London’s Calling (Tim Tate & Michael Janis)


Bon Voyage Guys!
Professors Janis and Tate are on the Road to England. As mentioned in earlier posts, the Fulbright Scholars will be at the UK’s National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland, in the northeast of England. The boys will also be exhibiting their artwork at London’s Affordable Art Fair, this March 15-18. They have promised to post updates of their adventures across the pond. I am sure we can expect photos of their sights – perhaps a glimpse of Tateat the Tate!

For those of you in the land of John Bull, here are the dates and location of the show in London’s Battersea area:
London Affordable Art Fair
Cohesion Glass Network Booth
Battersea Park

SW11 4NJ
15 -18 March 2012

Erwin Timmers: The Art of Recycling

>Erwin Timmers’ artwork and sculpture using recycled and components diverted from the waste stream had caught the eye of a photojournalist, and his work so intrigued her that she made a short documentary about Erwin’s work and philosophy. Below is a link to the video made by Uliana Bazar:

The Art of Recycling With Erwin Timmers from uliana bazar on Vimeo.

Uliana Bazar is currently working on a Masters in New Media Photojournalism at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC.

Science of Art Laboratory (SOFAlab) at The Glass School

Erwin Timmers, Dr Caroline Wellberry and the students working on the SOFAlab collaborative art project.
photo by Elmo Thamm

Medical waste and its impact on climate change was the connective theme of the collaborative work. Using glass diverted from the waste stream, the Georgetown University students and Residents from the Fort Lincoln Clinic worked with Dr. Caroline Wellberry and Erwin Timmers this past weekend. The resulting glass and steel sculpture will be exhibited at Smith Center Gallery in May.

“Science of Art Laboratory” (SOFALab) was created to initiate the spark of communication and to look for commonalities that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts with the aim that these interactions and findings can affect boarder intellectual and/or social changes.

The project is a collaborative effort from the Executive Director of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Shanti Norris; the Director of Printmaking at George Mason University, Helen Fredrick; and the Founder of Hamiltonian Artists and physics professor of George Mason University, Paul So. The SOFAlab is generously supported by the Center for Consciousness and Transformation from George Mason University.

The students listen as Erwin Timmers outlines the mold-making process.
photo by Elmo Thamm

Erwin Timmers and Helen Fredrick consult about the kiln-firing process.

Glass will be cast into the imagery that is formed in the kilns.
photo by Elmo Thamm

A Georgetown medical student gets to practice his surgical precision with moldmaking in the kiln. Just like the game of Operation, a steady hand is requisite.
Erwin Timmers has found the perfect element to cast into glass.
photo by Elmo ThammMore info to follow after the work is mounted and the show is all set in the Smith Farm Gallery – stay posted!

Washington, DC and Sunderland, UK Sign Friendship Agreement



The UK’s Sunderland City Council will be signing a “Friendship Agreement” with Washington, DC tomorrow, February 22, 2010. Sunderland is the only non-capital in the world to have such an agreement with Washington, DC. The original agreement was signed in 2006, and a formal renewal and signing will take place at the British Embassy with the UK’s deputy head of mission to the US Philip Barton.In DC, delegates from Sunderland University, the Sunderland Chamber of Commerce and business representatives are joining Sunderland council chief executive Dave Smith at the Embassy renewal.

Delegates from the University of Sunderland tour the Washington Glass School
L-R Peter Fidler, Vice Chancellor Sunderland University, Angela Fidler, Erwin Timmers, WGS.

The delegation is attending a series of meetings, including a meeting with DC’s Mayor Gray – and a visit to the Washington Glass School.

Commercial Director of Sunderland AFC Gary Hutchinson said: “We all know that our city and region have strong links with the US and Washington DC. It was a major coup to see these strengthened in 2006, we’ve built upon that agreement and now we are about to renew it.”

Council leader Paul Watson said: “Since signing this historic Friendship Agreement with Washington DC, we’ve seen a range of economic and educational benefits.

“Young people in a number of our schools, as well as Sunderland Youth Parliament, have had the opportunity to learn more about America, explore issues important to young people on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as learn more about their own history and heritage.

In June 2006, Sunderland signed the original Friendship Agreement with Washington DC. The Friendship Agreement cements the city’s unique historical link with Washington DC, as George Washington’s ancestral home is located within Sunderland, England’s boundary and sets out to create benefits for the people of both cities through economic, educational, and cultural co-operation as well as exchanges of experience in key policy areas.

Later this year, Washington Glass School’s Professor Tim Tate and Professor Michael Janis will be teaching at the University of Sunderland and the UK’s National Glass Centre as part of their Fulbright Scholarship, and continues the interaction between the two glass centers.

Bert Weiss Master Painting on Glass Class


Bert Weiss mixes his secret ingredient (7-Up) with his enamels. It is crisp and clean – and no caffeine.

Artist Bert Weiss’ three-day master glass painting technique class is underway this weekend. Bert’s special techniques includes mixing metallic oxide colorants with glass and create oil paint like-washes. The big class is working magic in the kiln!. – Some shots of the class in progress:

Bert outlines the mixing process.

The class firings are reviewed in the morning.

Fuller Craft Museum Welcomes New Director Jonathan Fairbanks


The Board of Directors of Fuller Craft Museum has announce that Jonathan Leo Fairbanks has been named Fuller Craft’s new Director. Founder and Curator Emeritus of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fairbanks has had a long-standing relationship with the Massachusetts-based contemporary craft museum. In fact, he was honored recently by Fuller Craft (along with Sam Maloof in 2009) with a Luminaries award for his lifelong dedication to the arts. Fairbanks now joins New England’s only museum dedicated to exhibitions that explore life through the art of contemporary craft.

Jonathan Fairbanks, Director

“We are so pleased to gain the leadership of such a distinguished museum veteran and artist,” said Chris Rifkin, Chairman of the Board. “This is an exciting time for Fuller Craft. Jonathan has a profound understanding of the connectedness of craft to the artist, and to all of us in our everyday lives. This makes him the right person to lead our talented staff and make our museum a focal point, a mirror to what’s happening in the studio craft world. His vision, experience, and national reputation as one of the country’s foremost experts in craft will be tremendously beneficial to our museum.”

Fairbanks, who has been working with museums for more than 50 years, is considered to be one of the nation’s top authorities in arts and antiques. As a Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the MFA, Boston from 1970 – 1999, he added significant contemporary craft collections to the museum, including works by 50 contemporary studio furniture makers, plus hundreds of ceramic, glass, and mixed media artists.

“The new studio crafts movement is the most exciting thing going on in American art today. People relate to craft, the authentic creations of the hand, brain, and heart,” said Fairbanks. “I have had the pleasure of knowing Fuller Craft since the early 1970s and believe that this nimble, soulful organization has a special opportunity to shine a spotlight on the important values of craft and shaping materials. Boston was the first large urban area in America with a great arts and crafts organization. Fuller Craft Museum built upon that tradition, and today is one of a handful of museums in the country dedicated entirely to showcasing fine contemporary craft. I am honored to be a part of the future of Fuller Craft Museum.

Internet, Images and You

>The internet is an interesting place – one the enables commissions to happen between artists, designers and clients from across the country – or even the entire world. As an example – a cast glass-and-steel work by Washington Glass Studio artist/director Michael Janis was seen by an Atlanta-based art consultant looking for artwork for a new hotel being designed by a Hollywood based interiors firm.

The original work “Liar Paradox” – Fred & Susan Sanders collection.
Photo credit:

Original schematic architectural lobby design by Cheryl Rowley Design.

In 2006, an Atlanta based art consultancy sourced Michael’s work from the internet and approached him to make a 6′-0″ version of the work to be the central work in the new Kimpton Hotel that was under construction in the Dupont Circle section of Washington, DC. The new hotel was to be designed and embellished to reflect the hotel’s theme of “Art In Motion” The finished three section cast glass-and-steel work titled “The Gravity Between Us” was built and installed in the lobby. The artwork was named Boutique Hotels Magazine’s “Best Artwork” in 2007.

“The Gravity Between Us” glass and steel sculpture by Michael Janis.

Detail of “The Gravity Between Us” by Michael Janis.
Washington, DC Palomar Hotel.

Viewing through the slabs of cast glass to the hotel lobby.

The internet was integral to the commission of the original work. After being made, the digital images of the large scale sculpture continue onwards – online.

A new GOOGLE image search function allows one to search online for specific or similar images. By dropping an image into the search box and it not only finds all “similar” images around the Internets, but also all the websites where that image is being used.

Using that function, it was discovered that many of the images of the Palomar Hotel glass artwork are referenced or are reproduced all over…the world! Below is an image of where the artwork was used as the cover of a Hong Kong book on international boutique hotels. This highlights the importance of having good digital images of any art made – they become the strongest selling card for other work.

Get On the Bus! Call for Bus Public Art




Call for Emerging and Established Artists and Designers to Create

Route 1 Mobile Public Artwork

Route 1 Ride Collaborative has announced a call for artists and designers to develop an original work of art. The winning design will be showcased as a bus wrap highlighting the many arts, cultural and entertainment amenities along the Route 1 Corridor, and increase ridership as a way to visit and explore Route 1.

The wrap design, which will be highlighted on TheBus: Route 17, should inspire Route 1 communities from Mt.Rainier to College Park and highlight the unique charms of living, working, and playing in Prince George’s County’s Route One Corridor communities.

In connection with Prince George’s County DPW&T, The Route 1 Ride Collaborative is seeking proposals for original, two-dimensional designs that will be wrapped on the Route 1 Ride buses. One design will be selected to be featured on three buses for a period of at least three years, beginning in the Spring of 2012.

The three selected finalist artist/s / designer/s will receive a $500.00 honorarium for their designs. The final selected artist/s / designer/s receive a $3,000.00 honorarium for their design. The project is generously sponsored by The Route 1 Ride Collaborative and its Municipal members in celebration of the role that the arts play in the Gateway Arts District and the revitalization of Prince George’s County.

Emerging and established artists and designers are encouraged to submit an application. The deadline for submission is Friday, March 2, 2012.


Stuart Eisenberg

Call for Artist Coordinator

(301) 683-8267

Alex Hirtle

Route 1 Ride Collaborative Coordinator


For additional information on the Route 1 Wrap Call for Artists or to download an application, please visit or

Groundhog Day!


the shadows that have been seen, cannot be unseen

Our Beginner’s Glass Class have produced some awesome work – like the cast glass artwork above, made by a student that came in from Punxsutawney, PA.

Using her mind’s eye memory of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog in blue is a timely and striking piece.

Phil – considered to be the world’s most famous prognosticating rodent – is supposed to emerge from his home on Gobbler’s Knob, near Punxsutawney, and if he sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring.

From the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day
Phil Connors (Bill Murry character): This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You’re hypocrites, all of you!

Here’s to the dream of spring!