Stephen Procter Fellowship offering $4,200 travel stipend for 2010 Canberra artists in residence


Stephen Procter, Across the Threshold.

The Stephen Procter Fellowship was established in 2001 in memory of Stephen Procter, Head of the Glass Workshop at The Australian National University 1993–2000. The aim of the Fellowship is to assist Australian and international artists working in glass to work and study abroad.

Each year the Fellowship provides $5,000 AUD (approximately $4,200 US) to assist an artist to travel overseas, helping them to explore working or educational opportunities. In 2010 this award will be made available for an International artist to travel to Australia to be a resident in the Glass Workshop at the School of Art, Canberra. The fellowship will take place in 2010.

Applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2009, and the award will be announced on November 27, 2009.

Gordon Bull
Head of School
School of Art, Australian National University
Childers Street, Acton, ACT

Guidelines for the 2010 Stephen Procter Fellowship

For International artist:

  • The Fellowship will preferably take place during the teaching period of 2010 (our semesters run late Feb through May and late July through to October). We may be able to accommodate a different schedule upon specific requests.
  • The residency period is expected to be between 4–6 weeks.
    • The Fellowship will assist travel to Australia for a residency within the Glass Workshop at the Australian National University in Canberra. This residency aims to support the development of a body of work or a research project.
    • The residency in the Glass Workshop must partly take place during the academic teaching period. The Fellow will be expected to have direct interaction with students through workshops and/or seminars/critiques/tutorials and slide presentations. We recommend that the applicants describe how they would like to interact with the Glass Workshop’s students in their proposal.
    • Travel arrangements will also be encouraged to visit other Australian glass programs whenever possible.
      • The Fellow will be provided with on-campus accommodation, studio space and scheduled use of equipment to carry out their work. Limited supplies will be provided; additional materials can be drawn against the fellowship allocation.
      • Applicants should be practising artists seeking time to develop their own work, research or experiment around a specific project.
      • The successful applicant will be selected based on artistic merit and their proposal. Please also include a small amount of information describing how you will work/interact with the students while you undertake your residency.

      For more information, please email:

    For more information about the ANU Glass Center click HERE

The Death of Craft – Whodunnit?

>Craft committed suicide, but it was under the influence of art.

The victim pulled the trigger on itself, detective Garth Clark says, but it was under the influence of Art.

That’s Art, no last name, sometimes known as Fine Art. And though the corpse keeps getting tricked out for public events like the stiff in the movie comedy Weekend at Bernie’s, the actual time of death was, oh, somewhere around 1995.

Garth Clark

This was the premise of a fantastic and provocative lecture that was held at Portland‘s Museum of Contemporary Craft last October titled “How Envy Killed the Craft – An Autopsy in 2 parts”, given by Garth Clark – a leading international writer on modern and contemporary crafts today. In the talk Clark dryly assessed the current state of American Craft, and conducted an examination of how aesthetics, economics and art-envy have “killed” this 20th century movement. The talk is available online as a podcast from the museum – the details are at the end of this posting.

What is this art envy? Good question.

Surely it has something to do with money. Clark quoted one excellent potter of his acquaintance who says he and his friends have a word for potters who make a living entirely from their craft. It’s unicorns, “because we’ve never seen one.”

And surely it has something to do with reputation, with being taken seriously. Artists are simply thought of more highly, as more creative beings, more intellectual, and therefore more important (and, let’s underscore, more worthy of high prices in exchange for their work).

Perhaps it has something to do with escaping an eternal past. “Craft has been overdosing on nostalgia,” Clark averred. “This is craft’s Achilles heel.” That’s not surprising, he added, since the modern movement (which he stretches back 150 years, a very long time for a movement of any sort) was born as a revival, and thus looking backwards from its beginning.

So, he said, somewhere around 1980 craftmakers simply started referring to what they did as art. Museums and other organizations began to drop the word “craft” from their names — sort of like snipping their horse-thieving uncle from the family tree. For a few genuine artists who were trapped by their association with craft — people like Jun Kaneko and Robert Arneson – it was an escape with just cause. For others, it was wishful thinking. “Craft was strongly and sometimes pretentiously influenced by fine art,” Clark said, “but it did not cross the line to become fine art.”

What did Clark mean by “craft,” anyway? One object-maker drew applause when she commented that, when she’s in the studio, she doesn’t even think about whether she’s making art or craft, she just thinks about what she’s working on. And there was some sentiment that Clark was making a fuss about something that was really just about words and categories, things that come after the fact. “Everything he’s saying is coming from a gallery owner’s point of view,” one member of the audience said.

And there might be some truth to that. Still, Clark insisted that categories are vital, and they are real. “Ultimately there is something called craft and there is something called art,” he said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

What, then, is the difference? When it came right down to it, Clark had a tough time describing exactly what craft is. And in a sense, he blamed that on craftmakers, because they themselves had abandoned the word. After that, he said, “It was almost impossible to write honestly about a field that pretended to be something else.”

And craft’s stress on physicality, Clark said, is “part of its problem as art goes to multimedia, using all sorts of things.” In other words, while craft is reaching toward art, art is reaching toward craft — toward an acceptance of all sorts of materials as viable raw material for the making of fine art.

Then again, he says, fine art’s embrace of traditional craft materials has more to do with “postmodernism’s promiscuity” — hardly a marriage of minds. And, he pointed out, in the mid-20th century fine art underwent a more than equal and opposite reaction, “away from craft-based values” and toward conceptualism — a conspicuously idea-driven form of art (even if the ideas are sometimes half-baked) that gets big media play even as it often rejects the entire concept of craftsmanship as old-fashioned and irrelevant. No wonder crafters feel a little loss of self-esteem.

Still, the question remains: What do we mean when we say “craft”? Maybe it’s a little like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s 1964 dictum on pornography: “I know it when I see it.” The borders are fuzzy, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

One man in the audience last night asked Clark whether we were using “craft” as a noun when we should be using it as a verb. Maybe so.

Either way, there’s something physical about the thing. Craft is at its best when it is dealing with sensuality,” Clark said. “… (I)t grabs you by the throat and just thrills you.”

So maybe the more interesting question is, What is the relationship between art and craft? Does art require craft? If not, has the art world suffered for its loss? Clark says fine art doesn’t need craft. You can make great art without craft, he said, but you can’t make great craft without great skill. This is a far more significant question than many people in the art world will admit. For all of its history, from cave paintings on, art and craftsmanship have been intertwined. At what cost are they separated, if indeed they are?

For the 2-part podcast click HERE and scroll down to 10.16.2008 CraftPerspectives Lecture Garth Clark (Part 1 & 2)

But, Does it play in Peoria?

>Tim Tate’s artwork is reviewed in an Italian blog : Neural Media Magazine

We have always said that Tim is big in Bologna.

Tim Tate’s Reliquaries, video/glass fragility

Tim Tate, Reliquaries, tim_tate_reliquaries.jpg Tim Tate could truly be described as a mixed-media artist. His glass reliquaries are formed from combining glass cases, objects and electronic circuitry, such as speakers, with a small video screen. The screen displays a short piece of work that plays from a DVD player housed in the bottom of the glass case. The DVD player was co-developed by Tate and an electronics optics company in California. The design was inspired by the realization that the artist was not interested in continually repairing his work, and wanted a long lasting conservation design that would appeal to museum curators. The development of the small, compact player also means that the sculptures are much more self-contained and don’t feel as though the technology is imposing itself on the work. There have been a number of these artifacts produced, each combining regularly appearing iconography like hands held in prayer, or fruits. Tim Tate’s work feels as though it might have been found in an old church somewhere, flickering away in the darkness for centuries. Combined with religious iconography, the video images could be telling the story of a saint from any number of religions. These artifacts wouldn’t be out of place in a film by Jodorowsky. They have that same sense of power and playfulness, while imposing a seriousness that comes with the fragility of their structure. There is a sense of combining craft skills with digital media, to evolve a new sensibility that brings something new to both of these often diverse art forms.

Michael Janis @ Maurine Littleton Gallery

>Some quick snaps from the Maurine Littleton Gallery as it features the glass work of Michael Janis. Many of the pieces will be shown in the upcoming SOFA Chicago art fair.

Maurine Littleton Gallery
1667 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Open Tues – Sat 11-6pm
Click HERE for link to their website.

The gallery will have a strong presence in Chicago this November, also featuring Allegra Marquart and new works by Tim Tate.
Click HERE for link to SOFA Chicago.

Washington Glass Studio on the telly


The glass studio in its first HGTV appearance – (from ‘back in the day – May 2005) with guest appearances by Sean Hennessey and Rania Hassan. The first season of the show “I Want That” sought products that they could showcase and market, and the producers had approached The Washington Glass Studio to appear with glass products for the home.

Great New Addition to the Glass School


Our newest instructor at the glass school is Debra Ruzinsky. Debra recieved her BA in design from the University of Californina at Los Angeles, and her MFA in Glass Sculpture from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She has been working in glass since 1982. She serves on the publications committee of the Glass Art Society, and was Visiting Asst. Professor of Glass at RIT for the 2008 – 2009 academic calendar year. She has previously taught at the University of Oregon Craft Center, and will teach at the Studio at Corning in 2010.
Her work is part of the collection of the Seto City Museum in Seto, Japan, and the Glasuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark, as well as the RIT Wallace Library Purchase Prize Collection, and some private collections. In the summer of 2008 she was an invited artist-in-residence at the Seto City International Ceramic and Glass Art Exchange program in Seto, Japan. She was included in the 2009 MFA Exhibition at Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY and Breakthrough Ideas in Global Glass at Hawk Galleries in Columbus, OH through Fall 2009.

Debra will be teaching Introduction to Lost Wax Casting this Fall session & we welcome her to the Washington arts community! Click HERE to jump to her website.



kiln cast glass, vintage receipt spike

2″ x 2″ x 8″

Sweet Distraction


Kiln cast glass, lead crystal, mixed media

20″h x 40″w x 40″d



kiln-cast glass, flameworked glass, mixed media

New Class! Introduction to Lost Wax Casting


A great new class has just been added to the Fall Schedule – Lost Wax Casting! This is a great way to make 3-D elements in kilncast glass. Think of the sculptural possibilities! Our instructor for this class was on Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) faculty as Asst Professor of Glass, and will be teaching at Corning Studio next year. More about Debra Ruzinsky in another posting.

Class Class 930 – Introduction to Lost Wax Casting

In this class you will make a vessel form in glass using the lost wax process. Students will begin with a pre-made wax form that they will carve into and alter. Students will be asked to research surface decoration ideas for their project before coming to class, then bring the ideas to class in the form of sketches, xeroxes, magazine clippings, etc. Students will make plaster silica molds and steam out wax. Basic finishing techniques will also be explained. No experience necessary – wear work clothing and closed toed shoes.

Instructor Debra Ruzinsky
Dates November 14, 15, 22
Time 9:30am – 1:30pm
Tuition $350

Spotlight on: Sean Hennessey

>The multi talented artist Sean Hennessey is working in the glass studio this weekend. Sean works in a variety of media, cast glass, cast metal, concrete, plaster, paint… anything and everything. His striking cast glass works at the artDC Gallery show are particularly strong.

Sean Hennessey @ artDC Gallery

Sean is working from the studio on a new series – very strong designs that he casts in glass and embellishes with a variety of medium. See his work on his ETSY website – click HERE.

Sean works in the coldworking studio.

One of Sean’s finished works.

Click HERE to see all of Sean’s artwork.

Concert & The Common Element Show

Jonathan Matis of The Low End String Quartet is planning a musical event at the artdc Gallery. If you have not yet seen the great glasswork on exhibit, come on by this weekend and get the bonus of live bands performing!

The bands will include A Light Sleeper, The Low End String Quartet, and Pure Horsehair. The first is a really great band from Chicago called A Light Sleeper and their music is wonderfully fragile and elegant. It’s their first time out to the east coast so we can get a listen before they take off and we’ll never be able to hear them in such an intimate setting again.

Also on the bill is The Low End String Quartet, celebrating the release of a new cd, Blunt Objects. Hyattsville-based composer and guitarist Jonathan Matis put this group together with the idea that string quartet music that rocks is awesome. It will change the way you think of classical instrumental music.

But wait, that’s not all! Coming down from Brooklyn will be Pure Horsehair. Finger picking guitarist / songwriter Garrett DeVoe is the real thing.

Who: artdc Gallery, A Light Sleeper, The Low End String Quartet, Pure Horsehair
Concert @ the artdc gallery
7:00pm August 22nd 2009.
artdc Gallery
The Lustine Center
5710 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781
Arts District Hyattsville by EYA

Spotlight on : Megan Van Wagoner


One of the artists featured in the Common Element show is Megan Van Wagoner. An Assistant Professor at Montgomery College, Megan works in a variety of media: primarily ceramics, metal and glass.Megan Van Wagoner’s cast glass on display at artDC Gallery

At this year’s Art-O-Matic, Megan was one of the critical and audience favorite artists showing at the huge artwork exposition, with her mixed media sculpture work titled “Comforts of Home”.

Comforts of Home – Artomatic 2009 installation. Glass, ceramic, cast aluminium

Megan has written about her work:

In my sculpture I capture moments in a narrative and express them as artifacts (or sometimes artifice). In many cases the narrative is autobiographical, but through the reduction of the story to a few simple objects I hope to make the narrative more universal and at the same time create an air of personal mystery.

Click HERE to jump to Megan’s website.