Sean Hennessey Class @ Penland

Sean Hennessey's class in the Spring 1-week sessions.

Sean Hennessey’s class in the in the new Penland Catalog

The renown craft education center – Penland School of Crafts – located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, will have Sean Hennessey teaching his mixed media cast glass technique. sean.hennessy.cast glass_artPenland’s 2016 Spring one week session (April 24-30, 2016) looks to be a winner! Sean’s artwork often combines cast glass, concrete, photography, drawing, light, vdeo, found objects and steel. He holds a BA in Sculpture and a Minor in Philosophy from Berea College and also studied at the Institute for International Studies in Florence, Italy.  sean_hennessy.art.osap.glassHe has also exhibited at SOFA Chicago, John Hopkins University and was a featured artist at the National Institute of Health Gallery, as well as many select group exhibitions. Click HERE to jump to Penland’s online listing of the Spring 2016 classes.

DC’s SEED Charter School: Come to Washington Glass School & Learn About Sins

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The SEED School of Washington, DC


The SEED school of Washington DC is a public charter boarding school
whose mission is “to provide an outstanding intensive educational program that prepares children … for success in college.” This past week, students from the school came to the Washington Glass School for a one-day hands-on class that mixed art, history, chemistry, mathematics and physics.


The students worked at creating bas-relief cast glass artwork that related to “The Seven Deadly Sins” – which, here at the Washington Glass School, is one subject we know all about. The dry plaster casting – that is. Tim Tate and Marc Petrovic did do a collaborative mixed media glass sculpture on the Seven Deadly Sins, and, as we all know, Tim is the devil
– so who better to seek advice?


Not quite sure where a mermaid fits into the 7 Deadly Sins…perhaps its not a mermaid but a Siren (Lust)? or is it “check out my awesome tail” (Pride)?


Erwin Timmers points out the obvious.

The class had a great time creating imagery in plaster that glass would be formed into as bas-relief.
The SEED school arts instructor, Kamala Subramanian said later:
It is not easy to maintain the attention, much less excite teenager students today, where the most exciting things, to me, appear boring to them. You all have earned an A+ in my book of field trips and art experiences!

So there! The Washington Glass School got its first A+!

Glass Sparks: Sean Hennessey

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The Measure of Value (detail)
Sean Hennessey is a Sculptor, Painter, blogger, propmaker and installation artist, and member of the Washington Glass School family. A graduate of the unique Berea College, Sean worked in professional theater for 10 years as a welder, carpenter, rigger, scenic artist, prop artist, and designer all the while creating his own artwork. Sean has been with the Washington Glass School since 2004 when Tim Tate finally convinced him that glass was cool.


The Measure of Value
Glass, Concrete, Steel
42″x13″

He began his relationship with the Washington Glass School by teaching mold making and concrete casting and assisting various classes. Slowly and steadily Sean began including more and more glass into his mixed media sculptures. By 2010 Sean focused primarily in glass and became a resident artist at the Washington Glass School. His current work uses a combination of glass, concrete, found objects, and steel to create works based on mythologies, philosophy, personal experiences, and whimsy.

We Share What We Have
Glass, Concrete, Steel
24″x13″

A Dream of Flying
Glass, Concrete, and Steel
24×13

Sean creates pieces that have the feel of archaeological finds, as if messages from today have been uncovered in some not too distant future. The earthiness of the concrete in his pieces suggests age and patina, slightly covering and obscuring his glass reliefs. He equates the glass with ethereality and the concrete as a corporeal coating. His work touches on issues of overcoming in everyday life–judging yourself and being judged by others, finding and maintaining inspiration, and dealing with dreams and hopes than conflict with our reality.

Ghost Light
Glass, Concrete, Steel
43″x13″

Sean uses the Dry Plaster Relief Casting technique in his work. He sets up boxes inside the kiln, fills the box with sifted plaster power, makes impressions in the plaster, places sheets of float glass on top of the box and fires the glass to slump into the mold.

Sean working inside the kiln.

It’s a dusty process

Example of a Mold used for Dry Plaster Relief Casting

Once the glass is removed from the kiln, Sean uses special primers and polymers to add a coating of cement to the surface.

Glass castings fresh out of the kiln.

Adding layers of concrete to the glass

But it’s not done yet! Apparently Sean loves adding many complicated processes into each piece! He then goes on to stain, sand, and distress the concrete, adding to the sense of age and antiquity. Sometimes he will paint the back of the glass using translucent coatings to allow light to come through. He then welds up steel frames to finish off his work.

Finding Your Power

Glass, Concrete, Steel 42″x13″

Sean will be one of the artists exhibiting at DC’s Longview Gallery juried invitational exhibition showcasing the people and work of the artists of the Washington Glass School. The show opens in May.

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

Click HERE to jump to Sean’s artwork website.


For other glass artist profiles:

Teddie Hathaway

Elizabeth Mears

Jeff Zimmer

Allegra Marquart

Jackie Greeves