WGS Featured Artist: Teri Swinhart

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Teri Swinhart

Teri Bailey

Teri Swinhart

Teri Swinhart is a multimedia artist holding a BFA in Glass from The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She thrives in learning, pursuing opportunities to expand her understanding of material at institutions such as Penland School of Crafts, the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Teri currently lives and works in Washington D.C. as the Studio Coordinator for the Washington Glass School and the Director of WGS Contemporary.

Teri Bailey teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Teri Swinhart teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Teri as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Teri Swinhart: The forms for the Sanctuary Series are constructed by precisely layering thin glass strands to imitate weaved textile patterns. The glass strands are lightly melted together and then heated until they slump over a hand-made mold.  Each mold is uniquely carved out of a soft plaster mixture that is removed after firing, creating a negative space within the glass sculpture. I also create a charcoal drawing of my inspiration (a child hiding under a blanket) to help guide the viewer and add visual variety.  

Teri Bailey, "Sanctuary Among Fragility"; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”

Teri Swinhart, “Sanctuary Among Fragility”; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”; concept sketch above finished work.

I combined an assortment of processes to create Seeking Home. This piece includes a hand sculpted figure as well as a glass quilt square. I made the square by sifting ground up glass powder (called frit) through a stencil onto a larger sheet of flat glass. I then fired the sheet and fused the pattern onto the surface. 

Teri Bailey, "Seeking Home"; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Teri Swinhart, detail, “Seeking Home”; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Delicate Revolution is an installation of over 400 eyehooks that have been corseted together with layers of silk ribbon. This installation changes every time it is presented and is dependent on the space around it.

Teri Bailey: Detail "Delicate Revolution"; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2'x8'x1'

Teri Swinhart, Detail “Delicate Revolution”; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2′x8′x1′

Defiance (in Artists for Racial Justice Fundraiser) is a deep red glass casting of a human neck with its chin raised. The chin proudly jutting out, even though it is fractured and worn. The mold for the piece was made by painting body safe rubber mold material onto my model’s neck, waiting for it to try, then removing the mold and pouring wax into it to create a reproduction. The wax neck is then covered in plaster-silica to create a kilnproof mold. The wax is melted of out the mold and the negative space that it leaves is filled with cold chunks of glass and heated up in a kiln until they melt.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Teri Swinhart: The work in this show highlights many of the different processes and materials that I enjoy working with. All of these works highlight my fascination with textiles and their role in the home. Similar to artists like Mary Cassatt, I am drawn to exploring the beautiful intimacy within the home and the personal.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Teri Swinhart: The two biggest things influencing my work (and much of the world) right now are COVID and the BLM Movement. So much of the inspiration for my work comes from the emotion and vulnerability of the extremely personal. I am painfully empathetic, so to watch this many people die so brutally leaves me fluctuating between heartbroken, terrified, and enraged. I don’t think I could keep emotions this intense out of my artwork even if I really tried. It has shown me that I need to take a stance on things I have been privileged enough to avoid in the past and use my voice to spread love and promote change. No pressure…

Here's your coffee - & thank-you for wearing a mask!

Here’s your coffee… & thank-you for wearing a mask!

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Teri Swinhart: A psychologist… or a barista.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Teri Swinhart: Definitely a little bit of both. I feel like I spend 75% of the time in my sketchbook working through each element of an idea before I begin making, then when I feel comfortable with the plan I begin bringing it to life. I am flexible throughout the process and lots of things change as I lay the materials next to each other and work through the installation… it keeps me on my toes!

Click here to jump to Teri Swinhart’s work in CLICK-IT!

Teri’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

CLICK-IT Exhibition Opens June 16th @ WGS Contemporary

WGS Contemporary hosts CLICK-IT and Artists for Racial Justice

WGS Contemporary hosts CLICK-IT! and Artists for Racial Justice

With much of the physical art world closing because of Covid-19, artists, galleries and museums have turned to technology and social media to stay open (albeit virtually), allowing visitors from anywhere in the world to interact with and view art.

WGS Contemporary Gallery (located in the DMV’s Gateway Arts District) had to get creative with how to bring art to the world. With so much changing so quickly, artists and arts organizations are still in the process of finding their footing. “With everyone in isolation, art is needed now more than ever to help remind people that we are not alone. Art helps us to dream, escape our current realities, and engage our imaginations in building a better world for tomorrow,” said Gallery Director Teri Swinhart (Bailey). “With this show, we all stand united (six feet apart, of course) and ready to take on these challenges and the new opportunities they present.” 

"Spilt Perfume Set", Artist:  Carmen Lozar

“Spilt Perfume Set”, Artist: Carmen Lozar

"Sea Through The Looking Glass" Artists: Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

“Sea Through The Looking Glass”, Artists: Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Opening June 16th, WGS Contemporary presents “Click-It!” featuring works by some of the most exciting and inspiring artists, with a broad spectrum of works that showcase the current trends in art and the media specific works.

"Patterns of Containment", Artist: Erwin Timmers

“Patterns of Containment”, Artist: Erwin Timmers

Artists in the show include:

Teri Swinhart (Bailey)
F. Lennox Campello
Jennifer Caldwell
Jason Chakravarty
Cheryl P. Derricotte
Sean Donlon
Sean Hennessey
Joseph Ivacic
Michael Janis
Carmen Lozar
Tim Tate
Erwin Timmers
Steve Wanna
Jeff Zimmer

“By placing artworks of different materials, mediums, and styles in direct conversation, there is opportunity for new dialogues and perspectives,” adds Swinhart. Click-It! will highlight the many parallel and interesting artistic directions these artists bring creating a dynamic environment of exchange online.
“We will be using our online platforms to introduce exciting new art programming that aims to enrich, entertain and inspire during this challenging time.”
A special fundraising event “Artists for Racial Justice” is also scheduled online as a companion show, with the-proceeds for these special works to be donated to the non-profit organizations “Color of Change ” and the “NAACP”.

"Deja Vu" Artist Sean Dolon

“DejaVu”, Artist Sean Donlon


WGS Contemporary is a Washington, DC area art and special projects fine arts gallery. WGS Contemporary’s mission is to contribute to thinking about art, new media, technology, and social issues through an open access forum which we hope will facilitate contemporary and innovative projects worldwide. In that process, WGSC will expose the cutting edge work of artists pushing the new media frontiers of art. Projects using robotics, sensory perception, holographic imaging, self-contained video sculptures and others will offer an intelligent and fresh set of artwork that marries technology and art into a new creative dialogue in the visual arts.



Want more than just visual …stimulation? click on link below and get the official “Click It” themesong – music by Donovan Lessard.

The Process: Public Art 900 Thayer in Silver Spring, MD – “Social Fabric”

Public art can strengthen social bonds, especially for culturally diverse neighborhoods.

Corner installation of "Social Fabric" public art at Fenton Apartments in Silver Spring, MD.

Corner installation of “Social Fabric” public art at Fenton Apartments in Silver Spring, MD.

Washington Glass Studio recently completed a public art project in Silver Spring, MD, for a new mixed use development at 900 Thayer Ave

The original 2005 design concept - cast glass panels helped define the architectural entrance to the development.

The original 2005 design concept – cast glass panels helped define the architectural entrance to the “Adele” development.

Washington Glass Studio began creating artwork options for developments on the site, starting in 2005, when the site first was being developed as a residential development called “The Adele”. After a review and approval by Montgomery County Arts Council, the project languished as the real estate market changed.

In 2013, WGS Studio began working with the developers that purchased that project site, Redbrick LMD. Working with the design team, WGS artists were inspired by the rich mixture of ethnic groups in Silver Spring. Imagery and patterns that were based on the cultural fabric and textiles, as well as indigenous weaving and embroidery patterns for tapestries, wraps, blankets and garments.

Fabrics & textiles of the cultures that make up the Silver Spring neighborhoods was the inspiration of the new artwork design for 900 Thayer.

Fabrics & textiles of the cultures that make up the Silver Spring neighborhoods was the inspiration of the new artwork design for 900 Thayer.


Artwork on the corner column made up of backlit glass panels would be a colorful reference to the cultures, and add a bright pop of color on the site.

The corner location of the artwork would also frame out the proposed future planned arts development that would be up the road from 900 Thayer, and the Montgomery County Review committee was keen on having the artwork go further – asking if the artwork could be extended all along the ground level of the new development. Happily, Redbrick Developers agreed, and the scope of the artwork was extended along the entire street level and apartment outdoor spaces.

The corner column at 900 Thayer was to have an 11 foot high tower of backlit panels mounted to the surfaces.

The corner column at 900 Thayer was to have an 11 foot high tower of backlit panels mounted to the surfaces.

The project stalled in 2015. In 2017, Chesapeake Realty Partners joined with Redbrick Developer and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County in moving forward with the property  proceeded with groundbreaking and construction of the development in June of 2018.

WGS Studio was contacted and engaged to fully develop the design. WGS revisited the idea of incorporating cultural textile and fabric patterns would encourage viewers to appreciate the colorful patterns enlivening the streetscape, as well as promoting a message of open-mindedness, promote tolerance and curiosity about other cultures.

The brightly colored hand-screened glass features patterns were artistically based on Ethiopian textiles, African mudcoths, Central American weavings, European folkloric fabric prints, intricate and colorful ancestral weaving designs from Asia, Native American blankets, and Colonial American quilt patterns. Using identity and culture as the main theme of the building’s public artwork, WGS sought to inspire self-reflection, human connection, and conversation.

Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg work on silkscreening the enamel patterns on glass, to be fired in the kilns after.

Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg work on silkscreening the enamel patterns on glass, to be fired in the kilns after.

The Washington Glass Studio team worked on the production of the glass artwork starting in early 2019. Large silkscreen panels were made to allow the patterns to be enameled and fired in the WGS kilns. WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers worked on the LED design and integration of the glass artwork.

The enameled glass was fired to keep the high contrast color selections vibrant.

The enameled glass was fired to keep the high contrast color selections vibrant.

Over 60 18″ x 18″ panels were made – and were to be mounted in a variety of multi-panel arrangements.

The installation on site began in October of 2019, and as the building occupancy needed the artwork to be completed to allow for certification, a focused WGS team made short work of the outdoor artwork installation. 

Detail of one of the LED illuminated glass panels at 900 Thayer Ave.

Detail of one of the LED illuminated glass panels at 900 Thayer Ave.

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is a vision in orange as he preps the LED mounts for the glass.

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is a vision in orange as he preps the LED mounts for the glass.

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers sets the final glass artwork panels in the corner column at the 900 Thayer site.

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers sets the final glass artwork panels in the corner column at the 900 Thayer site.

The Fenton Apartment corner column artwork has a strong presence in the daytime, with the LED illumination.

The Fenton Apartment corner column artwork has a strong presence in the daytime, with the LED illumination.

Project Details
Location: 900 Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring MD, 20910
Washington Glass Studio Public Art Team: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg.

Peppermill Village at Night – The City of Lights!

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Cassi Hayden, the Senior Visual Media Photographer for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) was at Peppermill Village Community Center covering an event recently and found the artwork (made by Washington Glass Studio) in front to be exceptionally beautiful!

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Cassi took some shots attached high-res files for your use.  All photos in this posting by: M-NCPPC/Cassi Hayden

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center - and on the community that inspired the creation!

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center – and on the community that inspired the creation!

Click HERE to see the public art sculpture in the daytime and how the work came to be!

"Elements of 21st Century Reliquaries" Sculpture Class


A reliquary is a receptacle for keeping and displaying sacred objects (relics). In Victorian times, bell jars (cylindrical glass vessels with a rounded top and an open base) were used to protect and display fragile objects.

The artwork reliquaries of ceramic sculptor Novie Trump and mixed media sculptor Tim Tate are filled with meaning, symbolism, and are powerfully evocative. Both artists work seem inspired by an almost obsessive sense of remembrance.

One might ask: How do they make such introspective & complex works – and more importantly, how are their processes applicable for other artists looking to reference our need to create spaces for the things we hold dear?

The two DC area superstar sculptors have teamed up to teach a special sculpture class - Elements of 21st Century Reliquaries.

Novie draws on her archeology training as she creates ceramic houses, books, birds, boats and reliquaries, many that look as though they might have been unearthed on an archeological dig. She explores ideas of nest/hive/home over and over in the work. 

“…I often use archetypal symbols taken from ancient myths and tales. These iconic images take many forms: the bird as harbinger and messenger, bones as touchstones of quiet power, the forest as a threshold to the unknown. These symbols are used to express such universal human experiences as love, loss, fear, death, courage and transformation.” Novie Trump

Mixed media/video artist Tim Tate uses blown glass jars to capture universal emotions and experiences with haunting video reliquaries that push the boundaries between fine art and fine craft. Tim’s sculptures ask you to surrender your guarded self and feel the range of emotions that they provoke.

“Revelation — and in some cases self-revelation, is the underlying theme of my electronic reliquaries. But the important revelations here are in the viewer’s response to my hybrid art form and its conceptual nature.  I try to bare everything — the guts of my materials and my inner thoughts — in deceptively simple narrative videos set into specimen jars. These works are phylacteries of sorts, the transparent reliquaries in which bits of saints’ bones or hair — relics — are displayed. In many cultures and religions, relics are believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially for healing. My relics are temporal, sounds and moving images formally enshrined, encapsulating experiences like cultural specimens. And perhaps, to the contemporary soul, they are no less reliquaries than those containing the bones of a saint.” Tim Tate

Class 1304Elements of 21st Century Reliquaries

Reliquaries with internal healing objects have been important cultural objects for centuries. They have been made with a wide variety of materials. But what makes a reliquary in the 21st century? What elements can go inside? Which materials seem most appropriate in modern times? In this class we will utilize clay and glass to explore current concepts in reliquary forms. This class will be split between a clay and kiln cast glass studio, allowing each participant the use of both materials and many techniques. There will be a wine and cheese reception at the end of this workshop to allow friends to see the work in a professional setting.

Instructor Tim Tate, Novie Trump
Dates Sat/Suns in July/Aug (July 14,15,21,22,28,Aug 4,11)
Time 1pm to 5pm

Interested? Click HERE to jump to the Washington Glass School online schedule.

Novie Trump is a sculptor whose work is in public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. Her ceramic sculpture has been selected for juried and invitational exhibitions and has been featured in books and publications. She is the founder and director of Flux Studios, a studio in Mount Rainier, MD 

Tim Tate is a Washington, DC native, and has been working with glass as a sculptural medium for the past 25 years. Co-Founder of the Washington Glass School, Tim’s work is in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery and the Mint Museum. He was the recipient of the 2009 Virginia Groot Foundation award for sculpture. He is a 2012 Fulbright Scholar recipient and was Artist-In-Residence at the Institute for International Glass Research (IIRG) in the UK.

Blue Spiral 1 Gallery Looks to Studio Glass’ Future

>North Carolina’s Asheville was named one of AmericanStyle magazine’s “Top 25 Arts Destinations” . This week, another of its top galleries – this time Blue Spiral 1 – opens a show that looks to honor the 50th Anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement.

WGS is well represented in the list of artists!

Blue Spiral has curated the show with an eye to the future of glass with “compelling sculpture [that] speaks to conceptual and narrative directions the medium takes in the 21st Century”.

Artists include a number from the Washington Glass School extended family – Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Marc Petrovic, Christina Bothwell and Susan Taylor Glasgow.

With Erwin Timmers’ work showing at nearby Bender Gallery – its like a Washington Glass School summer camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Glass Secessionism
June 7 – July 26, 2012
Opening Reception, June 7, 5-8 pm
Blue Spiral 1 Gallery
38 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

New Class Added to Schedule – Basic Arduino!


A new class has been added to the class schedule for the Washington Glass School Fall/Winter Schedule:

Class 1125-
Using New Technology in Your Artwork – Basic Arduino For Artists

Here’s a class is specifically designed for artists who want to incorporate programmable electronics into their existing artwork. The Arduino is a small, versatile and simple controller that’s been been used and tested by the tech savvy crowd and is now ready for artistic use. Use this new technology to make your artwork more interactive, add a 4th dimension to your 3-d sculpture, or have motion controlled sound emanate from your paintings!

Its time to enter the 21st century!

We will be focusing on work that will contain movement, light or sound. The first day we will survey whats out in the world, while dissecting its components. Day 2 will focus on your designs and how to incorporate these interactions into it. This is the day you need to come in with ideas! Day 3 will be the final assembly so that you will be able to go forth into the new millennium of artistic expression! No prior programming or electronic experience is neccessary, but always helps of course!

Instructor: Chris Petrelli / Erwin Timmers / Tim Tate

Dates : Sundays in Oct. (2,9 & 16)

Time : 9:30am to 1:30pm each day

Tuition : $500 per student

For more info on classes and to pay online- click HERE.

Visiting Artists – Melissa Stern


NY- based artist Melissa Stern has been working recently in the glass school. Best know for her mixed media sculptures and drawings, Melissa has expanded her repertoire to include glass.

Melissa’s artwork is deceptive in its playful, childlike quality. Her highly imaginative (and frequently amusing) ceramic sculptures and drawings usually featuring human figures which call to mind sophisticated illustrations for children’s stories. Melissa sees her work removed from specific narrative and functioning instead in terms of psychology and metaphor. As much as we would like a ceramic standing figure–feet nailed to the floor, arms holding aloft a branch upon which large birds perch–to introduce a fascinating if disturbing fable, there is no story to explain it.

Summer in the South, collage, oil paint, pencil, 12 x 9

World View , clay, acrylic, paper, graphite, encaustic, 23″ x 5″ x 5″

Translating her drawn imagery with the use of glass frit powder, Melissa has really taken to the process, making it her own.

Melissa Stern’s fused glass frit components are assembled onto the glass panels she is creating.

Melissa and Tim Tate discuss the development of her panels.

Carving holes, tack-fusing texture, layering images – Melissa will ultimately add other non-glass elements to the glass panels she is creating.

We look forward to seeing the finished works by Melissa!
And congratulations, Melissa, on becoming an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College!

Glass Sparks: Tim Tate


Tim Tate photograph by Tom Wolff

When Tim Tate started out as a glass artist there was almost no place locally that he could study glass sculpture. A third generation Washingtonian, Tim had to leave the region to be able to interact with the medium he fell in love with.

Tim works “off pipe” at Penland, NC

For 10 years, he spent every vacation, every free moment, at various arts facilities throughout the country learning as much as possible about every aspect of the medium.

After a personal event sent him to Penland School of Craft for several months, Tim left the concept of technique driven vessels behind, and began his decade long passion for narrative, content driven sculpture. By working with content, Tim had found his voice. With this clarity of focus Tim sought to enhance the position of glass as a sculptural medium to the Washington, DC art scene. Tim’s first step: he founded the Washington Glass School.

Working with Erwin Timmers and a dedicated group of volunteers, they began by clearing space out of one of DC’s abandoned school buildings that was converted to artist studios. That task was a hard enough start, but after a summer of preparation of the studios, the school was challenged by situations outside if its control. The first class occurred just days after 9/11. Thinking the students would want to cancel after so disturbing an event, Tim called all the students – who unanimously asked for the class to go on. In frightening and unstable times, Tim discovered that people like to work through pressures by creating artwork. The glass school has sought to become the refuge for those seeking artwork as a way to help define and express themselves.

Tim advises a student about a casting technique.

Over the past ten years, the school has grown greatly – crossing the threshold of 4000 students since its opening. The glass school has been host to dozens of nationally recognized instructors and students from 4 continents and many countries.

Tim has worked at having the medium of glass evolve in the last decade; taking it from a technique driven vessel approach to the mixed media sculptural material it has become.
His pioneering work at integrating contemporary electronics and video medias into traditional craft has brought much attention to his artwork. In 2009, National Public Radio (NPR) had segment about Tim’s work in their “All Tech Considered”

Click HERE to jump to the NPR segment “Tim Tate’s Hi-Tech Art”.

Tim has become an enthusiastic promoter of the medium, finding new ways to have artists of other media integrate glass into their works. He also works with other glass artists on collaborative works that takes both artists to new levels that they could not achieve on their own. Most notable are the series that Marc Petrovic and Tim Tate worked on together – the Apothecarium Moderne and the Seven Deadly Sins – which was recently featured in American Craft Magazine.

Tim has shown nationally and beyond, including exhibitions in the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; SOFA New York and Chicago; Art Basel Scope in Switzerland; Red Dot at Art Basel-Miami; the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at the Smithsonian; the Renwick Gallery and commercial galleries from Washington, DC to London and Berlin.

Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic

Apothecarium Moderne
photo: Anything Photographic

Ken Trapp, the former Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian American Art Museum said this of Tim’s work, “by taking on the clichés of our culture, Tate lays down a challenge for himself, a challenge he is up to…it is impossible to see such figures and not be reminded of how much the discovery of self is a daily exercise of uncovering layers we have assumed or imposed on ourselves.”

His awards include “Rising Star ” from the American, the Virginia Groot Foundation Award for Sculpture, three Artists Fellowship awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Mayor’s Art Award. His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, the Mint Museum, the Fuller Museum, the Katzen Art Center of American University, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Vanderbilt University. Tim Tate was just awarded a Fulbright, and in 2012, he will be at the UK’s University of Sunderland and the National Glass Centre. He has an upcoming solo show at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Va.

The Taubman Museum in Roanoke, VA

Click HERE to jump to the Taubman’s website information on the museum’s solo show “Tim Tate: The Waking Dreams of Magdalena Molière”

Tim will be one of the featured artists at Long View Gallery ‘s exhibition in honor of Washington Glass School’s 10 year anniversary:

Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
LongView Gallery
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

For other glass artist profiles:

Diane Cabe
Sean Hennessey
Teddie Hathaway
Elizabeth Mears
Erwin Timmers
Michael Janis
Robert Kincheloe
Jackie Greeves
Jeff Zimmer
Allegra Marquart