Working in The Studio

While artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis getting their glass works ready for shipping to the huge Art fair “S.O.F.A. Chicago“, the other studio artists are busy working on new directions and projects.  

Nancy Donnelly carefully cleans the plaster mold from her cast glass figure.

Nancy Donnelly creates new cast glass figures using the lost wax process. She also is working in ceramics – we are hoping to see many new mixed media works soon!

Nancy’s desk always has fascinating elements in interesting compositions!

Also in the studio is Jennifer Lindstrom, as she toils away at her mixed media sculpture. Jennifer is working on her work as she submits for a core fellowship at Penland School of Crafts.

Jenny (aka Slam Grier in DC Roller Girls).
Jennifer grinds and polishes her cast glass house element.

The red cast glass swirls thru Jenny’s house like a fire. Her roof is on fire.

 We hope to publish some finished works of the artists once they are completed!

Erwin Timmers in Baltimore’s Case[werks] Gallery

Baltimore’s gallery and showroom Case[werks] opens its October Exhibit, Product Lines: Art & Function Delineated, featuring works by eleven artists and designers. The exhibition opens on October 16 and closes on December 21, 2013. The opening reception is free and open to the public at Case[werks] Gallery on Friday October 18 from 5:00-8:00P.M.

Ceramics, furniture, glass, prints, textiles, and design samples will be displayed in tableaus. Designers featured in the exhibit include William John Gardner, Majer Metalworks, Emmanuel Nicolaidis, Andrea Pippins, Sarah Templin/Radica Textiles and Whitney Sherman. Sculptural works by David Hess, Brian Kain, Lyle Kissak, John Wise, and Erwin Timmers will also be featured. Some of Erwin’s new glass sculptures made of recycled glass that have some great color effects will be unveiled.

Case[werks] Showroom & Gallery

1501 Saint Paul Street, Suite 116 B
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Product Lines: Art & Function Delineated
October 16- December 21, 2013.
Opening Reception October 18 from 5:00-8:00P.M

Bullseye Glass Co. Announces Call For Its 8th Biennial Exhibition for Emerging Artists

Emerge 2014, Bullseye Glass’ eighth international kiln-glass exhibition for emerging artists, is now accepting online applications. Students and intermediate-level artists and makers who are not represented by major galleries are encouraged to apply.

This biennial juried competition offers substantial prizes and representation in a full-color exhibition catalog. Artworks will be installed at Bullseye Gallery in Portland, where finalists will be recognized at a festive opening reception and awards ceremony. Selected award winners will be included in a national touring exhibition.

Jurors for Emerge 2014 are Kathleen Moles, Emily Nachison, and James Yood.


December 6, 2013
Submission deadline

January 16, 2014
Finalists notified individually via email

April 8, 2014
Exhibition opens at Bullseye Gallery

April 12, 2014
Opening night reception and awards event at Bullseye Gallery

Click HERE for more info. 

Public Art – Panel Discussion with National and DC Area Agencies Tonight

“Public Art Concepts: An Exhibit of Proposals” Opening and Panel Discussion @ Joe’s Movement Emporium

“Public Art Concepts” gives the public an opportunity to engage with the artist in a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create artwork for a public space. Given the growing interest in and number of street murals and 3-D public artworks, “Public Art Concepts” paves the way for a focused dialogue about what it means to create an arts district and how this change begins with the artist. The exhibit features scale models and proposals for public art works by regional and national artists who have applied for grants and commissions, some of which were awarded and others not. Opening night features a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena.

Opening: (Tonight)Friday September 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Closing November 22, 2013
Coordinated by Alonzo Davis | Curated by Nehemiah Dixon III

Opening night features a lively panel of participating artists and reps from funding agencies that have diverse experience in the public art arena. Panel Coordinated by Anne L’Ecuyer, Arts Management faculty at American University.


Joes Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt Rainier, MD 20712

Artist Featured:
Alan Binstock 
Joanna Blake 
Margaret Boozer
Howard Michael Connelly 
Alonzo Davis
Melissa Anne Glasser
Martha Jackson Jarvis
Luis Peralta
Ann Stoddard 
Valerie Theberge
Washington Glass Studio 
Michael Janis, Tim TateErwin Timmers 

RSVP via Facebook link HERE

"Common Discourse" at Pittsburgh’s Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery

The beginning of the fall exhibition season opens Saturday, September 28, 2013, 5:30-8:30pm at Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, 5833 Ellsworth Ave in Pittsburgh, PA.

Common Discourse features the work of Jen Blazina, Ron Desmett, Susan Longini, Carmen Lozar, Heather Joy Puskarich, Demetra Theofanous, Randy Walker and WGS co-director Michael Janis. 

“A non-themed show is always difficult to describe,” notes gallery owner and director Amy Morgan, “Yet, the common bond here is the intelligent and distinctive use of the glass medium – both decoratively and narratively – which defines this exhibition.” 

Common Discourse
September 28, 2013 – January 18, 2014
morgan contemporary glass gallery  

5833 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15232

Hours are Tues. – Fri. 11 – 5 and Sat. 12 – 5, or by appt.

Washington Post on Zenith Gallery:Fresh

Washington Post’s Sunday Arts section featured Tim Tate’s artwork on exhibit at Zenith Gallery.

This weekend, the Washington Post newspaper’s Arts Section had a great review of the Zenith Gallery anniversary show “Fresh” – which features our Professor Tim Tate. The review, written by Mark Jenkins, includes a mention of Tim’s recent show at American University Museum – so it’s a bit of a two-fer! 

Click HERE to jump to the Post’s review online .

Zenith Gallery : Fresh
Through Aug. 31 at Zenith Salon, 1429 Iris St. NW; 202-783-2963;

International Glass & Clay Exhibit Travels To UK Museum

International Glass & Clay exhibit in Washington, DC, March 2013

This year, Sister City art organizations enabled Washington, DC to host an exhibit of glass and clay artwork by US and UK artists during the month of March. The Washington Glass School – one of the partners in the exhibition – has had a history of working with artists from Washington, DC’s Sister City of Sunderland, England, which is President George Washington’s ancestral home.
The International Glass & Clay exhibit that was originally held here in DC in March of 2013 has moved on – and over the pond – landing in the UK, with the exhibition opening at the Sunderland Museum, in Sunderland, England. Currently, the main show at the museum is an exhibit of tapestries by noted English artist Grayson Perry, titled “In The Vanity of Small Differences“.
Exhibiting at two venues in the City of Sunderland, the exhibit again integrates and mixes works by artists from both cities from August 22nd September 29th 2013. DC artists exhibiting: Sean Hennessey, Jeff Herrity, Michael Janis, Tamara Laird, Laurel Lukaszewski, Tim Tate, Novie Trump. UK artists exhibiting: Stephen Beardsell, Criss Chaney, James Maskrey, Brian Thompson, Robyn Townsend, Margareth Troli, Roger Tye, Phil Vickery and Philippa Whiteside.

Novie Trump’s ceramic installation looks incredible.

If you find yourself in England’s beautiful North East, wandering along the River Wear – do pop into the Museum. Oh, and stop by the National Glass Center for a spot of Prince Rupert’s Drop

International Glass & Clay
August 22 – September 29, 2013 
Sunderland Museum and Creative Cohesion

Glass Artwork for Shady Grove Hospital

The Washington Glass Studio was commissioned to make cast glass artwork for the chapel at the Shady Grove Hospital. Working with the art consultant – Fitzgerald Fine Arts – the artwork involves integration of glass with a large stone boulder. The artwork anchors and defines the interior chapel of the new Aquilino Cancer Center, now under construction in Rockville, MD.

The stonework required a setting bed and the glass framework was mounted into the concrete. The 5′-0″ H glass panels will cantilever out of steel frame behind the stonework, creating a dimensional screen to the meditative room.  The artwork team comes to the Glass Studio for a final review of the dimensions, process and schedule.

(L-R) Don Sebastian, Erwin Timmers, Lillian Fitzgerald and Erica Kemper review the design documents of the 5′-0″H cast glass panels.
Erwin Timmers describes the cast glass process, and discusses color options.
The design calls for bas-relief leaves cascading around the stone element.

Erwin Timmers said of the artwork concept: “The flowing cast glass leaves create a calming vista and reinforce a sense of transformation. Aided by the almost meditative quality of translucent cast glass, the viewer might contemplate healing visions of nature.”

More will be posted as the glass panels start being set up in the kilns!

UK Artist Residency – Sunderland’s Philippa Whiteside @ Flux Studio

Philippa Whiteside “Hope & Despair”

This past spring, DC was host to Artomatic’s International Glass and Clay show. This groundbreaking exhibit featured works by artists from the Sister Cities of Washington, DC and Sunderland, England. One of the UK ceramics artists  – Philippa Whiteside – sought out an artist residency at Flux Studios, and she will be arriving in the USA soon!

Philippa Whiteside’s work at the International Glass & Clay 2013 show.

Philippa graduated from Sunderland University in 2010 with a BA Hons in Glass and Ceramics. She was awarded a 12 month scholarship with Creative Cohesion, supported by Sunderland City Council, and later was elected a Director of Creative Cohesion. Philippa’s studio is based at Creative Cohesion. Her work often references text and letters, and she also experiments with surface decoration and texture, playing with porcelain’s capabilities and natural beauty.

Philippa Whiteside “‘UnPick Me. Pull Me Apart”

In a related note – the International Glass & Clay show has travelled back to the UK, and will soon be on exhibit – more details to follow.

If you are in the Mount Rainier area – stop in Novie Trump’s Flux Studios during September and say “Hi” to Philippa – maybe shout her a drink (or two!)

It’s OK – she’s a Brit – she can handle it!

UK Artist Susan Ratliff Residency at Washington Glass School

UK Glass artist Susan Ratliff in Washington, DC

UK glass artist Susan Ratiliff has recently completed her Residency at the Washington Glass School, and we catch up with her for an interview about her experience.

Why an artist residency?

Studying Glass at Sunderland University while an amazing opportunity, is driven mainly by the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Work is created to titled assignments until the second semester, where self directed work begins. Even self directed work is overseen and influenced by tutors. By undertaking this residency, I feel it has allowed me to breathe and focus on what I wish to explore and gain confidence in myself as an emerging artist. That is not to say I wish to work in isolation and certainly within the community of artists that work out of the Glass School, artists do seek others perspectives on their work.

Why did you apply to Washington Glass School specially?

Almost eighteen months ago Michael Janis and Tim Tate, Directors at Washington Glass School were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and came to Sunderland University where they ran a series of Masterclasses and Seminars.

Michael Janis (left) teaching Masterclass in glass at University of Sunderland, 2012.

I was fortunate to attend all the Masterclasses and the Seminars. I found the workshops very informative and interesting and was excited by the new techniques shared. More specifically I was very impressed by Michael and Tim – the quality of teaching, preparation and expectations were outstanding. I do not use these words lightly, having been a school’s inspector in my previous career. Their passion and dedication were infectious and I wished I could emulate these traits as an artist. We have had various international artists visit University but these two stood out for me as exceptional. I also felt there was a cultural difference in the attitudes to glass art in America as compared to England. I wanted to learn more, and at all the levels and nuances. All of these factors contributed to me wanting to apply to Washington Glass School. 

Did the residency live up to the expectations you had?

Prior to coming to the US, I was filled with a combination of equal parts nerves and excitement. I wasn’t sure what to expect and didn’t want to let them and myself down.I knew I was prepared to be positive, and to do the best I could and work hard.

Studio artist John Henderson.

The residency has certainly exceeded what I had ever envisaged. I have been given so many opportunities and such valuable mentoring that I am shocked that in such a short time, I feel more confident in myself as an artist.

I have seen at first hand the diversity of work that exists in a working artist studio, and also the hours that are needed and a glimpse of the challenges to be faced.

How did you find the living and studio conditions DC? Did you feel at home?

One of the biggest challenges for me had being finding somewhere to live that was both affordable and safe. Washington, DC is the capitol of the United States and is an enormous and diverse city. I emailed Michael earlier, asking the specific location of the Glass School as I wanted to look at commuting and not trying to get across the city. From this point I can only say “God bless Google”! I asked how safe certain metro stations were for single white females and got great answers online. I went for a Guest House in Columbia Heightsand it has been fantastic, I feel I am living in a neighborhood, yes there is an energy and a vibrancy but it feels great! It is down the street from interesting shops and restaurants and a DC metro station. I would return to it and recommend it to others too.

Susan Ratliff talking with Sean Hennessey; getting studio supplies at Home Depot, enjoying the sweeping compound, and making kilncast glass artwork.

On my first day Michael was here to welcome me and began by giving me a tour of the studio. Within the first few minutes he had identified a working space that was designated for me alongside Audrey Wilson, Artist and the Glass School Studio Coordinator and also amongst the other studio artists. This really made me feel very welcome and I hadn’t expected it. Having worked at Sunderland it was lovely to see familiar equipment and the sweetie-like jars of Bullseye frit. One thing new to me was sweeping compound and I am the first to admit I think I got a little too excited by this! Audrey made me feel very welcome,she is very approachable and patient. When practicing skills as simple as glass cutting, she was so encouraging – she enables you to believe you can do it.

Susan Ratliff and Tim Tate discuss glass art.

Tim Tate – who had a very exacting schedule, was preparing to be out of state on an art tour with the Smithsonian’s James Renwick Alliance group, was very generous in giving his time when he was here. And Michael made a point of introducing me to all the artists in the School and encouraged me to inquire and discover more about their work.

I found the School very well equipped and well resourced. It has seven kilns of various sizes, cold shop and mold making areas, as well as some metal work facilities too. I think it is extremely well resourced.

What was your day like?

My days were varied but generally we began the day at 9:30 and worked through till after 5:00.

Audrey Wilson and Susan Ratliff make the 2013 International DC Short Film Festival Awards.

Some of the studio tasks included assisting Audrey in making the glass awards for the DC International Short Film Festival. Cutting glass, cleaning out kilns and talking to artists about their work. Making my own work. Going to Galleries, Museum exhibitions and lectures. Learning to blog and be a photographic model….I felt these last two weren’t my strengths.

Susan was able to take advantage of the different museums, and loved the National Gallery of Art.

On a studio-based day, I would generally start by asking Audrey if she had any tasks. If not, I would update my blog and then talk to one of the resident artists, including artists from some of the adjacent ceramic studios, about their work.

Susan works at the dry plaster casting technique to create some glass studies.

Audrey mixing plaster.

Following on from this and after a quick bite of lunch, I would work on a piece of my work to go into the kiln. While here I have been working on the Dry Plaster Technique for kilnforming glass, following on from the Fulbright Masterclass in Sunderland. On days when my work was out of the kiln in the morning, I would take it out and prepare the kiln in case anyone else needed it.

How did you make use of the facilities?

Our final year is a self directed module and so I to the opportunity to make a start on exploring an artwork idea that I had. I was assigned a kiln to use for work and carried out several test pieces exploring size, color and shape,all of my work was using dry plaster casting.

Susan’s workspace is covered with glass components made during her residency.

It was excellent to have the time to experiment, it felt quite liberating! I used 1/4 inch window glass and various colored frit and colored plate glass. I made the dams, sifted the plaster, cut the glass and used various found objects -some were more successful than others, but that is the nature of testing and the beauty of glass.

Susan notes that the USA has still not switched to metric, and must measure in imperial.

Do you get feedback on your work during studio visits?

I got excellent feedback throughout the process. Whilst setting up the kiln Michael would come over and ask questions such as Why are you doing……? What do you expect to happen if ……? The whole process made me think much more. When the work came out we would talk about the technical aspects what had worked well what not so well and happy accidents! I also felt I really benefited from discussions about my concept for my work. It is the first time I have felt mentored and found it invaluable and something I hope could continue.

Would you like to stay in DC after you’ve finished?

The ice cream truck arrives in time.

The first reaction is yes! I feel I have gained so much more from the whole experience. On a management course once a speaker described that often we live our lives holding a beach ball in front of us, and only seeing the world from that angle, and we should appreciate other people have a totally different view to us. I think coming here has given me a very different view. The way I have seen artists approach the work here in America is different to what I am used to, and sometimes feel that history and tradition really influences how people think – and I wanted to challenge myself by developing other methods and processes. 

Luckily, I had got a grant from the University that helped offset some of the costs in doing the residency. I am very lucky to have American friends that live in the neighboring state of Virginia, so knew they would support me and they did. Collecting me from the airport and having me on the weekends as well as providing me with food parcels – as though there were no food stores in the city of Washington! My friends and I were able to pop up to New York for a weekend escapade and took in a Broadway show before coming straight back to work at the studio.

Bright lights, Broadway, Big City  – Susan felt like she was in an alternate world.

I have loved it and would love to return……the question is, Would they have me back?!