″ x 17″ x 13″, 2013

Her work has won numerous awards and endorsements, including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation as well as the 2013 United States Artist Fellowship for her glass sculptures and multimedia collages, which combine photography & drawing with surface interventions such as engraving, mirroring and glass slumping. Children and nature, as symbols of innocence and promise, are the central themes in Sibylle’s work.

Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), Museum of American Glass (Milleville, NJ), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada), Museum für Kunsthandwerk (Frankfurt, Germany), Hunter Museum (Chattanooga TN), Speed Museum (Louisville,KY), and 21c Museum (Louisville, KY).

The JRA invites the public to join Sibylle Peretti at the newly renovated Smithsonian Renwick Gallery as she talks about her work and career.

Lecture Date: Sunday, May 22, 2016
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Lecture Venue: Grand Salon, Renwick Gallery

The JRA’s mission is to promote education, support and appreciation of craft. If you’d like to learn more about the group, please see the JRA website.

Erwin Timmers New Sculpture Made from Cast Recycled Glass

Eco-artist Erwin Timmers newest sculpture made from cast recycled glass will be showcased at the Gateway Arts District’s Open Studio Tour (OST) – Saturday May 14, 2016 from Noon-5pm.

Erwin has been casting with recycled float (window) glass to create forms from and about discarded water bottles – and assembling the cast glass atop a salvaged mirror that has been backed with LED lighting. Its amazing how he can find harmony, balance and poetry in things discarded and never thought of again.

Erwin Timmers, cast recycled glass, salvaged  mirror, steel, LED, 2016

Erwin Timmers, cast recycled glass, salvaged mirror, steel, LED, 2016

Spectrum Glass To Close

spectrumWoodinville, Wash. – In a move that shocked many in the art glass world, Spectrum Glass has announced that they are going out of business. Spectrum, which makes System 96 fusing glass and numerous varieties of stained glass, intends to continue making glass for roughly two more months, then sell off its inventory and exit the art glass business.

Craig Barker, CEO of Spectrum Glass Company, shared this statement on the closure:
“After serving the art and specialty glass industry for 40 years, it is with very heavy hearts that we have decided to close Spectrum Glass Company.
“Our primary concern is to help ease this difficult transition for the fine employees, customers, retailers, and glass artists that we’ve been proud to work with and serve. We’re committed to doing everything we can to provide career assistance for our people, and are of course offering severance to our employees. For customers and end users, we are exploring opportunities to transfer our product lines to other manufacturers to help minimize disruptions in sourcing.
“The decision to close our doors has been extraordinarily difficult. We postponed it for as long as possible,and arrived at this conclusion only after immense consideration. However, due to several factors, it’s no longer financially feasible for Spectrum Glass to continue to operate.
“Market factors have played the most significant role. Our facility was built to support product demand at the height of art glass movement, but our sales never fully recovered following the Great Recession. We have watched our sales dwindle dramatically to only 40 percent of production capacity, while overhead expenses have continued to increase. Our consistently reduced levels of sales simply cannot cover the fixed costs required to operate a facility of our size.
“Additionally, the entire U.S. art glass industry is now being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to potential new regulations. Long-standing interpretations of air quality regulations are being reevaluated, and if new regulations were applied to our facility, it would require substantial capital expenses. Spectrum Glass Company has operated well within existing environmental
guidelines and has been the only stained glass manufacturer to employ baghouse technology on furnace exhaust. Still, we have already accrued extraordinary, unanticipated expenses since the start of the EPA evaluation and cannot withstand additional investments of an unknown scale for an already faltering business.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our partners, customers, artists and others who have supported Spectrum Glass over the past four decades, and who continue to support us now. We will continue manufacturing for the next 60—75 days, and will continue selling the product inventory we currently have on hand over the months ahead. We will communicate updates as we wind down our operations.”

Maryland’s Prince George’s County Leadership Council Tour

Maryland’s Prince George’s County Leadership Council toured the Washington Glass School as part of their meeting. Co-Director Erwin Timmers discussed with the Council ways that the public art process could integrate the community in the design and fabrication of art. The tour continued onward to next door Otis Street Arts Project.

Erwin Timmers outlines the process of involving community in the design of public art to the Leadership Council tour.

Erwin Timmers outlines the process of involving community in the design of public art to the Leadership Council tour.

Prince George's County Leadership Council discuss public art process.

Prince George’s County Leadership Council discuss the public art process and how it can be integrated into the public spaces and buildings.

Gateway Open Studio Tours – Saturday May 14th!!

Map of Gateway Open Studio Tours 2016

Map of Gateway Open Studio Tours 2016


The 12th Annual Gateway Open Studio Tour in the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District -home to one of the DC metro area’s most innovative and creative artist community – opens this Saturday, May 14th, 2016, from 12-5 p.m. Later – from 5-8pm, the Gateway Arts Center will host an After Party and an Opening Reception at the 39th Street Gallery.

Coyote_veta carney_glass.art.usa.washington.D.c.

Veta Carney, “Coyote”, glass, mixed media

Gateway Arts District artists, studios and galleries will open their doors to the public – with many studios featuring live demonstrations and performances.

Come to the Washington Glass School and Studio and see works by WGS artists: Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson, Michael Janis, Laurie Brown, John Henderson, Tim Tate, Diane Cabe, Veta Carney, Trish Kent and Debra Ruzinsky.