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

American Craft Magazine Features Washington Glass School

American Craft magazine June/July 2013

The American Craft Council(ACC) is a national, nonprofit educational organization founded with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft. Their programs include the bimonthly magazine, American Craft, annual juried shows, various workshops, seminars and conferences, and more.

The June/July 2013 issue of American Craft Magazine showcases the cast glass work being made for the U.S. Library of Congress Adams Building. Julie K. Hanus – American Craft’s senior editor and Perry A. Price  -  the ACC’s director of education had come to the school in April and made a report on the process and the artists involved. 

From the magazine: The original doors were designed in 1939 by Lee Lawrie, the sculptor whose Atlas graces Rockefeller Center. They’re massive bronze works, depicting 13 mythological and historical figures of language and learning. Over time, they had begun to fail, straining at the hinges, and didn’t meet modern building codes. Rather than altering the historic doors to address these issues, the Architect of the Capitol made a bold decision; in addition to conserving the Lawrie doors, they would reinterpret these unique Adams Building features in glass.

Jeff Wallin and Ray Ahlgren of Fireart Glass in Portland, OR casting the glass panels. Photo by Charlie Lieberman

Review of each of the LOC cast glass panels with the Architect of the Capitol. L-R Paul Zimmerman/HITT Contracting, William Warmus/Art critic, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Kevin Hildebrand/AOC, Erwin Timmers.

The doors began installation in the spring of 2013 and the entry areas began to transform.

From the interior of East facing building lobby.
The exterior of the first set of six pairs of doors.

The magazine will be on the stands soon – and is online right now! – Click HERE to jump to the American Craft Council website.

Washington Glass Studio team L-R Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson, Erwin Timmers

The DC5 in St Pete

The “DC5″ glass art exhibit – now thru June.

The “DC Five” – (WGS artists Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers) exhibit of glass artwork at Florida’s Duncan McClellan Gallery in St Petersburg opened with a great reception!
Weren’t able to fly down to sunny Florida? Here are some shots of the show, and of the St Petersburg Museum of Fine Art lecture by Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate on their glass artwork.

Erwin Timmers work is in the center of the gallery.

Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate’s mixed media artwork on the walls.
Erwin Timmers’ kilnformed glass artwork is made from recycled building materials.
Duncan McClellan Gallery knows how to best display the artwork.
Allegra Marquart’s fused and sandcarved glass panels look great!
Michael Janis’ glass tarot cards on exhibit.
Sean Hennessey talks about his artwork at the Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg.
Tim Tate makes a point during his talk at the MFA.
Sean looking so much more relaxed than he does here in DC – he loves Florida.
Jacob Stout gave a hotshop demonstration on the Saturday.
L-R Duncan McClellan, Tim Tate, Sean Hennessey.

‘DC-5′ – Works by Artists of the Washington Glass School

Duncan McClellan Gallery

550 24th Street South,

St. Petersburg, FL 33712

(855) 436.4527

Erwin Timmers at Brentwood Arts Exchange "Front Window Gallery"

Erwin Timmers cast recycled glass artwork on view May 11 – June 29, 2013.

The Brentwood Arts Exchange presents its Front Window Featured Artist: eco-artist Erwin Timmers. 

 

Glass sculptor and Washington Glass School co-founder, Erwin Timmers’ colorful eco-friendly glass sculpture will be on display in the Brentwood Arts Exchange gallery’s Front Window Gallery from May 11 – June 29, 2013. Thoughtful and ingenious, Erwin’s sculpture calls attention to contemporary issues through a creative re-engineering of often-overlooked forms and concepts, often focusing on industrial salvage and recycling. Erwin is featured in various prominent collections and has received numerous commissions. His eco-artwork has been on display in Zenith Gallery, Fraser Gallery, and Bender Gallery in Asheville, NC.


Reception: Sat., May 11, 2013, 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Gallery Artist Talk: June 22, at 2:00pm


Brentwood Arts Exchange Gallery Hours:

Monday – Friday: 10am-7pm

Saturday: 10am-4pm


Brentwood Arts Exchange in Gateway Arts Center is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue Brentwood, MD.


Contact the gallery at 301-277-2863 or tty. 301-446-6802, via email at pgp-brentwood-arts@pgparks.com or visit them online at arts.pgparks.com.

Washington Glass Goes South (to Sunny St. Petersburg!)

Duncan McClellan Gallery, located in the heart of St. Petersburg’s arty Warehouse Art District in Florida, will be showcasing five artists from the Washington Glass School.

Sean Hennessey, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, and Allegra Marquart will be the DC five showing in sunny FLA.

Renown glass artist Duncan McClellan was one of the featured artists in the first international US/UK exhibits “Glass3” held Georgetown in 2008. Duncan has opened a hotshop and gallery that features rotating exhibitions showcasing nationally and internationally recognized artists. 

The Gallery in itself is a work of art. Duncan has transformed a 7,800 square foot former fish and tomato packing plant into a beautiful, multi- functional space. Lush fruit bearing trees create a veritable Eden within the industrial area that surrounds it. The grounds have become a meeting place for artists, visiting dignitaries and the community. Duncan also created the DMG School Project – an outreach that provide educational opportunities to both artists and community.

Beer, wine and refreshments are available for a donation benefiting the DMG School Project.

Tim Tate

In addition to the exhibit, the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg will host an artist talk from The Washington Glass Group on May 12, 2013 at 2:00pm. Immediately following the lecture, the public is invited to a reception at Duncan McClellan Gallery. 

Washington Glass: A Group Exhibition
May  – June 2013
Opening Reception: May, 11 from 5:30 to 9:30pm
Artist Talk: Sunday, May 12 at 2:00 pm at St Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Arts.


Duncan McClellan Gallery

550 24th St., South‎

St Petersburg, FL 33712
FB event listing – click HERE

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.

American Craft Council on "International Glass & Clay" Exhibit

Erwin Timmers, Rebound, part of the 2013 International Glass + Clay show in Washington, DC – photo by Pete Duvall.

The American Craft Council (ACC) gives the Washington, DC US/UK collaborative glass and clay show a mention in the ACC’s roundup of national exhibits:

“No time to lose! The 2013 International Glass + Clay runs through March 23 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Washington, DC. It’s a spectacular showcase of artists from Washington, DC and Sunderland, England, the third creative collaboration since the cities signed a friendship agreement in 2006.”

The International Glass and Clay 2013 exhibit is open through March 23, 2013, at Washington, DC’s Pepco Edison Place Gallery, located at 702 Eighth Street, NW, Washington, DC. The show is organized by Artomatic and the DCCAH

Erwin Timmers Featured in AAC Exhibit "Interwoven: Art. Craft. Design"

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Arlington Arts Center (AAC) hosts the national exhibit INTERWOVEN: Art.Craft.Design.

The AAC mounted this exhibition as a way to emphasize and expand the creative dialog around the ever-blurring boundaries between craft, design and fine art.

Juried by Melissa Messina, Senior Curator at the Savannah College of Art and Design and Kathryn Wat, Chief Curator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the jurors were especially interested in artists who explore DIY practices, engage in the reclamation of craft-based materials, re-examine design aesthetics, and otherwise reinvent cross-disciplinary genres within the dialog of contemporary art.

Erwin Timmers “Indestructable Formation” cast recycled glass, 2012

Juried Artists: Erwin Timmers, Mt. Rainier MD; Jehanne Arslan, Oakton VA; Gertrude Berg, Brooklyn NY; Allison Bianco, Silver Spring MD; Ryan Brennan, Brooklyn NY; Caroline Wells Chandler, Long Island City NY; RL Croft, Manassas VA; Matthew de Leon, Brooklyn NY; Nikki Farrand, Richmond VA; Samantha Fields, Avon MA; Joe Fish, Fairfax VA; Maggie Gourlay, Rockville MD; Clarissa Gregory, Baltimore MD; Melanie Kehoss, Arlington VA; Lily Kuonen, Jacksonville FL; Heidi Leitzke, Lancaster PA; Shawne Major, Opelousas LA; Susannah Mira, Houston TX; Rebecca Mushtare, Oswego NY; Marc Robarge, Falls Church VA; Katie Shaw, Richmond VA; Kristin Skees, Hampton VA; Jessica Smith, Tybee Island GA; Olivia Valentine, Brooklyn NY; Saya Woolfalk, Brooklyn NY; Martine Workman, Washington DC.

An intriguing array of artwork with unusual subject matter and a surprising range of media—awesome glass work, video, window decals, fiber work, photography, books, light boxes, mixed media sculpture, and an original wall mural in the Tiffany Gallery--from artists working around the corner and as far away as Houston, TX.

Interwoven: Art Craft. Design.

Jan 18 - March 24, 2013

Opening Reception: Saturday, Jan 19, 2013, from 6 - 9 PM

Arlington Arts Center

3550 Wilson Blvd Arlington VA 22201

Metro : Orange Line : Virginia Square

Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Friday, 1 - 7 PM and Saturday - Sunday, 12 - 5 PM. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Library Of Congress Cast Glass Doors Update

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The Washington Glass Studio created shop drawings for each cast glass panel based on the original sculpture forms from the US Library of Congress Adams Building.
Sean Hennessey and Marie Schneggenburger

The Library of Congress had earlier this year commissioned sculptured glass doors as the famed institution provides much needed upgrades to the entry of the historic building. As mentioned in earlier postings, the Washington Glass Studio has been creating the artwork panels, collaborating with artists and artisans across the United States, from theatrical set designers to pioneers of the American Studio Glass Movement to make artwork worthy of an icon of the United States.

Washington Glass Studio’s Sean Hennessey works with Marie Schneggenburger and Erin Cumbo to take molds from the original bronze doors. After protection to all adjacent surfaces was in place, each the door bronze sculptures were cleaned and prepped for the mold taking process.

Marie Schneggenburger cleans and masks off the original bronze door sculptures.

The original moldings were sprayed with the silicone rubber matrix. The process took place in the summer of 2012, when the East Coast of the US experienced record high temperatures, and some modifications to the silicone process took place, with a step where we brushed on the material to ensure capture of the intricate detail from the originals. The crew started early each morning, to try and minimize their time in the sweltered sun.

The doors are ready for the mold matrix.
Sean Hennessey applies the silicone rubber with what looks like a prop from the movie “Ghostbusters”.

For a short flickr video of the mold-taking process at the Library of Congress doors – click on the arrow below:


After the molds and their “mother mold” material are removed from the doors, they are brought back to the studio for evaluation.

Tahmurath – the Persian hero – had some of the most complex undercuts that required additional molds of the deepest sections.
Detail from Tahmurath bronze sculpture.

The next step of the glass casting process involves one of the early fused glass pioneers – Ray Ahlgren. Ray Ahlgren’s Fireart Glass Studio in Portland, Oregon developed specialized techniques for the final firing of the cast and laminated panels.

Ray Ahlgren

Ray Ahlgren has been working with glass for over 40 years. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Fine Art in glass at the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to starting Fireart Glass in 1980 he co-founded Bullseye Glass Company. In the early 1970’s the early Bullseye Glass Company made glasses for the stained glass trade. Founders Dan Schwoerer, Ray Ahlgren and Boyce Lundstrom worked on the problems that arose when melting this type of glass together in a kiln.

Ray Ahlgren and Dan Schwoerer in 1973.

That’s when they discovered incompatibility. To be successful, they then had to figure out how to test for it and get rid of it. The product they eventually developed was a glass that would be compatible with other glasses and withstand multiple firings without cracking during the cooling process. Kilnformed glass moved forward and developed glass into a leading sculpture medium. We were fortunate to be able to include Ray’s expertise and insight into the technical aspects, as well as his meticulous craftsmanship.

Using the silicone rubber molds, Ray made wax figures that were set as per the original mold, correcting any imperfections.

Tahmurath wax original is set up and dam for plaster is built around.

Plaster is then poured around the wax sculptures, and carefully brushed into voids to eliminate air pockets.

Ray Ahlgren details the plaster across the wax as Erwin Timmers looks on.
Ray fills the dam and levels the casting block.

After the plaster sets, the wax is removed from the casting mold, creating the void where the glass blanks will be melted into.

Inside the kilns, glass was fired into the plaster molds.
Cast glass panel of “Ogma“.

In November 2012, Erwin Timmers brought the Architect of the Capitol’s Library of Congress team to Fireart Glass studio to see the progress of the castings.

Ray Ahlgren removes a cast glass panel from the kiln.

Ray removes the plaster and explains process to LOC’s Yvonne Gurney.
One of the cast glass panels has the plaster rinsed off for review.
WGS’ Erwin Timmers points out details to Yvonne.
The completed panels were inspected as part of the LOC review.

The Library of Congress project continues on, with site work proceeding through the winter months. Parts of the refurbishment are not cosmetic, including installation of new electronics and security into the historic building. The install of the glass panels will happen in early 2013, and we will post new photos of that process, as well as some great process shots taken at Fireart Glass Studios.

"Constructing Content" Exhibit Artists Explore Glass as Sculptural Medium

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Erin Antognoli mixes together steel, glass and imagery in her evocative sculptures.

Constructing Content brings together three artists from the Washington, DC area that explore the ways in which ideas are translated and transformed as artists move from one medium to another. Arriving at kiln-glass from diverse backgrounds, these crossover artists bring new concerns and techniques to the medium. Working at the Washington Glass School, Erin Antognoli, Sean Hennessey and Erwin Timmers are kindred spirits, and their 3 person show opens this weekend at the Delaplaine Arts Center in Maryland.

Sean Hennessey creates narrative cast glass panels.

“We are not in pursuit of the perfect object, or even, necessarily, beautiful objects.” explains painter and sculptor Sean Hennessey, “We are all driven by the narratives that we bring to our work. Our content drives and informs the imagery and the form. We treat glass like another artistic media, using it as an exploration of ideas” 

Erin Antognoli, “Heading West To Find a Bridge”, detail.

“I made the switch to glass and steel sculpture after nearly two decades as a photographer,” explains photographer and sculptor Erin Antognoli, “doing anything by hand seems to have become a lost art. Therefore, as a challenge to the age of digitization, it seemed fitting to me to hand-work the physical sculpture by grinding the glass circles, welding the steel frames, and showcasing handwritten letters.”

Erwin Timmers explores ecological implications in his recycled glass sculpture.

Other artists, through kiln-glass, find a reinforcement of their artistic beliefs. “There is a directness, freedom, and honesty I feel working in glass,” says Washington Glass School co-founder, Erwin Timmers. “I’m not sure I felt quite the same way in my years of sculpting metal.” Erwin works with recycled glass, and environmental integrity informs his work. He feels that material and content are intertwined. “I believe there are no neutral materials,” explains Erwin, “I try to use materials for their intrinsic and philosophical content.”

Sean Hennessey, “Promise Locks” detail.

These artists, with work as diverse as their backgrounds, are brought together because their unique visions have helped build a new direction for glass sculpture.

Erin Antognoli, “The Optimist”

Constructing Content