2012 Year In Review

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Before we throw away the 2012 calender, we are looking thru the pages of the Washington Glass School dates and blog postings – noting that events from a few months ago seem like ages ago. The strange phenomena of time flying by is observed once again. Many of the years past events were months – or years- in planning and preparation, and seemed like they would never happen, now seem faraway, and the impact, both good and bad will be here for a while. Month by month – here is a quick review of Washington Glass School’s 2012:
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January 2012

“Facture” exhibit at Bullseye Gallery, Portland.

Michael Janis started the year out west, showing at Bullseye Gallery in Portland, OR.  The show Facture was centered on artists that use glass as a canvas with artists Michael Janis, Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt, Ted Sawyer, Abi Spring, and Jeff Wallin; moderated by Michael Endo. The show ran thru February, and later traveled to Bullseye’s RCBA Gallery
in Emeryville, CA. 
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February

Rob Kincheloe gets close to the critter.

Italian flameworker Simone Crestani was here teaching workshops at the new Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Workshop. While here in the area, Simone was working at Rob Kincheloe’s new torch studio out in Virginia.

After annealing, the bug was filled with plasma and charged.
The installed sculpture at Smith Farm

The “Science of Art Laboratory” (SOFALab) project was created to initiate the spark of communication that can bring out new understanding and develop new tools of interactions from both the sciences and arts. Developed as 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, a SOFAlab project was held with Dr. Caroline Wellberry and Erwin Timmers using glass diverted from the waste stream. 

The students were from Georgetown University and Residents from the Fort Lincoln Clinic. The resulting glass and steel sculpture was exhibited at Smith Center Gallery.

Michael & Christina Bothwell: TLF.

February is also the month of Love – with American Craft Magazine included Michael Janis in its survey on who was “Craft Crushing”. Michael was all about sculptor Christina Bothwell.

The Washington British Embassy hosted the signing of the US/UK Friendship Agreement. L-R Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council Dr David Smith and Washington, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray

The cities of Washington, DC and Sunderland, England renewed their Friendship Agreement in February, and the formal connection between the two cities were strengthened. The unique connection has allowed for international exchanges that played out in the year and beyond.
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March

Professors Tate and Janis at UK’s Washington Old Hall, ancestral home of US President George Washington.
Sunderland Uni has a world class glass facility.

Fulbright Scholars Michael Janis and Tim Tate were off to England’s North East, teaching at the University of Sunderland.  Joined by Michael’s wife, Kay Janis, acting as chaperone for the lads, the boys were teaching at the National Glass Centre in the expansive glass facilities at the University.

DC’s Fulbright duo teach at Creative Cohesion.

Creative Cohesion, a Sunderland, England artist collaborative was initiated by artists that had participated in one of DC’s Artomatic events. Inspired by and modeling themselves on the Washington Glass School model, the City of Sunderland helped create a non-profit organization which specializes in arts based activities, and provides space, facilities and services to local creative practitioners and the local community. Creative Cohesion’s facilities include a glass hot-shop, which was set to open, and Michael and Tim were invited to teach at the inaugural glass workshops. The gallery component of Creative Cohesion was one of the exhibitors at London’s Affordable Art Fair in March. Michael and Tim were invited to show their artwork at the huge international art fair, and the lads were off to the big city. 

The artists celebrate at London’s Affordable Art Fair.
Jeffrey Sarmiento, Kevin Petrie and Michael Janis

Back to the University of Sunderland, for a big wrap up of more workshops. Professor and glass artist Jeffrey Sarmiento – showed Michael how the University’s waterjet machine worked with glass panels, creating a class demo piece. 

Hugs to all as the Fulbrighters returned home to Washington, DC, determined to reinforce the connections made. Right after the boys left Sunderland, Creative Cohesion’s artist facility was damaged as the adjacent building partially collapsed during a strong windstorm, closing the artist center until later in the year.

Click HERE to jump to video link

Upon Tim’s return to DC, he appeared as one of the speakers in a TED Talk about “The Creative City”.
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April

“Jazz Man” tops the refurbished Howard Theater.

Sean Hennessey was in the news as Washington’s historic Howard Theater re-opened to fanfare. Working with Brower Hatcher and Mid-Ocean Studios, Sean created the concrete and glass trumpet form for the team. 
At the opening, Sean was interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR).
Erwin Timmers was one of the 121 featured artists at the 30th Annual Smithsonian Craft Fair

Erwin Timmers and Mick Coughlin set up at the National Building Museum.

His cast recycled glass sculptures were a strong point of the show at the National Building Museum.

Space Shuttle Discovery does a low flyover the Washington Glass School in April.

NASA’s Space Shuttle program was retired, and the shuttle “Discovery” flew over the glass school as it headed out across the country. We ate “astronaut freeze dried ice cream” in its honor.

Tim Tate’s glass and video sculptures received the “Critics Award” at Habatat Galleries 40th Annual International exhibit in Michigan.

Habatat Galleries held its 40th Annual International invitational, and exhibited Tim Tate’s video reliquaries. Tim’s work won the Critic’s Award at the show.
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May

May started off running with Glass Art Magazine having an article about Erwin Timmers eco-glass and a cover story about Michael Janis’ frit powder drawings – creating a publishing two-fer! The magazine also late ran a special online feature about Tim Tate & Michael Janis’ Fulbright adventures.
Some great photos by Pete Duvall of Anything Photographic filled the 10 pages of articles about Erwin and Michael.

The design concept for the LOC Adams building doors.
Rubber mold from one of the LOC sculptures.

The Washington Glass Studio began working on the Library of Congress Adams Building doors in May, working to recreate the historic sculpted bronze doors in cast glass. The project  integrates a number of artists from the Washington Glass School and connects craft artisans from FireArt Glass in Portland, OR. Sean Hennessey started the process by creating a test panel taken from the original doors. There would be a full size sample made of the cast /laminated artwork panel, submitted to the US Architect of the Capitol for approval.


Dave D’Orio’s artwork awarded by the JRA.

Artomatic 2012 – the month long, non-juried, anything-goes exhibit opened in May. This year, the setting was a soon-to-be-demolished office building in Crystal City. The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is an independent national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft, to supporting activities directed toward this purpose, and to encouraging connoisseurship and collecting. At this Artomatic, the JRA sponsored activities and programs, and had reviewed the 10 floors of artwork, selecting winners in different media.

Sean Hennessey’s artwork awarded by the JRA

Dave D’Orio, Sean Hennessey and Michael Janis were each selected for their works in glass. The JRA also sponsored receptions and artist talks during the event. (FYI- The not-for-profit organization Artomatic.org has been instrumental in organizing international exhibits that brought together Sunderland artists and the Washington Glass School, and some new plans are being developed for the coming year.)
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June
2012 was anniversary year marking the start of the American Studio Glass Movement in 1962. A number of shows were held this summer to give some insight into how the art form has changed during the past 50 years. In the arty city of Asheville, NC, Bender Gallery showcased Erwin Timmers, and Asheville’s Blue Spiral 1 hosted a show about the next generation of glass artists (including Christina Bothwell, Thor & Jennifer Bueno, Susan Taylor Glasgow, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Marc Petrovic, Tim Tate and others). 

Marc Petrovic demo’s at GAS
Laura Donefer works the runway.

The Glass Arts Society (GAS) held its annual conference in the nominal birthplace of the studio glass movement – Toledo, OH.  Said Tim Tate of the Toledo GAS – “
[Outgoing GAS President] Jeremy Lepisto’s gang did a spectacular job! and Laura Donefer’s fashion show blew me away!”
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July

Sean Hennessey gets serious at the LOC.
The panel molds are cleaned in the studio.

 The month of July was a scorcher! Work continued on the US Library of Congress bronze doors in the sun with temps in the mid ’90′s F (mid 30′s C!). The “rockets red glare” refers to how hot it feels. Sean and crew worked in the brutal heat taking rubber molds from the Lee Lawrie bronze sculpted doors. 

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum opened its spectacular “Craft Futures – 40 Under 40” exhibit. 40 under 40:Craft Futures features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at the Renwick.

Matt Szosz at the opening of 40 Under 40.

The show, curated by Nicholas Bell, showed how the youngsters in craft are remaking the world of craft. 
This show generated many discussions on how craft is no longer a part of the “apprentice to a master” world, and is one where the young students wish not to be tied to any one craft media.

Audrey Wilson models the latest in cold shop fashion.

Speaking of kids today, in July, Audrey Wilson joined the Washington Glass School as the new studio coordinator. Audrey had met Tim Tate when he was teaching a workshop at the Chrylser Museum of Glass in June, and applied for the position.

Elegance comes to the Glass School.


Audrey soon was teaching classes at the Glass School, and her accessible and welcoming teaching style won over many of the artists at the studio.
 
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August
In August, the Brentwood Arts Exchange (part of Maryland’s Prince George’s Parks and Recreation) held part of its summer Creative Expressions Camp encouraging the kids to explore a variety of artistic media as well as contemporary reading and writing activities around such themes as animals, nature, and adventure. 

The studio was overrun with kids, all eager to try working in glass. Some showed an intuitive knack for the craft – Who knows where these young artists will take the medium and artworld as they grow up!

Ceramic artist Novie Trump worked in the studio, working to incorporate glass into a commissioned artwork piece. Novie wanted to make an illuminated hive for an installation of ceramic bees. Novie made a number of fused glass alternates and presented to the client – a trendy restaurant in Georgetown.
Ultimately, however, the architect selected a ceramic version for the installation. We will get her to glass somehow, we will not surrender. 

An impressive steed. And a handsome horse too. Michael Janis as a Beltway Cowboy.

The London Olympics were celebrated here as the Washington Glass School hosted the equestrians dressage events along Otis Street. In Mt Rainier, MD.  Ok, the 2012 Summer Olympics did not take place at the Washington Glass School, but the 2012 National Night Out (NNO) did. The NNO is a campaign that involves citizens, police, neighborhoods and local officials to increase crime and drug prevention and to strengthen police-community partnerships.

Then & Today
Left inset: Engraving (ca. 1860) of battlefield site where Joshua Barney fell by Benson Lossing in “Field Book of the War of 1812
  ; Right: Washington Glass School on the same site. Over the past 200 years, the topography has been modified and changed tremendously – the creek now flows under the concrete pathway opposite the Glass School.

Connections to American history was exposed in the August post about how the Glass School’s Mount Rainier building site was part of a key battle in the War of 1812 – in the Battle of Bladensburg. With the US loss at this battle, British forces swept into Capitol Hill and burned the White House, the Capitol and the Treasury. 

Penland School of Craft Auction Tent, 2012

Michael Sherrill’s incredible studio

An ardent support of the Penland School of Craft, Tim Tate took a group of collectors from the James Renwick Alliance to the annual Penland Auction and as part of the “Tim Tate Tour“.
The group visited the artist studios of Hoss Haley, Michael Sherrill, Dan Essig, Christina Cordova & Pablo De Soto and Stoney Lamar.

Glass artist Beth Lipman with Susan and Fred Sanders at Penland.

The excursion also included an art tour of Asheville, NC with a visit to the Glass Secessionism show at Blue Spiral Gallery.
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September

Carol Trawick, David D’Orio & Catherine Leggett. Photo: Bethesda Urban Partnership

September opened big for artist Dave D’Orio, as he was one of this year’s winner of the Trawick Prize.- a visual art prize produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The annual juried competition awards prize money to selected artists and features the work of the finalists in a group exhibition. Dave is the executive director of DC GlassWorks, a glass blowing facility (and sister school to the Washington Glass School) in Hyattsville, MD. At the 2012 Artomatic, the James Renwick Alliance gave Dave’s installation sculpture its ‘Award of Recognition’.

Toots Zynsky, William Warmus, Matthew Szösz at Smithsonian Renwick lecture.
William Warmus takes photos of Erwin Timmers’ artwork.

The 40 Under 40 exhibit at the Renwick Gallery continued its run, with author, independent curator and glass expert William Warmus moderating a conversation about the past, present, and future of studio glass between veteran glass artist Toots Zynsky and artist Matthew Szösz. After the talk, William visited the Glass School – of which he said: “It’s better than I thought it’d be…it’s not as bad as it could’ve been“. Hmmm.

The month of September is usually the start of the exhibition season – and this one did not disappoint.  

Detail from Sean Hennessey’s “Finding The Right Key

Sean Hennessey opened his solo show at the District’s 410Goodbuddy Gallery.  

Based on Alice In Wonderland, Sean’s work in the show: Reimagining Alice incorporates cast glass that was painted with concrete and integrates videos, LEDs, EL panels and other media that pulls traditional glass into new realms.
Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic also had openings in September – at Arizona’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Under the title “Glass Secessionism”, the show opened to record crowds.

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October

Nancy Donnelly‘s solo show at Foundry Gallery included her “Glass Bouquets” that art critic Lenny Campello described as an update to the Washington Color School saying “… [Nancy's] new work takes the color stripes from the canvas of the 1960s giants of DMV painting and re-invents it in a  fresh new approach to a 21st century dialogue in glass and concrete”.


Tim Tate teaching at Penland School of Craft

Tim Tate returned to North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft in October, this time teaching with Sean Hennessey and Robert Kincheloe.

Sean Hennessey explains the dry plaster casting process.

The class was 21st Century Reliquaries, and the students incorporated techniques that included Rubber Mold Making, Wax Casting, Plaster/Silica Mold Making, Lost wax, Dry Plaster Casting, Painting Glass, Cutting Glass, Glass etching and Flameworking.
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November
November started with the big show in ChicagoSOFA

SOFA Opening Night at Chicago’s Navy Pier
Allegra Marquart’s panels on exhibit at Maurine Littleton.

Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart were shown at Maurine Littleton Gallery and Tim Tate was shown thru Habatat Galleries. As the focus on both craft and art  at SOFA is so high, this show is where the artists have stretched a bit to show they have game.  

Michael Janis’ works were huge!

Michael’s new colorful works involved optical distortion and the resolution of the imagery.

Tim Tate’s works at Habatat Galleries space.

Tim’s new works were a larger scale – and he was thinking outside the dome. 

Upon return to Washington, DC – the setup of shows continued, as artists from the Washington Glass School were featured in the special exhibit on the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass at the Washington Craft Show. 

Visitors gather around Joan Falconer Byrd, author of the new book “Harvey K Littleton: A Life in Glass“. Ms Byrd was one of the show’s speakers at the event. She was one of the first students in the Toledo workshops and was Professor of Art at Western Carolina University.

Maurine Littleton Gallery’s show-within-a-show was the centerpiece to the Washington Convention Center. 

Historical works by some of the Studio Glass Pioneers were featured.

Works by Tim Tate, Allegra Marquart, Sean Hennessey, Erwin Timmers, Alison Sigethy and Michael Janis were shown as where the next generation of glass artists are heading.

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December

Art Miami’s Aqua show brought throngs.

Miami became the focus of the art world with the Art Basel/Art Miami juggernaut as the world seems to head south for the huge art extravaganza. Washington Glass School artists were well represented, with Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Sean Hennessey and Audrey Wilson’s works at a number of international galleries. 

Audrey Wilson showing at Alida Anderson Art Projects space at Aqua

Audrey did very well, selling a major work to a NYC collector and a museum has asked about having her work for an upcoming art exhibit – awesome!

Everyone at the Washington Glass School sends a big THANK-YOU to all for the love & support this past year… 
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So – should one survive the Zombie Mayan Long Count Armageddon -

Whats coming up in 2013?
We can divulge some news scoops for the coming year - 
Michael Janis will be the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) calender boy for the month of January, as the “Artist of the Month”. January… starts the year off right…

Artomatic is planning to host a variation of the Glass 3 (the international exhibition US & UK artists) however, this year, it will be an international Glass + Ceramics showcase at downtown DC’s Edison Gallery – the month of March is being blocked out for the opening, gallery talks, workshops, and events.  

Glassweekend will take place at New Jersey’s WheatonArts this coming June 7,8,9, 2013. The international symposium of contemporary glass will have demos by Beth Lipman, Davide Salvadore, Hiroshi Yamano; the keynote speaker will be Judith Schaecter.  

Best Wishes to all for the Coming New Year!


Washington Glass School New Class Schedule

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In time for a leisurely read during the holiday break – the January – April 2013 Washington Glass School class schedule! 
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scroll down to bottom to pay deposit online via PayPal.

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Class 1350 – Beginner’s Glass Lover’s Weekend

Our most popular class, this is the fastest way to learn all aspects of warm glass in the shortest amount of time! Under the supervision of a professional glass artist you will learn the fundamentals of fusing, slumping and dimensional kiln casting. Everything from bowls and plates to sculptural objects… this is the perfect way for a beginner to learn the basics of glass… and you will leave with several very cool items! Offered 2 times in the session.

Instructors      Audrey Wilson
Dates             Session A - Sat/Sun Feb 16 & 17
                      Session B – Sat/Sun Apr. 6 & 7
          
Time              1pm to 5pm each day          
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Class 1351 – Bas Relief In Glass  (Deep Relief Dry Plaster Casting)

Tired of working flat? Want an easy way to get some real depth into your glass? Here’s a fun class where you will learn one of the easiest methods of kilncasting sheet glass to achieve bas-relief sculpture. This incredibly versatile method has endless fine art and architectural applications. In this two day class, we will discuss different types of glass and their firing schedules. Working with color and how it can affect dimensional casting will also be explored. Bring items you may want to cast with this method or choose from our image library. All materials and firings included.


Instructor:      Michael Janis 

Dates :           Sat afternoons  Feb 2, 9  

Time :             2pm to 5pm   

Tuition :          $350 per student (all materials included) 

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Class 1352 - 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!  


Instructor :   Erwin Timmers
Dates :         Session A : Wed. eves in January (9, 16, 23)

                     Session B : Wed. eves in April (10, 17, 24) 

Time :           7pm to 9:30 pm
Tuition :        $350 per student   

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Class 1353 - Architectural and Industrial Lighting Design 

The transmission of light is one of the most compelling features of glass. Using recycled found metal objects and architectural elements, this class will highlight several glass techniques including kiln casting and fusing/slumping sheet glass. You will also learn the basics of safe wiring and electricity. Some glass experience is helpful, but not necessary. Electrical experience is not required. This will be a fun class with lots of hands on projects. As part of this class, we will discuss LED's, light panels, fluorescent and incandescent sources.  

  

Instructor:    Erwin Timmers / Tim Tate  

Dates:         Sunday afternoons in March (3, 10, 17)

 with open studios on Wed. eves in March (3, 13, 20)

Time:           Class : Sundays - 1pm to 4pm

                    Open Studios : Wed. 7pm to 9:30pm 

Tuition:        $450

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Class 1354 - More Welding! 

Now that you've tried your hand at MIG welding, the hot glue gun of the metal shop, why not expand your horizons? We will offer a truck load of new techniques. You can compare welding stainless steel vs. aluminum, and pit the plasma cutter vs. oxy-acetylene. You will also improve your MIG skills, and spend more time on grinding, polishing, finishing and patinas. Bring ideas for a small project and you'll walk home with it.   Remember--this is a real, live, active, working shop. You will get dirty. Wear closed toed shoes and long pants.    

Pre-requisite: At least one MIG welding class or equivalent.

Instructor       Erwin Timmers

Dates             Wed. evenings in Feb (6, 13, 20)

Time              7pm - 9:30pm

Tuition            $350 (all materials provided)


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Class 1355 - Pate De Verre with Audrey Wilson 

This is a rare opportunity to learn Audrey's own unique style of pate de verre, which is described as alive with energy and effervescent shapes that evoke emotion - just like Audrey herself!
Pate de verre is an ancient and widely varied art form using glass powders and frits melted, fused, and cast at different and specific temperatures to achieve a variety of results in glass. Although her own style is to work intuitively, Audrey will provide a solid base of technical information and a straightforward approach that can easily be accomplished in the studio.  Students will learn how to create two open faced bowl forms.


Instructor :     Audrey Wilson 

Dates :          Thursdays in March (14, 21, & 28)

Time :            7pm - 9:30 pm    

Tuition :         $350    

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Deposit for class

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Historic Gallery of Glass @ Washington Craft Show 2012

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Maurine Littleton Gallery Exhibit at Washington Convention Center.

The Washington Craft Show was just held this past weekend. The juried event brings nearly 200 Contemporary Craft Artists (glass; furniture; ceramics; silver, bronze, and copper; mixed media; decorative and wearable textiles; jewelry; paper; and wood) to the Washington Convention Center, with an emphasis on quality and originality. 

The Washington Craft Show 2012 included a special 50th Anniversary glass exhibit.

This year, Washington, DC’s celebrated glass gallery – the Maurine Littleton Gallery held a special exhibit that was dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement. 

Dale Chihuly glass artwork next to a Thermon Statom ladder.

As a show-within-the-show, the center of the Convention center featured seminal works by the man considered to be the father of the studio glass movement,  Harvey Littleton. The show included works from the famed 1962 Toledo Workshop, where artists were invited to look at glass as a viable sculpture medium. 

Michael Janis examines one of the 1962 Harvey Littleton original blown glass pieces from the Toledo Museum workshop – shown in period photo (inset). 

Some pix from the show: 

William Morris glass artwork foreground.
Visitors gather around Joan Falconer Byrd, author of the new book “Harvey K Littleton: A Life in Glass“. Ms Byrd was one of the show’s speakers at the event. She was one of the first students in the Toledo workshops and was Professor of Art at Western Carolina University.
Contemporary works by the artists of the Washington Glass School were included in the Maurine Littleton exhibit. L-R in above photo, works by Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers & Allegra Marquart.

Alison Sigethy’s glass sculpture.

The show also had some favorite DC craft based media artists exhibiting, like Ani Kasten showing her great ceramics, or Alison Sigethy’s recycled glass sculptures. 

Ani Kasten’s ceramic works.

Click HERE to jump to a photo gallery of artwork seen at the 2012 Washington Craft Show. 

The Process: Setting Up A Show

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Set-up and takedown of a big art fair is a daunting task – and not all glitterati, paparazzi and Illuminati. Although visitors to the large shows only experience the special exhibitions and lectures, a lot goes on before and after the show. SOFA CHICAGOreturned to Chicago’s Navy Pier in early November, 2012, and the WGS artists participating in the exhibit (Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart) uploaded photos of the process. Much of the process shown below is centered around the Maurine Littleton Gallery space.

Driving the work for Washington’ DC’s Maurine Littleton Gallery to Chicagois artist Drew Graham. Besides being a mixed media artist, Drew works for the gallery, and is one of its featured artists.

 Navy Pier – jutting out into Lake Michigan has the central exhibition space ready for the exhibitors to set-up. The gallery team arrives early in the morning to begin the set-up.

Drew Graham pulls up the truck inside the event hall, and prepares to start unloading.

Glass artists John Littleton and Kate Vogel are already in the hall and begin to transport the artwork down to the booth space.

Gallery owner Maurine Littleton reviews the booth space and the layout of the walls and electrical. The design of the space and the location of each work was planned weeks previous to arrival in Chicago, with lighting and electrical planned in advance. Some artwork was already delivered to the space. It turned out that some of the walls needed to be re-positioned, and artwork installation worked around those areas. Items such as pedestals, tools, chairs, special lighting, storage shelving, printer, artwork brochures/info, signage, etc and all the necessary components had been packed onto the truck and now must be unpacked and sorted.

John Littleton at work uncrating artwork and preparing the display of many of the works in the booth.

Other galleries are installing artwork – here, Heller Gallery installs Norman Mooney’s cast glass stars. 

Each glass artwork piece is unboxed and carefully installed.

The set-up time is a great time to catch up with other artist friends – Laura Donefer and Tim Tate share a hug.

The Littleton Gallery space is shaping up, pedestals are placed for the Harvey Littleton sculptures.

 The main aisle is busy with galleries preparing their booths.

SOFA Chicago is an international show, here Craft Scotland sets up their display.

The lighting is adjusted on the works, and the packing cleared. Kate Vogel checks for items that need adjustment before the fair opens. Time to shower and change into opening night attire.

Navy Pier just before the opening night gala, the quiet before the storm.

The Opening Night Premier begins with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Lino Tagliapietra is one of the glass greats that cut the opening ceremony ribbon.

The opening night is one to see and be seen. Very posh.

With the opening night premier over, the art expo is open to the public, who fill the hall.

The lectures and demos begin. Corning Museum has a mobile hot-shop that has a number of artists showing.

The art expo offers a great mix of art in all forms of media. For a Flickr gallery of SOFA glass works – click HERE.  For a link to local PBS television video segment on the art at the show – click HERE 

Christina Bothwell mixed media work at Habatat Galleries.

Miriam Di Fiore’s beautiful landscape sculpture.

John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s incredibly detailed cast sculptures.


The SOFA Art Fair ended on the Sunday night at 6:00 pm. With the announcement on the p.a. system that SOFA 2012 has ended, the lights go up and the public leaves the space. The reverse process of de-installation begins. Out come the boxes and crates.


Drew Graham takes a break from packing.

Martin Janecky’s blown glass sculptures in repose.

The unglamourous side of an art expo takes place when one has the least amount of energy. Coffee and energy drinks are needed.

The art expo provides the final meal for the show – Connie’s pizza.


With the show back in the truck and on its way back to Washington, DC, planning for the opening of the Washington Craft Show moves up the list of tasks to be completed. And after, shows at Art Miami/Art Basel. 

Special Glass Exhibit at 25th Washington Craft Show

>A highlight every fall, the 25th Annual Washington Craft Show comes to Washington, D.C.‘s Convention Center November 16-18.

Washington DC Convention Center

This premier showcase of contemporary craft in Americais nationally recognized for presenting masterful work, designed and made in artists’ studios across America. If you’re an avid collector, or you simply appreciate quality and beauty, this is your chance to view and purchase the latest works by nearly 200 of the nation’s top contemporary craft artists. Come meet the people who create the art and hear their stories of inspiration. All weekend there will be additional happenings to enjoy; special exhibitions, artist’s talks and fashion shows. Included with admission to the show:


SPECIAL GLASS EXHIBIT

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of studio art glass, the Washington Craft Show has provided the Maurine Littleton Gallery with an 800 square-foot space to illustrate the history of glass. The exhibit will feature work from Harvey K. Littleton, the founder of the American glass movement, and next generation artists Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Joel Myers, Ginny Ruffner, Therman Statom, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Sean Hennessey and more. Maurine Littleton is the daughter of Harvey K. Littleton.

“A Life In Glass”

MEET THE AUTHOR

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 5PM- 8PM & SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 NOON-3PM

Book signings by art professor and author Joan Falconer Byrd: Harvey K. Littleton: A Life in Glass (Rizzoli, 2012). A member of Harvey Littleton’s first glassblowing class at the University of Wisconsin in 1962, Byrd is the author of numerous essays and articles on glass and ceramics.

On Saturday, Professor Byrd will sign copies of her book following a joint lecture with Maurine Littleton (start time 11a.m.). Book signings both days will take place in the Maurine Littleton Special Exhibit space.

DAILY SCREENINGS OF “A NOT SO STILL LIFE” THE GINNY RUFFNER STORY

Recipient of Golden Space Needle as the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary, Seattle International Film Festival. Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner is best known for a pair of remarkable accomplishments: her well-regarded body of “lampworking” glass art and her miraculous, self-willed recovery from a near-fatal car crash that rendered her unable to walk or talk. These stories and dozens of others are illuminated from the inside in Karen Stanton’s moving and inspiring documentary.

FRIDAY, NOV. 16 – 5PM • SATURDAY, NOV.17 – 5PM • SUNDAY, NOV. 18 – 10 AM

“There’s more to Ruffner’s story than art, glorious as it is: “A Not So Still Life” is also an inspiring tale of rehabilitation and recovery.” ~ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times. Run time 84 minutes.

WEEKEND LECTURE SERIES

Our Weekend Lecture Series provides unique opportunities for show visitors to hear from leaders in the field of Fine Craft. The lectures are educational, informative and interactive. This year’s lineup includes a gallery owner, author, museum curator, and an artist.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 11 AM

“Contemporary Textile Art – Past, Present, and Future”

Rebecca A.T. Stevens, Consulting Curator, Contemporary Textiles, The Textile Museum

Katy Clune, Communications Manager, The Textile Museum

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 11 AM

“The Life and Work of Harvey K. Littleton”

Maureen Littleton and Joan Falconer Byrd: Moderator: Elizabeth Blair, senior producer NPR (Morning Edition, All Things Considered)

Sean Hennessey “That Worlds Unseen Surround the World We Know

IF YOU GO

Friday, November 16 • 10am-8pm

Saturday, November 17 • 10am-6pm

Sunday, November 18 • 11am-5pm (note: Screening of “A Not So Still Life” will begin at 10am in a room adjacent to the show floor. See box office attendant.)

Tickets $15 / seniors $14 / under 12 free with paid adult

Group discounts for 10 or more: $10 ea.

Friday after 6pm: $6


Washington Convention Center

801 Mt. Vernon Place NW

Washington, DC 20001

Area Artists Exhibit at SOFA Chicago 2012

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Gateway artists and their work will be amongst crowds at the international  art show SOFA CHICAGO, the annual arts expo devoted to Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA). Celebrating its 19th year, SOFA CHICAGO is one of the world's foremost contemporary art fairs, featuring nearly 70 art galleries and dealers from 10 countries along with special exhibits by renowned museums, universities and arts organizations, and an extensive lecture series.

Gateway Arts Featured at the SOFA include:

"Unhemmed" Ani Kasten, ceramic, reclaimed wood,  plaster, photo by anythingphoto.net

Ceramic artist Ani Kasten will have her work at Massachusetts’ Lacoste Gallery space (#508). Ani’s ceramic and mixed media work takes their influence from nature as well as the nature of change. 

"Skyline", Ani Kasten, ceramic, reclaimed wood, plaster, photo by anythingphoto.net

Infused with a modern, minimal aesthetic, her - amazingly structured and unstructured at the same time - work references the built world as well as reminding one of a natural or ancient object exposed to the rigors of time.

Glass Artists Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis are both featured at Georgetown’s Maurine Littleton Gallery space (#408).

"Gecko Gets Told" Allegra Marquart, sandcarved fused glass and enamel, photo by anythingphoto.net

Allegra Marquarts’ colorful artwork delights in storytelling and mines fables and fairy tale for both content and imagery. Allegra sandcarves the panels of glass she fuses at the Washington Glass School, working on both sides of the glass slabs, playing with the translucent quality of the medium.

3 separate works - "Flying in Place", "Lessons Learned and Unlearned", "The Optimism of Language", Michael Janis, fused glass imagery, silver and steel, photo by anythingphoto.net

Michael Janis’ glass sculpture works are also at Maurine Littleton Gallery space His new works show how perceptions are based on perspective, where the mirrored glass cylinders refigure the distorted glass frit images into new shapes. 

"Flying in Place" Michael Janis, photo by anythingphoto.net

Both Allegra and Michael work from the Washington Glass School, located in Mount Rainier, MD. 

"21st Century Dadaism", Tim Tate, cast glass, video, electronics, photo by anythingphoto.net
detail "21st Century Dadaism", Tim Tate

Another Washington Glass School artist – Tim Tate – is featured at Michigan’s Habatat Galleries space (#1100). Tim’s incredible mixed media works exploit the beauty of glass and invests it with a narrative that takes the work to a new level. One work – “21st Century Dadaism” incorporates video projection onto cast glass components, with the effect of producing a disembodied human face, created from the disjointed. If Dadaism had occurred today, it might have resembled this. 

"Vegetable Peddler And Her Son", Tim Tate, cast and blown glass, photo by anythingphoto.net

His other sculpture works, from a series he calls his “Cabinet of Curiosities”, incorporate cast glass elements made from the “lost wax” process are a delight in creating surreal worlds. This is a breakout year for Tim, whose work is currently on exhibit at Mesa, Arizona’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.

Tim Tate in front of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ.

SOFA Chicago 2012 - Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4; Preview Thursday, Nov 1.

For more info - visit the SOFA Chicago website

SOFA Chicago at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL

Congrats on Creative Cohesion Relaunch

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Artists Phil Vickery and Roger Tye work in Creative Cohesion’s hotshop.

Last spring, Washington Glass School Co-Directors Michael Janis and Tim Tate were in the UK on their Fulbright assignment to the University of Sunderland and the National Glass Centre. The guys also held workshops at the City of Sunderland’s professional artist center “Creative Cohesion”.

Fulbright Scholar Michael Janis introduces the Bullseye Roll-up technique to artists at Creative Cohesion.
UK artists gather for a talk with Fulbright Scholar Tim Tate at the Cohesion Center in March.

 Creative Cohesion is a center for creativity in Sunniside, Sunderland, providing not only studios for artists, but provision for community, arts and business activities, as well as a retail outlet for art. Creative Cohesion runs monthly workshops for professional creative practitioners and is home to graduates from the University of Sunderland who are recipients of the ‘Sunniside Graduate Scheme’.

The Creative Cohesion building was damaged by high winds that caused the adjacent building to collapse onto the center’s roof  in April . 

Last Spring, high winds caused their neighboring building to collapse onto the center’s roof, resulting in a lot of damage. After months of disruption for the non-profit center and its tenants as the repair work was implemented, they are happy to be finally back in full working order, and are holding a Relaunch of the Center on Oct 18!

Artist Frank Styles was commissioned to create the visual graphics on the center’s exterior shutters.

Their celebrations continue in welcoming new tenants, a new logo for the center, the launch of their new website and completion of the center’s shutter artwork by graffiti artist Frank Styles.

There will be happy faces all round on the opening launch day with the building’s face lift, the opening of a new exhibition titled ‘Reconnection’ and entertainment with local glass blowers having a play day in the glass hotshop.

Congratulations to Creative Cohesion on making Sunderland a hotbed of creativity again!

Click HERE to jump Creative Cohesion’s website.

Review < > Renew Exhibit Celebrates VisArts’ 25th Anniversary

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VisArts  - Rockville’s non-profit arts center is hosting a 25th anniversary celebration to recognize the many artists, teachers, partners and collaborators who have been integral to their success. As part of this celebration, VisArts presents Review < > Renew, co-curated by Judy  Greenberg and Jack Rasmussen. This group exhibition brings together renowned artists who brought critical regional success to the fledgling organization, Rockville Arts Place (RAP). The artists selected for the exhibition all exhibited at RAP while Greenberg was President of the Board and Rasmussen was Executive Director. The works will be shown in two galleries, the Kaplan and the Common Ground Galleries. 

In the Kaplan Gallery, works by Lisa Brotman, Manon Cleary, Sam Gilliam, Tom Green, Margarida Kendall, and Joe Shannon will be on display. Early paintings and more recent works by the artists will be exhibited alongside Paul Feinberg’s photographs of the artists 25 years ago and now. The paintings and photographs are accompanied by interviews with the artists conducted by Feinberg. An earlier version of this exhibition, inspired by the early RAP/VisArts shows, was recently exhibited at the American University Museum, Washington, DC. 

The Common Ground Gallery will feature outstanding artists important to the history of VisArts working in glass and clay, including Margaret Boozer, Robert Devers, Tim Tate, and Mindy Weisel. 

October 28 – December 29, 2012 

25th Anniversary Celebration (tickets required)

Saturday, October 27 from 7:30 – 10:30 pm

(VIP Reception at 5:30 with Curators’ Tour)

(Free) Opening Reception Friday, November 9th from 7-9 pm

VisArts At Rockville / Kaplan & Common Ground Galleries

155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD  20850

Dragging From He to She -or- "How did Michael become Micaela?"

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The wax figures show how our butchie-boy Michael Janis would look like as a girly-girl.

Washington Glass School blog outlines the transformation in “The Process” series.

Bit of back story  - Tim Tate is working on new cast glass sculptures and he often models the imagery on objects that he is compelled by. Tim had made a casting of Washington Glass School co-director Michael Janis previously, created to be an element in the collaborative work that he and Marc Petrovic had made in their work Seven Deadly Sins - as the top finial to the sin of  “Envy”.

Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic “Envy”

Tim wanted to create a cast glass, and he uses the lost wax process to form his elements. As the scale was similar, the original mold of Michael’s head was correct, but he needed to transform from dude to dudette. 

Michael Janis’ mugshot.

A wax mold of the original “Michael” undergoes ‘the chop’ to the has the extraneous bits – losing his soul patch and porkpie hat.

Original clay figure of Michael’s head.
Michael’s head as cast in green glass in  top finial to “Envy”

The hat is replaced with a perky new ‘do, the lips are made fuller, and Michael’s chiseled features softened.

The wax head is modified, with a new perky ‘do replacing the pork pie hat. And the soul patch is removed as the lips become softer and fuller.

The new wax Micaela is covered in plaster/silica and the wax melted out. The mold is then filled with glass and fired in the kiln. After annealing, the plaster is removed, and Micaela is revealed in her glory.

The new head in wax. Next, a plaster/silica slurry is poured around the head, hardened and the wax melted out. The form is then loaded into a kiln and glass melted into the void.
After firing, the molds are removed and the glass divested.
The new Michael… or is it Micaela?

 Other artists have dabbled in cross-dressing – notably:

Mick Jagger,  Andy Warhol,  Bugs Bunny

Ok – to finish out the blog post – The Kinks performing “Lola”

Who’s A Hottie?

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Robert Kincheloe’s a hottie – over 200 °F (100°C)!

Kiln casting large forms can test the limits of the size of the kilns the glass is being fired inside. Very large glass forms can require more glass than the mold’s reservoir can hold at one time, requiring that additional glass be added during the firing process to fill the mold to the top with glass. Tim Tate is creating a new series – his “Cabinet of Curiosities” and some of the figures are very large.

Tim Tate’s cast glass figures are sometimes over 20″H of solid cast glass.  

Audrey Wilson and Robert Kincheloe suit up to “charge” the flower pot reservoirs inside the hot kilns. 

Audrey gets ready to add the pre-chopped Bullseye glass pieces into the red-hot kiln.
Rob opens the heavy kiln lid and Audrey moves in quickly.
Audrey slides in the glass into the flower pots.
The process is repeated a number of times, each time allowing the kilns to return to hot temps and the green suited elves to cool down.
Rob and Audrey are literally smoking hot artists!

Tim’s work will be featured at Chicago’s S.O.F.A. Art Fair this November in Habatat Galleries space.