WGS 10 Year Anniversary Collaborative Artwork Installed

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Erwin Timmers and Evan Ross Morgan hoist the glass and steel panels onto the building facade.

The WGS Collaborative Artwork project has been installed on the exterior of the school’s Mount Rainier facility. The steel framework was made by metalworker George Anderton, the insets were created by artists and instructors of the Washington Glass School from the past 10 years.

Artist Laurie Brown creating one of the fused glass insets.


Evan Morgan drills the anchor mounts into the masonry.


Chris Shea joins the building installation race, as the storm clouds gather.

Original Concept Sketch

Architectural Glass Panels installed


The overall artwork, made by the 10 years of artists from the Washington Glass School.

Come by the Glass School and see the artwork in its architectural splendor!

Safeway Bethesda Public Art Sculpture From Recycled Glass

>Roche Constructor’s webcam located opposite the Bethesda Safeway site caught Evan Morgan and Erwin Timmers installing the cast recycled glass and metal framework into the facade of the new building.

The installation of Safeway Supermarket’s Bethesda store public art is nearing completion. WGS’ “green artist” Erwin Timmers has been putting the final touches on the outdoor sculpture with Evan Morgan as the contractors race to compete construction of the LEED certified building in time for the scheduled October 13, 2011 ribbon cutting. The public art project, using cast recycled glass – including glass salvaged from the original building and refrigeration displays – was designed to respond to the LEED certified architecture it is now integrated.

Susan Lomuto and Erwin Timmers salvage glass from the demolished Safeway freezer units.


The cast bas-relief glass motifs of fresh herbs were designed to meander organically across the building’s façade, working as a counterpoint to the rhythm of the strong stone piers, while relating to aspects of the building’s use.

Cast recycled glass inside the kiln. The glass has been fired into one-time molds at 1500° F and annealed. Next, the bas-relief panels will be cut and the glass tile edges polished.

The artglass color palate ranges between clear, amber and a blue-shift color. Areas of within the grids are left open to allow air and establish a connection between the interior and the busy streetscape.

Erwin Timmers touches up the steel frame finish.

The design and progress of the cast recycled glass has been mentioned in earlier postings on the school blog.

The Safeway architects, builders and design team admire the transformative quality the glass gives to the interior.


Other media outlets have been covering the Safeway supermarket design- including the DC area real estate blog
DCMud and NewsChannel 8′s TBD.com has covered the supermarket-as-art curator aspect.

Artist Erwin Timmers can be seen silhouetted thru the glass.

The supermarket is excited about their addition to both the Bethesda retail scene and their first foray into the art world. We will post pix and coverage of the store’s celebrity filled vernissage this October.

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to photos of the finished project.

Update on WGS Collaborative Artwork

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Above grid includes work from top, L to R: Allegra Marquart, Jennifer Lindstrom, Jackie Greeves, Robert Kincheloe, Evan Morgan, Dave Cook.

As mentioned in a posting earlier this year, the Washington Glass School’s will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary with the creation of a collaborative artwork that will be mounted on the front facade of the glass school.

WGS Director Tim Tate organizes and sets out the artwork tiles into the steel grid framework.

Copper & glass panel is collaboration between metalsmith Chris Shea and glass artist Don Daniels.

Glass panels made by filmmakers Jon Gann and Kerri Sheehan.

Installation of the glass panels will take place in the next week or so (certainly after the Hurricane Irene is has passed).

Proposed artwork location at the front of the glass school. The author of this article is depicted as leaving the studio.


Installation of Safeway Supermarket Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda site construction photo August 22, 2011


Earlier
posts on the Washington Glass School Blog featured the design and fabrication of Safeway supermaket’s first public art project – located here in Bethesda and created by the Washington Glass Studio.
Installation of the public artwork has begun. The cast glass panels were made from recycled glass taken from the original supermarket during the demolition phase, and the salvaged glass was cast in a bas-relief method to create translucent panels that referenced fresh herbs – perfect for a new LEED Certified building that would house the trendy Safeway supermarket.

Erwin Timmers installs the cast glass & steel panels.

Evan Morgan affixes the glass panels to the steel framework.

Interior view of the artwork – looking out towards Bradley Ave. Bethesda, MD.

The concept of the panels was to have the artwork allow openings to allow the interior and exterior blur – approx 25% of each building bay is open to allow air flow.

Hardware still-life.

Roche Constructors are the builders of the project – and they have a Safeway webcam. Click on the link and at the top is a time-lapse feature that allows one to see the project’s demo-to-current construction status. Click HERE to jump to the Roche webcam site.

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to finished project images.

DCMud Covers Washington Glass Studio

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(…well get a hose then!)

The Washington DC Real Estate and Architecture blog, DC Mud has an insightful review of the architectural design and applications of glass by the Washington Glass Studio. The article provides a synopsis on a number of WGS design projects – their history and some great photos of the finished works.

Design writer Beth Herman reveals the origins of some of the glass techniques and process used by WGS: “…But he revealed their signature prowess evolved from an Erwin Timmers experiment, and has essentially been a work in progress over the last decade.

“Someone had mentioned they’d heard if you push something into dry plaster, you can melt things into it,” Tate recounted of the process, adding it just didn’t seem right. “You’d think the thing would fall apart, or smoosh, with no detail.”

m.l. duffy working on cast glass made from recycled glass for Safeway Inc project.

Over what Tate called a very strong objection (“it’s how we do things”) on his part, colleague Timmers tried it, placing his hand into the plaster to make an impression, adding a piece of glass on top which was melted down. Technically, “the heat went on to expand the molecules of the dry plaster, hardening it just enough so that when the glass melts in, it doesn’t move out of the way,” Tate explained, adding they pulled out a piece of glass with Timmers’ fingerprints on it, as it was that detailed. Realizing they had something in this process, Tate said they’ve spent years refining it because they’re using both glass and plaster in ways they were not intended, and formulaic changes need to be made to accommodate seasons and other variables.”

..Of the perpetuation of WGS’s work, and specifically of his students at the school, Tate said “…a rising tide floats all boats. We try to help everyone achieve their next goal. We came together to make an impact on Washington.”

For the link to the entire DCMud article link – click HERE.

Production of Cast Art Glass for Public Art Project

>Readers of the WGS Blog are familiar with the Public Art Project currently underway for Safeway Supermarket’s new LEED Certified building in Bethesda, MD.

Original late 1970′s Safeway in Bethesda, MD

being replaced with :

New LEEDs Certified building designed by Rounds VanDuzer Architects

Construction of the steel framework is underway & the kilns have been firing nonstop to make the “herb-leaf” inspired bas-relief kilnformed casting.


Layout sketch of a typical architectural bay.

Erwin Timmers removes the kilnfused glass from the molds.

Matt Duffy & Erwin Timmers check the clarity of the glass (mind you, it must not be too much and not be too little – it needs to be just right.)


Erwin check the glass for evenness of form and to make sure the panels will lay flat within the steel framework.

We will post other photos of the process soon!

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to photos of finished project.

Art and Architecture: Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda
Rounds VanDuzer Architects

Safeway has started construction of a new supermarket in Bethesda, MD. The new store will be a LEED certified supermarket as Safeway is committed to the greening of its stores. Besides going green, the supermarket will be built to what Safeway calls the urban “lifestyle” market, with high-quality urban design. Safeway is one of North America’s largest supermarket chains with more than 1,700 stores.

As part of the project, Safeway commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to integrate artwork into the architectural façade of the building. The wall of artwork will activate the street along the Bradley Street façade, and marks the first public artwork commission by the national supermarket chain for its stores.



The cast recycled glass and steel artwork is integrated into the architectural façade.


Over 30 feet long and 9 feet high, the glass and steel artwork will be a strong element located in Bethesda. The new building design will act as a “civic gateway” to Bethesda‘s Central Business District (CBD).

Responding to the architectural design by Rounds VanDuzer Architects the large scale artwork will feature colorful cast recycled glass made from glass salvaged from the original Safeway supermarket on the same site. Ecoartist Erwin Timmers had slogged thru the site demolition, removing glass for the artwork. Erwin’s integration of reconfigured and recycled components has made him a leader in sustainable design and he continues his work in multidisciplinary LEED projects.


Cast recycled window glass sample of custom “fresh herb” design for Safeway.

Above is the “bay leaf” pattern.


UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to images of finished project.


Anatomy of a Site-Specific Artwork Project

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Vanderbilt University medical complex in Nashville, Tennessee, a leader in patient care, medical education, nursing education, and research, just opened its new Critical Care Tower, a 329,000-square-foot multi level addition. The University commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create cast glass panels for the nurse’s stations on a number of floors within the new hospital.

Working with the architects on the project, the artwork commission was refined. The art panels would have to perform many duties – besides providing a screen to each floor’s nurse work area, allowing light to beyond, it would also need to block the viewing of sensitive papers and office equipment, as well as being a striking sculpture that would define the entry of each floor.

Design Concept

The initial concept design for the artwork at each floor’s nurse stations.

Preliminary artwork rendering layout. The inspiration was to bring a contemplative sense of nature into the hospital.

We wanted to bring the natural word into the medical center. Our goal was to give the patients and caregivers a place that felt restful – a place of healing and renewal. Our inspiration for the artwork was to have the feel of swirling masses of delicate oak, poplar, tulip, ginko and maple leaves in an autumn breeze. Each leaf is detailed, including curved stems and crisp leaf veins. The different level of the hospital would have unique swirling leaf patterns, allowing for differentiation and orientation.


One of the cast float glass panels inside the kiln.



Studio artist Nicole Puzan cleans and preps the cooled and annealed glass panel.

The kilncasting process started with making one-of-a-kind molds inside the kilns. The glass is placed atop the mold, and then fired to temperatures up to 1600 degrees F, and then annealed – over two days. The glass is then removed, cleaned and rough areas are ground and polished. As the panels were sequential, each section was mapped out and compared to each companion panel.


Typical nurse station cast artglass panel.

Typical nurse station reverse.

Detail of cast glass leaf pattern.

Bold

Front view of artwork.

View of panels showing leaf detailing.


The Washington Glass Studio artglass project team: Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers and Nicole Puzan and Robert Kincheloe.

Cast Glass as Public Artwork – Photos of the Case Study

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unless noted, all photos by Anything Photographic

The public artwork just completed by the Washington Glass Studio and Alonzo Davis for Prince George’s County Circuit Court was just photographed by Anything Photographic. The sculpture is made using the original bell tower cupola salvaged from the disastrous fire that destroyed the courthouse in 2004. The structure and copper dome were cleaned and made good, and modified to accommodate artwork elements that include cast recycled glass formed into images of the community and the legal system, sandcarved panels with the County Seals for each of the Counties served by the Circuit Court, and a neon bell symbolizing the original bell that would toll each day at 9.30 am when the Court was in session.
Titled “Rebirth and Renewal”, the artwork is testament to a proud community and its ability to overcome adversity.

Artwork neon lit at night : photo by Aisha Jordan