Judith Schaechter Workshop

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Judith Schaechter, Widow, (2008), Collection of Colleen and John Kotelly, Photo by Dominic Episcopo/Renwick Gallery, SI

The Grand Poobah Savior of Stained Glass – Judith Schaechter – who single-handedly revolutionized the craft of stained glass through her unique aesthetic and inventive approach to materials is one of the featured artists at the Smithsonian Institute‘s exhibition, “History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011.”

Judith held a Creativity Workshop as part of the James Renwick Alliance‘s “Distinguished Artist” series this past weekend at the Washington Glass School. photos by Miriam Rosenthal / Third Eye Photography

The workshop participants re-enact Da Vinci’s “Last Supper with Judith Schaechter

Judith workshop was geared towards getting the participants to expand their creative practice, and had some fun creative exercises for everyone.

Judith has plans for the unsuspecting class.

L-R Jimmy Powers, Clemmer Montague, Sherry Selevan, Diane Cooper Cabe begin unleashing their creative wills.

Judith shares her thoughts with Elmerina and Paul Parkman.

Soon creativity is flying around the school – unstoppable. Ideas for artwork, fashion, events – everything at once. The innermost thoughts of the participants are explored.

Judith indicates her approval of the designs.

What one of the students was contemplating.

See more of Judith Schaechter’s work in the exhibition “History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011,” on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery through July 31. The show was curated by Renwick curator Nicholas R. Bell. The artists were selected by Bell, Ulysses Dietz, senior curator at The Neward Museum and Andrew Wagner. The exhibition also features the work of silversmith Ubaldo Vitali, ceramic artist Cliff Lee and furnituremaker Matthias Pliessnig.

Judith Schaechter Creativity Workshop

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The Sin Eater Glass 25 x 46 x 6 inches

As part of the James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Series, Judith Schaechter will teach a Creativity Workshop on May 21, 2011. Designed to help artists explore ways to break through “artists block” and expand their creative practice, participants will engage in group discussions as well as individual exercises. On Sunday, May 22, Judith Schaechter will present a lecture on her work in the Grand Salon at the Renwick Gallery. The lecture will be free and open to the public.

Lockdown Glass 21 x 31 x 6 inches

Judith Schaechter, renowned stained glass artist, is the recipient of many grants, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Crafts, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, The Joan Mitchell Award, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Leeway Foundation grant. Her work is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick and numerous other collections. Judith’s work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and she is a 2008 USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow.

The Minotaur (detail) Glass 38 x 25 x 6 inches

Workshop Description:
Creativity is mysterious, miraculous and utterly crucial to an artists’ practice. Because Judith Schaechter herself experienced some difficult bouts of artist’ block, she did a great deal of research into this fascinating and elusive subject. How does one become inspired? How does one choose the one idea to pursue amongst many ideas? Are there techniques to improve oneself creatively?


Ultimately, Judith divided creativity into the following: Inspiration, Perspiration (developing ideas into pieces), Practice (work habits, motivation), Audience and Beliefs.
This workshop will begin with a questionnaire, which should identify areas of interest to the participants. Judith will then share a presentation on what she has discovered. Lively group discussions and individual exercises will follow.

Distinguished Artist Series workshops are $30 for members, $40 for non members. The subscription cost for all four programs is $100 for JRA members and $140 for non-members.
For more information or to register for any of these programs please e-mail: admin@jra.org

James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Craft Artist Program

>The husband-wife artist team of Marc Petrovic and Kari Russell-Pool will be featured as the first JRA Distinguished Artist Program for 2010, with a day long demo on Saturday January 23 and a talk at the Smithsonian’s Grand Salon at the Rewnwick Gallery on Sunday, January 24.

Marc Petrovic top, Kari Russel-Poolbottom
Kari Russell-Pool and Marc Petrovic have been working as studio artists since their graduation from the Cleveland Institute of Art in, respectively, 1990, and 1991. Marc makes pieces that are predominantly glass but also contain wood and metal components. Kari is primarily a flame worker. She creates form from pattern with a technique she developed on her own. Although Marc and Kari strive to retain their individual work and approach, they have collaborated, to a greater or lesser extent, since college.

Kari Russell-Pool top , Marc Petrovic bottom

Each offers insight and suggestions on the other’s work. The collaboration between the two artists most often incorporates Marc’s blown birds into Kari’s structures. In an unusual approach to flame working, Kari melts and pulls all her glass rods from the same glass furnace that Marc uses to sculpt his components. This allows for compatibility between the blown glass birds and the flame-worked structures. Flame workers seldom use soft glass in large-scale work. This glass does not take the stress of torch work well but does allow a greater range of color variation as well as the unique ability to be fused with furnace-blown components.

Both have taught at the Penland School of Crafts and The Studio at Corning, and have conducted numerous workshops both at home and abroad.

The James Renwick Alliance will host the two artists in a demo on Saturday, Jan. 23rd from 10 am to 3 pm, held at our sister school location, DC Glassworks. The cost is $55 payable to the James Renwick Alliance. Click HERE for more info about the demo and tickets from the JRA.

Click HERE for more info about the James Renwick Alliance.

Click HERE for info about the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery calendar of events (scroll down for talk details).