Vitrum Glass Studio to Close


Vitrum Studio owners Judith Conway and Kevin O’Toole.

Vitrum Studios has announced its intention to close at the end of 2016. Vitrum Studio was started by Judith Conway and Kevin O’Toole in 2001 offering classes and kiln-glass resources. Both artists were recipients of awards in Bullseye Glass’ e-merge, and both had works in the US Arts in Embassies Program. The owners have said that they will continue to research and to develop techniques with Bullseye glass, and are embarking on a new project – Vitrum Studio eBooks. These books will focused on fusing techniques.

We will miss them and we wish them well in their new endeavors!


From their Nov 10 email:

…”As we approach Vitrum’s 15th birthday, we reflect back on the very beginning of Vitrum Studio.  Our classes, office and retail shop were all in one bay when we opened, and our pants pockets were our cash drawer. During these past fifteen years we have grown to three bays, enlarged the retail and the classroom spaces, opened a smaller Lab classroom and taught hundreds of classes on a wide range of topics to students from all over the world. 

We’ve made wonderful friends in the glass community, and welcomed and learned much from many exceptionally talented guest instructors while we worked with an incredible Vitrum staff of caring, talented artists. We all have grown as artists as we researched, experimented and pushed the boundaries of kiln glass, and we have loved every minute of it.

But now, it is time for a change. Vitrum Studio will officially close its doors at the end of 2016.

As you probably know, running a business is a demanding 24/7 obligation.  Our plans are to spend more time with those who are precious to us, and to spend much needed time in our own studios, designing and developing our own work.
You may be wondering if this decision was also influenced by the environmental issues and the reduced production that Bullseye Glass factory in Portland, Oregon, has been faced with. That is absolutely not the case. They have spent countless hours and large amounts of money researching and installing new filtration systems on their furnaces, and have finally begun to be able to ramp up their production again. By spring of 2017, they should be able to fulfill all orders and be back online 100%. 

We know Bullseye Glass will succeed in all they do, and we will continue to work closely with them as we research and develop new techniques with the Bullseye glass we all love.
Thank you.

We most sincerely thank you for your support of Vitrum Studio through the years. It has been an honor and a pleasure to share our knowledge and our love of glass with you.

Sincerely, Judith and Kevin     Vitrum Studio 

Fragile Vessels: Cheryl Derricotte and Nate Lewis

cheryl.derricotteFragile Vessels is an exhibit of work by Cheryl Derricotte and Nate Lewis. Derricotte’s work on glass and paper is shaped by home (or homelessness); natural beauty (or disasters), memories of happiness (or loss).  Both glass and paper are translucent and seemingly fragile, yet they are hearty enough to survive the passage of time between civilizations. Originally from Washington, DC, Derricotte lives and makes art in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds the Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), the Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.  Awards include Emerging Artist at the Museum of the African Diaspora; Gardarev Center Fellow; Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass’ Visionary Scholarship and a D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities/National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowship Grant.

Lewis’ work is a visual reflection of the competing elements of genetics, the microbiological world, human intervention through medical care, and appeals to the divine which all have a stake in determining the outcome of patients in critical care units. He makes repetitive cellular cuts on paper that reveal these unseen competing elements, creating textures and movement that mirror the internal transformations of patients, their families, and himself. A self-taught artist, drawing inspiration from anatomy, physiology, disease processes and his nursing experience, he creates stunning, intricate sculptures out of  single sheets of paper that visually combine the aesthetics of drawing, sculpture, etching, embroidery, and textiles.

Cheryl Derricotte and Nate Lewis: Fragile Vessels

Julio Fine Arts Gallery, Loyola University Maryland
4501 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210

Thursday, November 10 – Sunday, December 11
Monday, Nov. 14, 7-8 p.m. Panel Discussion:The Fragility of Black Bodies and Why It Matters, panel discussion with the artists, Cheryl Derricotte and Nate Lewis, and featuring Kaye Whitehead & Matthew Mulcahy.
Tuesday, November 15, 5-7 p.m. Artists’ Reception and artists’ talk in the gallery

Washington Glass Studio Installs Laurel Library Public Art

The steel structure is lowered by crane onto the foundation at the new Laurel Library

The steel structure is lowered by crane onto the foundation at the new Laurel Library

Washington Glass Studio installed their outdoor sculpture at the new Laurel, Maryland library. The 16′ H tower titled “Involve Me and I Learn” has over 100 glass tiles mounted in the steel framework. The artwork’s title – attributed to Ben Franklin – references the engagement of the community. The neighborhood and the Laurel Library supporters had joined in making the individual glass panels in workshops at the Washington Glass School. The Baltimore Sun had earlier in the year covered the story of the glass quilting bee workshops.

Siteworks for the sculptural and architectural application of glass were completed and the risky business of installing the works just took place.

Audrey Wilson rises to meet the challenge.

Audrey Wilson rises to meet the challenge.

Washington Glass Studio Co-Director Erwin Timmers bolts the steel framed glass panels to the main structure.

Washington Glass Studio Co-Director Erwin Timmers bolts the steel framed glass panels to the main structure.

The panels were fitted and bolted in place and the internal LED lighting was installed. Prince George’s Art in Public Places has advised that the official opening of the stunning library is set for November 28th.laurel (2)

Cleveland Rocks! MJ @ C.I.A.!

cleveland institute of art

Cleveland Institute of Art’s new George Gund Building

In November, our Michael Janis will be a visiting artist at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). He will be giving a presentation and demonstrations on how he makes his imagery with glass powder. He will focus on his sgraffito process, his use of powders and enamel, firing considerations and how he layers the individual panels of glass.

Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) glass program at Michael Janis’ imagery workshop. Read CIA’s online interview with Michael




Visiting Artist in Glass: Michael Janis
November 16, 2016, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cleveland Institute of Art, Screening Room, 3rd floor -11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106

A (TV) Star is Born! Michael Janis on Maryland Public Television’s “Artworks”

mptlogoMaryland Public Television is getting ready to launch season 5 of Artworks, MPT’s weekly arts series. The lively series is hosted by Rhea Feikin, a cultural icon in her own right. The show features intriguing profiles of established, emerging and experimental artists from across the country working in all creative categories: musicians, performers, visual artists, writers, designers, and artisans. Each program gives viewers insider access to outstanding artists they would never see otherwise, including many from our own area.

Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis was invited to be Co-Host of the show, filming two episodes (AIRDATES:  Episode 5013 Dec. 29, 2016; Episode 5014 Jan 5, 2017)

Michael Janis chats with MPT Artworks host Rhea Feikin during the taping of the episodes.

Michael Janis chats with MPT Artworks host Rhea Feikin during rehearsal of the episodes.

Michael Janis gets mic'd up by MPT audio engineer, Jim Bigwood.

Michael Janis gets mic’d up by MPT audio engineer, Jim Bigwood. Beyond, host Rhea Feikin reviews the script for the episodes.

Jim Bigwood, audio engineer and Tracy Gaspari, MPT floor director, discuss glass and art with WGS' Michael Janis.

Jim Bigwood, audio engineer and Tracy Gaspari, MPT floor director, discuss glass and art with WGS’ Michael Janis on the Artworks set.

Getting Ready for Chicago S.O.F.A.!


Kilnformed glass artwork by Michael Janis exhibited at Maurine Littleton Gallery space 2015 during SOFA.


This November, the world’s foremost Sculptures Objects Functional Art + Design Fair (SOFA CHICAGO) is back and happening at Chicago’s Navy Pier this Nov 3-6, 2016.

SOFA CHICAGO is one of the longest running art fairs in the world, and the oldest art fair in Chicago. Now in its 23rd year, SOFA CHICAGO is dedicated to bringing together the perpetually separated spheres of design, decorative arts, and fine arts. With nearly 70 internationally renowned galleries, SOFA CHICAGO will be exhibiting an array of media-specific art and innovative designs. Additionally, those who come to SOFA CHICAGO will have the chance to meet hundreds of the world’s most creative people, as well as view works of some of the globe’s most talented emerging artists. 

Washington Glass School artists will again be showing at the international art fair – Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate, Audrey Wilson & Michael Janis have been working away this past summer on new works. 

Allegra Marquart,"The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings";Hand blown reverse painted glass vessel; H.9"W. 5"

Allegra Marquart,”The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings”; Hand blown reverse painted glass vessel; H.9″W. 5″ photo by Pete Duvall.

Allegra Marquart has been working with glass blower Tim McFadden – who blew the forms that she reverse painted and fired. The theme running through some of her new pieces is “wanting” – where the main protagonists want something they don’t have or more of what they have already. Allegra’s sculpture and her glass-and-textile wall installations will be shown at Maurine Littleton Gallery’s booth # 821 at SOFA.

Tim Tate, "Where We Hide From No One" detail

Tim Tate, “Where We Hide From No One” detail; Silver Plated Frame, Mirror, Flame Worked Glass, LED’s; 18 x 18 x 4″. Photo by Pete Duvall.

Tim Tate has been working on whole new series developing for the past year and a half. Tim’s works engage the viewer and each piece visually draw’s the viewer deep inside. Tim’s new works will be shown at Michigan’s Habatat Galleries

Michael Janis has had a incredible year so far! After receiving the 2016 Mayor’s Arts Award and having a successful solo show at Maurine Littleton Gallery, Michael has recently finished his signature cast glass/frit powder imagery panels for the art fair. Michael’s works will again be shown at Maurine Littleton Gallery – (Boorth # 821).

Audrey Wilson will again be showing at Alida Anderson Art Projects. Audrey’s wonderful sculptures wryly explore questionable science and conspiratorial thinking. In our troubled times, some recent researchers have found that anxiety and the feeling of loss of control triggers people to see nonexistent patterns and evoke conspiratorial explanations. With high-stress situations (such as job uncertainty) its not surprising that people concoct, embrace, and repeat conspiracy theories. 

Audrey Wilson's mixed media / Pâte de verre sculpture explores science and conspiracy theories.

Audrey Wilson’s mixed media / Pâte de verre sculpture explores science and conspiracy theories.

This year’s SOFA CHICAGO hopes to take art lovers one step further. Explore the world of art like never before and be sure to take in one of the SOFA Lecture Series presented by some of the world’s most distinguished artists, collectors and professionals, as well as a special events series curated and presented by international art organizations. 


Festival Hall, Navy Pier 
600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611

Check Out Syl Mathis @ Bethesda Row Arts Festival Oct 15-16


Look for artist Syl Mathis’ cast glass and mixed media work at Booth: 5W

The 19th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival offers an outdoor gallery displaying the works of more than 190 juried museum-quality artists. The Bethesda Row Arts Festival is one of the leading fine art and craft festivals in the mid-Atlantic. The Bethesda Row Arts Festival is “must visit” for area collectors.

The streets of Bethesda Row transform into an outdoor art gallery. Art collectors and lovers will find one of a kind top quality art. Glass artist Syl Mathis is a featured artist and he will be showing his mixed media sculpture – in Booth #5W.

Admission is free for the festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Washington Post Reviews Michael Janis Solo @ Littleton Gallery

The Washington Post published the following review of Michael Janis’ solo show “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows” being exhibited at the Maurine Littleton Gallery through Oct 15. Art critic Mark Jenkins  describes Michael’s skill as “extraordinary. Jenkins also enthuses that Janis’ glass artwork combines “the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art”. Have a read of the full text below:

Michael Janis. "Radiance," 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

Michael Janis. “Radiance,” 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

By Mark Jenkins October 8, 2016

Michael Janis

If Michael Janis worked with pencil or charcoal, his draftsmanship would be impressive. But the D.C. artist draws photorealist portraits with pulverized glass, placing the powder exactly with tiny tools. Which is extraordinary.

Most of the pieces in “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows,” at Maurine Littleton Gallery, include depictions of pretty young women. These gamines, who might be ballerinas or French New Wave stars, are rendered in granulated black glass fused by heat to clear glass sheets. The pieces aren’t just black-and-clear, though. Janis overlays and underlies patches of translucent colored glass, and often adds such 3-D glass elements as butterflies or flower petals. Aqua and orange are common in this array, among other hues. In one picture, an abstract yellow-green swirl contrasts the subject’s slightly darker green eyes.

Janis employs many variations, slicing faces into three equal parts or contrasting them with panels of textured glass. There are ceramic busts garlanded with glass leaves, and portraits embellished with near-opaque peacock- or dark-blue circles. The latter combine the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art — half medieval cathedral, half 1960s Vogue.

Michael Janis: Echoes of Leaves and Shadows On view through Oct. 15 at Maurine Littleton Gallery, 1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-333-9307.

Lindy Irhman @ Florida’s Duncan McClellan Gallery

With the weather bringing attention to all things Florida – happily on Florida’s gulf coast, the Tampa Bay area has received only some strong winds from Hurricane Matthew. 

The City of St Petersburg is home to Duncan McClellan Gallery, which features rotating exhibitions showcasing national and internationally recognized glass artists. Starting today, the gallery features the work of glass artist Lindy Irhman.

Lindy Ihrman, "Passages"; digital photography and kiln cast glass; 15 x 9 x 2½ inches

Lindy Ihrman, “Passages”; digital photography and kiln cast glass; 15 x 9 x 2½ inches

Lindy is a glass artist from West Michigan creates sculpture and wall panels made from layered digital images that are fused into slabs that exploit the 3-dimensional quality inherent with stacked glass and the depth enhances her narrative and metaphors, drawing the viewer into the eccentric and beguiling imagery within. Lindy’s contemporary surrealism is like opening a door and seeing a strange, new planet. One never know what to expect, it’s bizarre but familiar, just like dreams. 

Lindy Ihrman, "Still Waiting"; digital photography and kiln formed glass, enamel, metal frame; 14 x 16 x 1 inches

Lindy Ihrman, “Still Waiting”; digital photography and kiln formed glass, enamel, metal frame; 14 x 16 x 1 inches

Lindy’s work shows how new techniques continue being integrated with traditional craft with the coming of the digital age. The art form of photo manipulation involves the creation of unique images and in some instances, signature expressions of art by photographic artists. Lindy is able to create an inspired transition between her photographic work and her sculptural glass.

Lindy Ihrman, " Morning Mist"; digital photography and kiln cast glass; 10 x 15 x 2 inches

Lindy Ihrman, ” Morning Mist”; digital photography and kiln cast glass; 10 x 15 x 2 inches

Duncan McClellan Gallery’s Artistic Director, Mary Childs, said of Lindy’s artwork: “[We are] dedicated to mentoring emerging artists, and Lindy Irhman’s work deserves the introduction we are happy to give give her…The skill and vision represented in her pieces is fresh and innovative, and we are proud to represent such a promising talent.”

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, Duncan McClellan Gallery will also open “Art Outdoors” for their official opening of their new Sculpture Gardens.

Lindy Ihrman, " The Flock";digital photography and kiln cast glass; 14½ x 10 x 2 inches

Lindy Ihrman, ” The Flock”; digital photography and kiln cast glass; 14½ x 10 x 2 inches

Duncan McClellan Gallery

2342 Emerson Ave. South , St. Petersburg, FL 33712


Class 2903 – MIG Welding for Dummies

Ever wondered about learning to weld? Want to impress your friends, your older brother and that cute bartender? It’s easier than you think! In three evenings you will learn how to lay a bead, and handle all sorts of sharp and dangerous tools. You will be able to complete a small project and leave with lots of ideas and know-how for other projects. This class will teach you the basics of welding, metal work and design, joining, bending and finishing. And you will get dirty!