Glass Sheds Light On the New Year!


In honor of the regulations that phase out incandescent light bulbs starting in 2014, photographer Pete & Alison Duvall had a cast glass light fixture for their home in Silver Spring, MD. 
In 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law an energy bill that placed stringent efficiency requirements on ordinary incandescent bulbs in an attempt to have them completely eliminated by 2014. The law phased out 100-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs in 2013.

As artists that depend on light and its transmission, the photographers worked with artist Erwin Timmers to get every kind of light bulb they could referenced in their ceiling mounted glass artwork. 

Cast glass lightbulbs

 

Inspired by a commissioned ceiling mounted artwork that Michael Janis did in 2007 for a Washington, DC collector. The couple that commissioned the work had limited space in their apartment, and felt that the creating an artwork piece mounted on the that diffused light would be a crossover of art and function. In the earlier suspended artwork panel, faces look down from a textured surface. 
Pete Duvall noted that the light source for the new artwork piece is from energy efficient LED bulbs.

Original cast glass panel by Michael Janis – Photo by Pete Duvall.

The Many Facets of Erwin Timmers

Like a finely cut diamond, there are many sides to our Mr. Timmers.

Come hear eco-glass artist Erwin Timmers discuss his work. Thoughtful and ingenious, Erwin’ sculpture calls attention to contemporary issues through a creative re-engineering of often-overlooked forms and concepts, often focusing on industrial salvage and recycling.

In the opinion of many, he’s also one of the “earliest” green artists on the planet.

Erwin Timmers’ cast recycled window glass sculpture at Brentwood Arts

Artist Talk:  Saturday, June 22, 2:00pm 
Brentwood Arts Exchangeexchanging ideas through art

located in the Gateway Arts Center
3901 Rhode Island Avenue
Brentwood, MD 20722
301-277-2863/ tty. 301-446-6802
email: pgp-brentwood-arts@pgparks.com

Erwin Timmers : Alchemical Vessel

The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts will have a special exhibit and fund raising benefit. Titled Alchemical Vessels‘, this initiative will feature the work of 125 artists, selected by 16 invited curators, to engage in a community dialogue on healing and transformation through the arts. Each artist has transformed a provided ceramic bowl using their own personal aesthetic and medium, drawing inspiration from the bowl as a place of holding, open community, a circle of care, sacred space, nourishment, and even the alchemical vessel. 

Erwin Timmers “Message In A Bottle” kilnformed recycled glass, ceramic

Washington Glass School’s Co-Director has created a work using his signature cast recycled glass. In honor of Earth Day, we are posting about his work in the upcoming show.

Said Erwin of his artwork for the show at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery: “The alchemical vessel speaks about creating purity, harmony and the healing that flows from it.  My work focuses on the disharmony we see in nature and our environment, which has a pronounced impact on our own wellbeing. This [vessel] references how we, as a society, consume and discard resources without much consideration.  I use the water bottle, a vessel in its own right, as a symbol of a useful everyday object that people use and discard thoughtlessly and which has now been severely overused.  Last year we consumed 28 billion plastic bottles, and only roughly 15% of them got recycled.”

“Using the medium of casting recycled glass and specific techniques to manipulate this medium” said Erwin of his glass sculpture, “my work invites the viewer to consider not only the end product, but also the origin of the piece and the process of re-creation. I hope my work showcases the possibility and beauty of recycled material, while encouraging the viewer to consider his or her environmental impact.”

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center, 1632 U St NW, DC

Alchemical Vessels Benefit: May 17, 2013, 7-9pm

About the Benefit
100% of the ticket sale proceeds will go to support Smith Center’s life-enhancing work and programs for people living with and recovering from cancer.

Benefit Ticket information:

Benefit tickets $125: 125 Benefit tickets will be sold, and each ticket holder at this level will be given the opportunity to select a piece of art. Priority will be given by the order in which the tickets were purchased—so the first to buy a ticket will be awarded first pick of the 125 works, and so on. All 125 works will remain in the show until after the closing of the exhibition on June 7, at which time the new owners can pick them up.

Supporter ticket: $50: This price level is good for entrance to the Benefit only. Ticket holders at this level do not get to keep a piece of art.

If you have trouble purchasing tickets, please call 202.483.8600 or email them at outreach@smithcenter.org.

The Process – Erwin Timmers Cast Glass Bottles

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From This:


To This:

artist: Erwin Timmers; materials: cast recycled glass


As part of the ongoing series titled ” The Process” that documents the methodology of an artist or technique – the work of Erwin Timmers is the feature of today’s pictorial.

Eco-artist Erwin Timmers creates artwork with environmental themes, and he works with materials that are diverted from the waste stream. As he prepares for the upcoming Smithsonian Craft Show, he invited us to have a look at how he starts the casting process as he creates his beautiful glass sculptures.

Working within his concepts of sustainable design and art, Erwin sourced glass from the US Probate Courthouse, in Greenbelt, MD for his artwork that was slated to end up in the trash dump.

Using plastic bottles cleared from the Anacostia River watershed (of which there was plenty to choose from), Erwin coats the bottles with a plaster/silica coating.

Using plastic bottles cleared from the Anacostia River watershed (of which there was plenty to choose from), Erwin coats the bottles with a plaster/silica coating.

Erwin then fires the molds upside down in the kiln, melting out the plastic bottles.


Erwin extracts the remains of the plastic bottles from the molds.

Erwin then takes the cleaned molds and sets them in a bed of sand inside the glass kiln.

Erwin prepares flower pots act as reservoirs to hold the recycled tempered glass during the firing process.


Erwin loads the cleaned glass into the reservoirs and sets the kiln.

After the firing, the glass is divested from the plaster and polished.

Look for Erwin’s artwork at the Smithsonian Craft Fair – April 19-22, 2012.

Jack Johnson & Glass

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Jack Johnson’s got the whole (glass) world, in his hands.


This past summer we had a blog posting about National Geographic‘s newly created “Arts Ambassador for the Environment Award” – given to entertainers that are leaders in environmental and cultural conservation. The award was designed and made by the Washington Glass Studio from recycled glass. The winner for the inaugural award was singer Jack Johnson. We just received a photo of Jack holding his award.

The creation of the National Geographic Society award was covered in the first of the series called “The Process“. Click HERE to jump to the posting of how the recycled glass award was made using the “lost wax” process.

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.

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.

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.

New Work by Erwin Timmers

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Self-Scrutiny by Erwin Timmers
24″ x 40″ x 8″ cast recycled glass, steel

photos by anythingphoto.net

detail showing interconnection of cast glass rods and knots

“Self-Scrutiny” is a new wall-mounted artwork by Erwin Timmers made from cast recycled glass and steel pipe. Erwin casts recycled glass into twisted tube-like shapes that he joins and creates forms with steel connectors. On the wall they form a maze that creates positive and negative spaces while highlighting the complex qualities of recycled glass.

detail showing depth of work

Glass for the piece is recycled – sourced from windows, household vases, and bottles. Unlike the glass made specifically for craft and art use, industrial glass is difficult to re-melt. Erwin has developed new techniques to exploit the characteristics of this material.

Erwin writes of his work: “My work references environmental issues of concern to me – primarily I see my artistic process as being involved with the process of recycling to create art…”

“I choose to recycle or reinterpret not only for reflection on environmental issues, but also for fun, play, and ultimately art. My work showcases the possibility and beauty of recycled material, while encouraging the viewer to consider their environmental impact.”

Erwin feels that one of the artist’s most important roles is to reveal the hidden value inherent within a particular object. His work encourages a re-examination of objects around us. By framing the object in a new way, one is challenged to rethink the value of everyday objects and one is encouraged to find aesthetic pleasure from what might seem to be the most mundane and ordinary of things.

In today’s society, the philosophy exists that once something has fulfilled its use, we should throw it away rather than try to find another use for it. Yet, finding new uses for discarded objects is one way to breathe life back into the objects around us. To see art where others see trash is one thing, but to lead others to see that art for themselves is what artists have been engaged in since the turn of the century.

Click HERE to jump to Erwin’s website.

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.