WGS Glass Lecture “Kiln Casters – A Close Look At The Methods Behind the Madness”

With the success of Debra Ruzinsky’s lecture this past October on the Untold History of Studio Glass – This Saturday, May 31st, is the next installment of glass knowledge!


Free Lecture – Kiln Casters: A Close Look at the Methods Behind the Madness! (Class 1701)

An exploration of the symbiotic relationship between technique and conceptual thinking as seen through the work of contemporary glass casters.  Slide discussion of artists who focus on cast glass, with an inside look into the techniques they’ve developed to produce their work. The talk will be presented with lots of images and there will be time for discussions.

Speaker: Debra Ruzinsky. Deb received her BA in Design from the University of California at Los Angeles, and her MFA in Glass Sculpture from 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, and has been a visiting lecturer to the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Glass Program. Her work is part of the collection of the Seto City Museum in Seto, Japan, and the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark, as well as the RIT Wallace Library Collection.

Saturday, May 31st, from 11am to 12 noon

Email RSVP to washglassschool@aol.com

Happy Birthday USA!

Unbuilt Public Art Proposal –

Concept sketch showing abstracted US flag in the glass verticals.

Rendering of art glass wall.

Way back in the mists of time, (in 2005), the Washington Glass Studio developed a public artwork proposal for a park being created in a new mixed used development in Virginia. In honor of the 4th of July, the underlying themes of the project make this a suitable blog subject.

The original proposal was to create a wall of glass, with each cast glass segment combining to create an abstracted image of the USA flag.  

Color-shifting glass was proposed – and would make the artwork different based on the light in the day or  at night.

The stripes of the abstract flag would be made up of many faces – a metaphor of “Out of many, one” (E pluribus unum). 

Texture and color were to have a strong interplay in the glass

The wall of glass separated the private parkland area from the commercial/retail area. The artwork had to define the zones, yet allow visual contact between. Lighting effects were also planned to make the most of the color-shift glass. The proposed artwork would look different from daytime to night.

A number of design changes took place, and the project did not proceed in this form. Perhaps someday…! 

Architect of the Capitol Blogs On New Cast Glass Doors

The AOC inspects the cast glass interpretation of the ‘Cadmus sculpture maded from the original bronze doors of the Library of Congress.

Cadmus was credited by the ancient Greeks with introducing the original Alphabet or Phoenician alphabet.

The US Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible to the United States Congress and the Supreme Court for the maintenance, operation, development and preservation of 17.4 million square feet of buildings and more than 460 acres of land throughout Capitol Hill. The AOC also provides professional expertise on the preservation of architectural and artistic elements entrusted to its care, and provides recommendations concerning design, construction and maintenance of the facilities and grounds.
The AOC blogs about the new cast glass doors for the Library of Congress, now being installed. 

The original doors, designed by noted American artist, Lee Lawrie in 1938, feature high-relief sculptures of (mythical and real) world figures that have contributed to the written word and communication.

Click HERE to jump to the US AOC blog post.

Debra Ruzinsky Solo Show at VisArts Gallery


Debra Ruzinsky at her show opening at the Brattleboro Museum.
Images of Deb’s work are also featured in the book ” New Technologies in Glass, by Dr. Vanessa Cutler. 

Debra Ruzinsky – one of the DC area Master Casters, has a solo show at Rockville’s VisArts Center set to open September 14, and run thru October 20th, 2012.  Deb’s artwork that was featured in the Long View Gallery 2011 exhibit of artists of the Washington Glass School had the critic for the Washington Post question his previously held beliefs on what contemporary art should look like, as he stood in front of her work  “Staring at it [Debra Ruzinsky’s cast glass], I feel like a monkey in front of a ball of shiny, shiny tin foil.”  By Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post, Thursday, May 26, 2011

“Sight”, 2012, kiln cast glass

8” x 8” x 8″

Debra works in kiln-cast glass and mixed-media, producing objects that mix distopian and utopian visions, investigating belief and meaning. Her new series that takes an oblique look at objects imbued with personal meanings. Referencing memorabilia, collectibles, and luxury goods for display, these objects form a fragmented portraiture, with discrete elements creating implications of a whole. 

“Detached” , 2012, kiln-cast glass and mixed media

7”h x 24”w x 1-3/4”d

Solo show, opens September 14 
at VisArts – Common Ground Gallery.http://www.visartsatrockville.org/exhibi 
155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD  20850

Internet, Images and You

>The internet is an interesting place – one the enables commissions to happen between artists, designers and clients from across the country – or even the entire world. As an example – a cast glass-and-steel work by Washington Glass Studio artist/director Michael Janis was seen by an Atlanta-based art consultant looking for artwork for a new hotel being designed by a Hollywood based interiors firm.

The original work “Liar Paradox” – Fred & Susan Sanders collection.
Photo credit: anythingphoto.net

Original schematic architectural lobby design by Cheryl Rowley Design.

In 2006, an Atlanta based art consultancy sourced Michael’s work from the internet and approached him to make a 6′-0″ version of the work to be the central work in the new Kimpton Hotel that was under construction in the Dupont Circle section of Washington, DC. The new hotel was to be designed and embellished to reflect the hotel’s theme of “Art In Motion” The finished three section cast glass-and-steel work titled “The Gravity Between Us” was built and installed in the lobby. The artwork was named Boutique Hotels Magazine’s “Best Artwork” in 2007.

“The Gravity Between Us” glass and steel sculpture by Michael Janis.

Detail of “The Gravity Between Us” by Michael Janis.
Washington, DC Palomar Hotel.

Viewing through the slabs of cast glass to the hotel lobby.

The internet was integral to the commission of the original work. After being made, the digital images of the large scale sculpture continue onwards – online.

A new GOOGLE image search function allows one to search online for specific or similar images. By dropping an image into the search box and it not only finds all “similar” images around the Internets, but also all the websites where that image is being used.

Using that function, it was discovered that many of the images of the Palomar Hotel glass artwork are referenced or are reproduced all over…the world! Below is an image of where the artwork was used as the cover of a Hong Kong book on international boutique hotels. This highlights the importance of having good digital images of any art made – they become the strongest selling card for other work.

Jane Sauer Gallery Serves Up Tim Tate


Tim Tate:Cooking Without Calories

February 24 – March 14

Jane Sauer Gallery will have a show of Tim Tate’s glass treats scheduled to coincide with Santa Fe’s 15th annual ARTfeast – a Santa Fe event that raises funds for children, education and the arts.

The works continue Tm’s obsession with miniaturization of objects and the relationship of scale – each work looking good enough to eat! My favorite is “Mostly Chocolate” (- finally a sweet that I can enjoy without guilt!)

From Jane Sauer Gallery: “In conjunction with ARTfeast, we are showing Tim Tate’s delightful cast glass delicacies of pie slices, tarts, ice cream cones, cupcakes, cotton candy, and donuts, artfully arranged in a pyramid of trays underneath a glass dome.”

Jane Sauer Gallery is located on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jane Sauer Gallery 652 Canyon Road

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

phone: 505-995-8513

Groundhog Day!


the shadows that have been seen, cannot be unseen

Our Beginner’s Glass Class have produced some awesome work – like the cast glass artwork above, made by a student that came in from Punxsutawney, PA.

Using her mind’s eye memory of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog in blue is a timely and striking piece.

Phil – considered to be the world’s most famous prognosticating rodent – is supposed to emerge from his home on Gobbler’s Knob, near Punxsutawney, and if he sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring.

From the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day
Phil Connors (Bill Murry character): This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You’re hypocrites, all of you!

Here’s to the dream of spring!

Cast Glass Sweeties


Debra Ruzinsky

Sugar Bomb #3; Cast glass, 2011

Debra Ruzinsky
, 2011

Debra Ruzinsky‘s cast glass artwork was recently praised by the Washington Post Art Critic Michael O’Sullivan in a review of glass sculpture that was on exhibit at Long View Gallery. In the review, Michael wrote: “My guilty pleasure sits all the way in the back of the 5,000-square-foot gallery… There you’ll find two small sculptural works by artist Deborah Ruzinsky, mounted on pedestals in front of large glass doors that, on sunny days, suffuse the room with light. The works’ titles, “Sugar Bomb #2” and “Sugar Bomb #3,” are apt. Cast in green and orange glass using Jell-O molds and artillery shell casings, they’re pure, explosive eye candy.

Staring at it, I feel like a monkey in front of a ball of shiny, shiny tin foil. Isn’t contemporary art supposed to be ugly — or at least less superficial?…

On the one hand, glass is pretty. It’s hard not to like the way it looks: the luminous color, the way it plays with light. On the other hand, maybe glass is only pretty. How do we know that the beauty is also capable of brains? The rest of the show is proof that it is.”

Debra was in the glass school this weekend coldworking her pieces of cast glass sculpture for a show at Vermont’s Brattleboro Art Museum this July 15-Oct 23. The group show “Glass in All Senses” promises to be an amazing collection of pieces by diverse artists. Debra’s work is from her sculpture series “Sweet Escape”. The work will feature cast glass sweets and rockets.

Debra checks her cast glass wafer ramp for smoothness.

Check back later for links to the Brattleboro Museum show.

Claudia Rousseau reviews Kirk Waldroff


Kirk Waldroff The Wrens and the Badger, Cast glass, poplar, and LED lighting

Art critic Claudia Rousseau reviews Kirk Waldroff’s impressive print-based mixed media sculpture solo show at the Glenview Mansion in this weekend’s DC Artnews blog.

Dr Rousseau writes:
“…Waldroff’s contribution to the Glenview exhibit include prints and wooden constructions that hold cast glass panels, that is, glass sculptures that have a print image on them—a technique that Waldroff will be teaching at the Washington Glass School on Saturday afternoons in April. They are created using a revolutionary kiln-casting process so that each is a unique reproduction of a carved woodblock (the kind originally created for wood-cut prints). These are set into wooden cabinets, or deep wooden boxes. There’s even a marvelous headboard with two inset glass panels topping a queen-sized bed right in the gallery.

Kirk Waldroff Unlocking Dreams – bed, maple, birch, cast glass, LED lighting

On the opposite wall are prints on paper from the same block that made the glass panels. Many of these glass/wood boxes are illuminated, but I imagine they would be effective set against a natural light source as well, or placed where they receive sun or lamplight. The warm light coming into the mansion gives them a nice glow. There are also a number of carved and painted wood panels presented as paintings rather than wood blocks. “

“… and the images are simple, but enough to stimulate the imagination. There are no right answers here. The viewer is encouraged to write them from his/her own trove of memories and ideas.”

Click HERE to jump to the entire review on DC Artnews.

Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D., teaches art history at Montgomery College, and writes regular critical reviews in local publications.

Kirk Waldroff “Untold Fables” through March 1, 2011
Glenview Mansion Art Gallery at Rockville Center Civic Center Park
602 Edmonston Drive
Rockville, MD 20851
Mon., Wed., Fri. 9 AM-4:30PM, Tues/Thurs, 9AM-9PM
240-314-8682 or 240-314-8660 for information or to confirm hours.


This April, Kirk will be teaching a class at the Washington Glass School that transfers wood block print imagery into cast glass. This amazing process is a great way for print-based artists to take their images over into other media. Click HERE to jump to Kirk’s class description.



The Washington Glass School’s Winter Schedule is now available – check it out! For more info on registration – go to the Washington Glass School website – click HERE

Class 1001 – 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 professional glass artists you will learn the fundamentals of fusing, slumping & 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! The class is offered 3 times during the Winter Class Semester.

Instructors : Tim Tate / Nicole Puzan
Dates : Offered 3 times this semester
Session 1001A – Sat/Sun January 16 & 17
Session 1001B – Sat/Sun February 20 & 21
Session 1001C – Sat/Sun March 27 & 28
Time : 1pm to 5pm each day
Tuition : $300 for each weekend session)


Class 1002 – Glass Bowls, Bowls, Bowls!!!

OK…we hear you! So many people love beautiful bowls! Glitzy dichroic on glass? Wow! Bullseye glass, float glass – even dichroic glass will be used – learn the secrets and tricks of these types of materials. This class will help you focus on your fusing techniques and slumping skills & is a great class to immerse yourself in to really get hooked on glass! All levels.

Instructor: Nicole Puzan
Dates: Tuesday evenings, January 12, 19, 26
Time: 6:30pm to 9pm each day
Tuition: $325

Class 1003 – Kiln Casting With Lea Topping

Lea Topping has long been one of our favorite casters and certainly has been a favorite at the Torpedo Factory for the last 20 years! Students will learn focus on silica/plaster casting. The basics of glass casting will be discussed and class time will be devoted to technique demonstrations and individual student work. This class is perfect for the sculptor who wants to translate their forms into glass.

Instructor : Lea Topping
Dates Sundays January 31, February 7, 14
Time : 1pm to 5pm each day
Tuition : $325

Class 1004 – Beginning MIG Welding

Want to try your hand at welding? Ever thought about making a metal stand to display your glass? How about a metal frame? You can do it yourself, and it’s easier than you think. In 3 evenings you will learn how to make a display stand or frame to show off your work at its best. You will also 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.

Instructor: Erwin Timmers
Dates : Wednesday evenings in January 13, 20, 27
Time : 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Tuition : $300 per student


Class 1005 – Get Your Imagery In The Glass

Want a focused class that shows how to get your artistic images fused into glass? In this one day workshop, glass artist Michael Janis will show you what processes he uses to gets his incredibly detailed artwork – and some alternate methods. This hands-on class will deal with high-fire enamels, powders, and more.
Class Limit: 6 students

Instructor: Michael Janis
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 1:00 to 5 pm
Tuition: $200


Class 1006 – Recycle your Glass

Green up your life by doing something creative to help the environment! This is an exploration into using recycled glass to make sculptural pieces, architectural elements, jewelry and tableware. We will delve into various techniques, including casting, fusing and slumping. Once you start down the path of recycled glass, you will see more and more opportunities for experimentation around you. Glass chemistry, coloration, and firing temperatures will be explained for each particular application. No prior experience is necessary – you are encouraged to bring in materials you’d like to try.

Instructor: Erwin Timmers
Dates : Wednesday evenings in February 10, 17, 24
Time : 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Tuition : $300


Class 1007 – The Great Bullseye Roll-Up

If you’ve ever been interested in making your fused glass panels into blown vessels – this is the class for you! Come experience one of the most exciting trends in glass – where you will get the best of both worlds. One class will be spent fusing a Bullseye glass panel at the Washington Glass School. The next class will be held at DC GlassWorks where you will help to blow the fused glass into a vase, or a bowl, or go even go more sculptural! This class is for all experience levels, and is perfect for both fusers and blowers who want to see their imagery in blown glass. Everyone will further their own knowledge and broaden both their vocabulary and abilities.

Instructors: Dave D’Orio, Michael Janis
Dates: Saturday February 27 and March 6
Time: 1:30 to 5 pm each day
Tuition $350


Class 1008 – Photographic Image Transfers On Glass

The photo-emulsion transfer process did not die with Polaroid. Learn how to take your images, manipulate them, and put them on almost any surface using Fuji’s instant print film. Instructors Alison & Pete Duvall will show you several tips and techniques so you can get the most out of your images. This will be a hands-on workshop, so come prepared to get your hands dirty. All materials will be supplied by the instructors but students are encouraged to bring their own slides and any materials they would like to transfer images to. There is a $20 lab fee for supplies to be paid to the instructors on the day of the workshop.

Instructor: Pete and Alison Duvall
Date: Sunday, Feb 28
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Cost: $150 (+20 lab fee)


Class 1009 – Introduction to Rubber Mold Making

In this weekend class you will tackle the mysteries of making rubber molds. Use molds for the production of parts that can be duplicated in wax – the first step for casting glass, bronze or aluminum in the Lost Wax Process. (Hint: Debra’s amazing Lost Wax Glass Casting class will be offered next semester – plan ahead!) Bring in your own pieces to review and explore mold production, undercuts, multipart mold-making, and casting of wax. You will learn about a variety of materials and which to use in different situations. You will be asked to bring a minimum of 3 small objects (not more than 1.5” in any direction).

Instructor: Debra Ruzinsky
Dates: Sat/Sun March 6 & 7
Time: 9:30am – 1:30pm each day
Tuition: $300


Class 1010 – Sculptural Metalwork

Are you ready to take your metal creations to the next level? This class will be a hands-on exploration of various metal techniques, including welding and forging with well-known metalsmith Chris Shea. This is a rare opportunity to work with one of the best in the region! This is a great interactive and energetic class for those frustrated sculptors out there who really want to grow. Hammers away! Previous welding experience is preferred – but not necessary.

Instructors: Chris Shea, Erwin Timmers
Dates: Saturday March 6, 13, 20, 27
Times: 2 to 5pm each day
Tuition: $400


Class 1011 – X-treme Lava Lover’s Weekend!

This X-treme class is the fastest way to learn all aspects of warm and hot glass and hot metal!! in the shortest amount of time! Under the supervision of several professional glass artists you will learn the basics of how to fuse and kiln-cast glass, blow glass, and cast molten aluminum in one quick weekend! Everything from bowls and plates to sculptural objects….this is the perfect way for a beginner to learn the basics of glass and metal….and you will leave with several very cool items! For this class we will team up with our sister school, DC GlassWorks. The first day will be at our facilities, the second day there. What’s cooler than melting glass and metal?!

Instructors: Tim Tate/ Dave D’Dorio
Dates: Sat/Sun – March 13 & 14
Time: 1 to 5pm each day
Tuition: $400

Class 1012 – Painting with Wax: Basic/Intermediate Encaustic Workshop

Encaustic painting involves the use of beeswax as the medium. It is often mixed with pigment but color can also be added both before and after application of the wax. The wax is applied in molten form and each layer is fused with heat to the support, generally a board. The inherent translucency of the medium is beguiling and encourages layers of information. Encaustic is incredibly versatile – it can be carved into; collaged; Xerox transfers can be applied – the fun is in the experimenting!

Instructor: Ellyn Weiss
Dates: Sat/Sun March 20 & 21
Time: 10am to 3pm each day
Tuition: $300 + $25 materials fee


Class 1013 – Open Studio at your Own Pace

Already know the basics of casting or fusing? Open Studio gives each student the opportunity to work independently in a world class studio. Tuition includes a kiln firing per session, clear base glass and colored scrap glass, use of studio tools.

Instructor : Studio Staff
Dates : Wed/Thurs/Sat afternoons (call to confirm appointment)
Time : 1pm to 5pm
Tuition : $300 for 4 sessions