Peppermill Village at Night – The City of Lights!

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Cassi Hayden, the Senior Visual Media Photographer for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) was at Peppermill Village Community Center covering an event recently and found the artwork (made by Washington Glass Studio) in front to be exceptionally beautiful!

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Cassi took some shots attached high-res files for your use.  All photos in this posting by: M-NCPPC/Cassi Hayden

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center - and on the community that inspired the creation!

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center – and on the community that inspired the creation!

Click HERE to see the public art sculpture in the daytime and how the work came to be!

Smithsonian Museum Curators Visit Washington Glass School

Smithsonian Renwick Museum Curator-In_Charge Nora Atkinson is compelled to touch the artwork by Michael Janis and Tim Tate on her visit to Washington Glass School.

Smithsonian Renwick Museum Curator-In-Charge Nora Atkinson is compelled to touch the artwork by Michael Janis and Tim Tate on her visit to Washington Glass School.

Nora Atkinson, Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian Renwick Museum and Robyn Kennedy, Smithsonian Renwick Chief Administrator pay a visit to the studio to have a look at the new collaborative glass installation by Tim Tate & Michael Janis.

Artist Michael Janis talks about the process and inspiration that he and artist Tim Tate used to make the stunning, collaborative artwork.

Artist Michael Janis talks about the process and inspiration that he and artist Tim Tate used to make the stunning, collaborative artwork.

The two Renwick Museum leaders wanted a preview of the work titled, “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air” before it heads up to Chicago as part of Habatat Prime pop-up exhibit that is part of SOFA Expo in a few weeks (Oct 31-Nov 3).

Artist Erwin Timmers points out the features of his thoughtful glass sculptures to SAAM Curator Nora Atkinson and Chief Administrator, Robyn Kennedy.

Artist Erwin Timmers points out the features of his thoughtful glass sculptures to SAAM Curator Nora Atkinson and Chief Administrator, Robyn Kennedy.

And a walk thru of the Washington Glass School looking at the artists work – what great way to spend a spectacular Friday in DC.

Michael Janis describes his sgraffito glass technique to Smithsonian's  Robyn Kennedy and Nora Atkinson as they tour the work on exhibit.

Michael Janis describes his sgraffito glass technique to Smithsonian’s Robyn Kennedy and Nora Atkinson as they tour the work on exhibit.

 

Brentwood Arts Exchange Features Glass works by Debbi LoCicero

brentwoo.arts.glass.washington.glass.school.studio

The Brentwood Arts Exchange serves as an anchor for the arts-based community development of the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District. Located in the Gateway Arts Center, the Brentwood Arts Exchange will showcase Glass works by Debbi LoCicero, one of the Resident Artists at the Washington Glass School. Opening reception for her show at Brentwood Arts Exchange is Saturday, September 7th at, 9/7- 5-8 pm.

Debbi will be exhibiting glass objects from her “Lace Series”, representing memories of special places and times in the artist’s life. 

debbi.loCicero.glass.art.sculpture.narrative.content.figurative.frit_powder.new.21st.century.washington.kiln.fused

The piece, titled “We Are All Just Passing Through”, is from her Lace Series.Image is of figures that are within the sculptural cube.

Debbi said about what she feels the artwork expresses: “Memories from our past… feelings about today….. excitement about what the future holds….”

Fall Exhibition

Opening Reception Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 5 PM – 8 PM

Brentwood Arts Exchange Front Gallery

3901 Rhode Island Ave
Brentwood, Maryland 20722

Washington Glass School Wishes All A Peaceful Memorial Day

One of the fused glass panels made for the new Laurel Library public artwork.

One of the fused glass panels made for the new Laurel Library public artwork.

To many, Memorial Day, the federal U.S. holiday that takes place every year on the last Monday of May, is just another excuse for a three-day weekend. It’s also known as the day that marks the official start of summer and as a day devoted to getting great deals at the mall. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and mattress sales.

The holiday began after the Civil War, and at that time was known as “Decoration Day.” While it was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, today, Memorial Day is a day to honor all of the Americans who have died in military service.

Patriotic Americans should take a moment from their day of celebration and leisure to reflect on the brave sacrifices of those who have given their lives for this great nation. 

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. George Washington

 

No Dim Bulbs in Lighting Class!

Erwin Timmers instructs one of the lighting class students.

Erwin Timmers instructs one of the lighting class students.

Erwin Timmer’s artistic lighting class these past few weeks brought some serious color to the studio – really brightening up the studio!

Over the three week class, students completed a number of lighting designs, ranging from pendant to wall sconces and table lamps. Great to see how each created functional art that reflected the tastes and aesthetics of each of the artists. This was certainly a class that put forth the effort in the design!

Vibha's glass design was dazzling!

Vibha’s glass design was dazzling!

Students designed and made the glass as well as assembled the mounting hardware.

Students designed and made the glass as well as assembled the mounting hardware.

Louis Comfort Tiffany would have been jealous of the glass created for the light fixture.

Louis Comfort Tiffany would have been jealous of the glass created for the light fixture.

Jerrelee loves her light fixture that relates to her artwork.

Jerrelee loves her light fixture that relates to her artwork.

Smithsonian American Art Museum Features Michael Janis

Smithsonian Distinguished Artist Michael Janis

Michael Janis at the Smithsonian Museum. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.

a.3.rosenthal.glass.scraffito_class.washington.janis.mike.art.new

Washington Glass School sgraffito workshop. Photo by Miriam Rosenthal.

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is an independent national non-profit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA is the exclusive support group of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the U.S. national showcase of contemporary American craft. Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis was named “Distinguished Artist” by the JRA. The weekend’s events included a sgraffito glass workshop with Michael held at the Washington Glass School and Michael Janis presented at the Smithsonian Museum’s Turner Auditorium outlining his career, process, and artwork. The talk at the museum was broadcast live and the Smithsonian staff promised that it would be available online soon. 3.michael.janis.smithsonian.american.art.museum.artist_glassThe final event was the JRA hosted dinner on Sunday evening – it was a very busy exciting weekend for the Washington Glass School!4.a.distinguished_artist.james.renwick.alliance.shea.trump.janis_glass_cuddle

Congratulations to Michael – well done and well deserved!

 

Glass BLAST! in London

>

Cate Watkinson
BLAST! 2012

COHESION GLASS NETWORK’S 10th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION

July 6 – August 8, 2012

Joanne Mitchell

London, England’s ZeST Contemporary Glass Gallery is hosting BLAST! 2012, the 10th anniversary exhibition of Cohesion Glass Network. Cohesion Glass Network is an initiative supported by the UK’s Sunderland City Council as a way to create a business network for glassmakers and artists. 


Tim Tate

To celebrate this landmark, ZeST Gallery has invited eight of Cohesion’s founding members to exhibit their latest artworks and provided the opportunity to select an artist to be a “partner” and show work alongside them.

Roger Tye

These eight artists are Criss Chaney, Dominic Fonde, Zoe Garner, Ruth Lyne, Joanne Mitchell, Claudia Phipps, Roger Tye and Cate Watkinson.  They have selected partners whose work they admire, or find complementary to their own, or in some cases they have joined forces to create unique collaborative work, exploring and developing themes and concepts held in common. Some, but not all, of the partner artists are Cohesion members, and all but one of the partners are artists working in glass.

Michael Janis

Cohesion artist Joanne Mitchell chose Washington Glass Studio artist Tim Tate. Cohesion’s Roger Tye is paired with WGS’ Michael Janis. Michael and Tim were both at Cohesion’s studios while in the UK on their Fulbright assignment.

The exhibition features a diverse selection of glass art, including wall-mounted and installation artwork, as well as vessels and sculpture, and embodies a broad spectrum of processes and techniques. The pairings within the show create an exciting dynamic of glass, artistic and otherworldly narratives.

Carrie Fertig

Artist pairings include:
Criss Chaney with Robyn Townsend

Dominic Fonde with Chua Teng Yeow

Zoe Garner with Carrie Fertig

Ruth Lyne with Rachel O’Dell

Joanne Mitchell with Tim Tate

Claudia Phipps with June Kingsbury

Roger Tye with Michael Janis

Cate Watkinson with Emma Hollins

Blast! 2012

July 6 – August 8, 2012

Zest Contemporary Glass Gallery

Roxby Place (end of Rickett Street)

London SW6 1RS

WGS Scores a Double in Glass Art Magazine: Michael Janis and Erwin Timmers Featured Artists

>

Michael Janis’ narrative imagery made from crushed frit powder is the cover story in the May/June issue of Glass Art Magazine.

The May / June issue of Glass Art Magazine features a WGS two-fer, with a feature on the ecologically sustainable designs by the “King” of recycling, Erwin Timmers, AND a cover spread on the dreamlike glass panels by Michael Janis.

The Erwin Timmers’ review delves in depth into how Erwin makes sculpture from recycled and diverted waste materials .

Working Green“, the article by Colleen Bryan, features the leader of the eco-art movement Erwin Timmers , and reviews his environmental philosophy and how Erwin practices his passion in his approach to his artwork and medium. Some great photos by Pete Duvall of Anything Photographic of Erwin’s beautiful glass sculpture work are showcased among the 5-page spread.  

Glass Art Magazine Editor Shawn Waggoner writes about Michael Janis’ artwork in the latest issue.

In the cover article “Pushing Powder – Michael Janis’ Glass Frit Drawings“, editor Shawn Waggoner writes about how Michael Janis‘ imagery touches on the subconscious, and that his narrative glass artwork seems to ask questions rather than answer them. Her article also discusses how Michael was able to have his work became part of the US Art in Embassies permanent collection (now on exhibit in Europe), comments about his work from Corning Museum’s curator of Modern Glass, and Michael’s recent Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Sunderland, England, where, as a Fulbright Specialist, he was teaching at the UK’s National Glass Centre.


Click HERE to jump to the Glass Art Magazine website.


If you sign up as a subscriber to Glass Art Magazine – there are subscriber benefits – such as links to articles online on how Michael Janis’ and Tim Tate’s Fulbright Scholarship to the UK’s University of Sunderland worked out and more! Click HERE to jump to the online magazine.

Vanderbilt University Glass Panels (Part 2)

>

Vanderbilt University’s Critical Care Tower Nurse Stations

Ardent readers of the Washington Glass School blog will remember earlier posting about theVanderbilt University, where the University’s new Critical Care Tower installed kilnformed glass panels. The project has expanded and additional floors were designed to incorporate more of the kilnformed glass panels in new areas, each with the floating leaf motif. The leaf is the symbol of Vanderbilt University and the oldest part of the Vanderbilt campus is known for its abundance of trees and green space. The campus was designated as a national arboretum in 1988.
The imagery of swirling leaves were always part of the design of the custom glass architectural panels.
Mick Coughlan and Erwin Timmers worked on the creation of the new series of glass panels – some shots of the panels in progress:


Mick Coughlan gives the glass set into the kiln one last clean.

The deep-relief dry plaster kiln casting method is used to create the panels.

Erwin Timmers edge polishes the glass panels. Dousing everything with water.

After the edge polishing Mick & Erwin’s glass edge grinding, impromptu dryers (aka hot kilns) sported wet clothing.

Kiln Formed Glass History – Part 2

>

Exploring Technique and Content – the ’60′s, ’70′s & ’80′s

Untitled sculpture, Mary Shaffer, fused and slumped industrial sheet glass, 1975


As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations in honor of the 1962 Toledo Glass Workshop, the Washington Glass School blog is looking the heritage of the art movement. This is the second part in an historical overview of how fused glass (aka kiln-formed, or warm glass) fits into the contemporary Studio Art Glass Movement. Much of the information was based on published writings by
Martha Drexler Lynn, William Warmus & Beth Hylen, Richard LaLonde, Dan Schwoerer & Boyce Lundstrom and from the Corning Museum of Glass library.

The 1962 Toledo glass workshops indeed marked a watershed. After the workshops, glass moved into university and college programs and significantly into fine arts programs. After the two workshops, by 1964, (hot) glass artists were increasingly college educated in fine arts degree programs that required the same course work demanded for painting or sculpture. In the early days of the Studio Glass Movement the compelling attitude was the quest to spread the word and distance glass art from both the factory and hobbyist. Hot glass had reconstituted itself with the museum’s blessing, and had achieved a new identity.

Other aspects also had an influence on the growing art movement. The young artists were entranced by notions of an alternative lifestyle free of the establishment values of the older generation. “We were hippies, Okay? People have to understand that. No watches, no underwear, no nothing” remembers Toots Zynsky regarding the early days at Pilchuck. Learning to make art with glass, rejecting bourgeois rules, and living an anti-establishment lifestyle were irresistible and became part of the lore both of Pilchuck and of the glass movement in general.



Clipped Grass, Mary Ann “Toots” Zynsky, green tinted fused and thermo-formed glass threads, 1982


Antique collecting in the 1960’s brought about a renewed interest in stained glass. Citi
es such as Denver, CO became trading centers for stained glass windows removed from old East Coast houses and buildings. The demand for turn-of-the-century stained glass encouraged studios to create works ranging from Tiffany style reproductions to contemporary designs.

The rapid growth of the new stained glass studios across the country, brought about by the demand for stained glass, was made possible by new types of glass manufacturers and the influence of the growing Studio Glass movement and Harvey Littleton.

Ray Ahlgren, Dan Schwoerer, Boyce Lundstrom

The modern stained glass movement, started by mimicking the traditional work evolved into a very diverse art form. Boyce Lundstrom, one of the founders of Bullseye Glass Company wrote:
Our experience in the glass world pointed to a need for more colored sheet glass for the stained glass industry…(I) began working with glass in 1965, when I joined the new glass program established by Dr. Robert Fritz that year at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. At that time I was a ceramics major, studying with one of the great ceramic glaze technicians of our time, Dr. Herbert Sanders. The close correlation between the calculating and making of ceramic glazes and the process of making glass is a natural one. So, as a potter studying glaze calculation, I found it natural to apply the technology to glass, and was soon drawn by the material.
In Dr. Fritz’s program I learned to control all phases of the process of making finished blown objects. We built glass melting equipment, calculated and melted batch, formed the glass, and carried out all the cold working processes for finishing the annealed work. After my graduation from San Jose State, in 1967, I operated a ceramics and glass studio in southern California for two years before my wife and I moved to Corvallis, Oregon, in late 1969, where I blew glass for galleries and craft fairs. While participating in craft fairs and shows, I met many other glass artists who had become infatuated with hot glass in the early years of the studio blowing movement in this country. We were all struggling to support our individual studios and families, while experimenting
with new glasses and equipment.”

Two of those artists were Ray Ahlgren and Dan Schwoerer, who were partners in a glass blowing. (Ray Ahlgren started his glass career in Wisconsin in 1965. His background in ceramics, glass blowing, glass chemistry, studio fabrication and design. Daniel Schwoerer graduated from the University of Wisconsin where he also worked in the art department as graduate assistant to Professor Harvey Littleton in 1968-69. He then moved to Portland, where he set up a glassblowing studio. In 1974 the three self-described “hippie glassblowers” started Bullseye Glass Company, a small factory for making specialty sheet glass – initially focused on making colored sheets for use in stained glass.)


Ray Ahlgren, fused glass tiles, plywood, 1982


Said Boyce: “
For the next four years, the pressing demands of an infant company consumed all of my time. In 1978 I began designing independent stained glass panels, executed for me by more capable craftspersons. Since, at Bullseye, we produced mixed colors of glass daily, and had control of the formulas, it seemed a foregone conclusion that we could make sheet glass with similar coefficients of expansion.


Boyce Lundstrom, red glass fused bowl, 1979


The thought process went something like this: if sheet glasses had the same coefficient of expansion, they could be cut into shapes and fused together. So, I started experimenting in 1979 or 1980–I don’t know exactly when because the process was slow at first, fraught with many failures and just a few successes. If there was one memorable breakthrough, it was the application of the method of testing for stress with a polarimeter (from glass blowing) to glasses fused to a clear sheet glass with a constant coefficient of expansion.

When making sheet glass it is not important to have a constant coefficient of expansion among all the glasses. Single colors can all be different and mixed colors only have to be within one or two coefficient points of one another. In glass blowing it is not uncommon to use glasses together that vary in coefficient of expansion by four or five points, because the casing process holds the glass together. But when fusing glass flat, the glasses must be very close in coefficients. Establishing a clear glass as a constant, and then formulating the melt for all colors to fit that constant, made the contemporary glass fusing movement possible.

The ability to fuse glass, by taking it through the complete process of heating, holding and annealing, then checking the finished results with an accurate test, really stimulated my dreams of unlimited possibilities. I saw kiln fired glass as the wave of the future, providing freedom for all those who would like to be freed of the lead lines! Tiles, windows, bowls, sculptures, and building facades could all be made with fused sheet glass… By 1981, I became adamant about producing glass for the fusing market at Bullseye Glass. My remaining partner, Dan Schwoerer, supported me in my one-man campaign to make fusing available to everyone. During the next few years we succeeded in making available a line of fusing compatible glasses. By 1983 we were teaching fusing in diverse parts of the world, establishing a line of products and working with kiln manufacturers to get kilns designed for glass on the market.”

The influence by the hot glass education and artwork by the artists that came from the universities now teaching glass artwork outlined the directions that warm or kiln-formed glass would take. In the late 1960s there was the emphasis on technology and education. The glass artwork was part of broader international craft movement of the 1960s in which clay, fiber, wood, and metal are used for creative expression.


Gyes Arcade, Christopher Wilmarth, flat and curved plate glass elements, 1969

In 1969, glass was rarely seen in contemporary art, especially in large-scale sculpture. However, the American Studio Glass Movement was gathering national momentum. Many studio glass artists looked at contemporary sculpture, such as Gyes Arcade, for inspiration on how glass might be treated artistically.

At the 1972 National Sculpture Conference in Lawrence, Kansas, Harvey Littleton introduces his phrase “Technique is cheap” that continues to influence artists. The dichotomy between the sculptor in search of form (the “technique is cheap” attitude) vs. the craftsman striving to create a perfectly executed functional object is a strong motivation for many artists.


Bowl #2, Mary T Warren, glass, wire, 1978

The explosion of glass schools and studios in the 1970s and 1980s paves the way for a new industry of glass tools, equipment and glass suppliers.

Glass kilns originally were ceramic kilns with cones that required watching the stage and temperature of the progress. With the programmable computer controls, the fused glass industry was revolutionized. In the early 1980s Spectrum Glass introduced System 96, and Bullseye Glass introduces its “Tested Compatible” glass designed specifically for fusing.

Mosaic Bowl, Klaus Moje, glass, 1978

The work by glass artists pursue narrative, political, gender issues and create more multimedia work, combining glass with other materials (wood, metal, paint, stone). The “Art vs. craft” debate pushes aside technical issues.

Blast Off To Oblivion, Richard LaLonde, fused glass panel, 1983

By the mid-1980′s there was an explosion in alternatives to hot glass: pâte de verre, lampworking, kilnworking, coldworking, even microwaved glass jewelry, and women play an increasingly prominent role in the glass movement. With the increase in interest and new glass specific art galleries emerging, art museums begin to exhibit glass in contemporary art sections – and the interest in glass art helps glass magazines flourish.

Charles Parriott, glass, enamels in sgraffito technique, ca 1983

Pajaritos en la Cabeza (Little birds in the head) and Cabellos de Angel (Angel hair), Toots Zynsky, fused and thermo-formed glass threads, 1988

In the summer of 1971, Dale Chihuly brought a small group of his friends and a few RISD students, including Toots Zynsky, to Washington State. There, she participated in the founding and early development of Pilchuck Glass School. By early 1972, she was making installations with slumped plate glass. In 1973, she began experimenting with video and performance works that incorporated hot and cold glass with artist Buster Simpson. Her experimental work—which was characteristic of much of the art being made in the 1970s—was important for the development of glass as a material to explore issues in contemporary art.

Throughout the 1980′s art glass collectors sought to build collections based less on investment value and more on the inherent worth of the artworks and auctions of contemporary glass begin at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The camaraderie of collectors and friendly competition for the glass artworks lead to a relatively stable market and the development of a glass community. In 1985, Glass Weekend begins at Wheaton Village, Millville, NJ. The biennial seminar brings together leading contemporary glass artists, collectors, galleries, and museum curators.

Opposing Fields, Charles Parriott, glass, silk-screened decal imagery, 1982

As it became more acceptable for artists to use of glass as a fine-art medium, there began a more expansive use of glass as a component – there was more multimedia work, where glass was combed with other materials (wood, metal, paint, stone), and a perceived reaction against the “beauty” of glass. Artists continued to pursue narrative, political, gender issues as expressed in the glass.

In 1989 the late Dan Klein, former director of Christie’s auction house and studio glass collector noted that hot glass, which had “enjoyed what seems in retrospect a disproportionate degree of popularity during the 1960’s lost ground to other techniques, until it was felt during the 1980’s that it had been almost completely phased out”.

An interesting note to end this segment of the history of fused glass within the context of the American Studio Glass Movement.

Click HERE to jump to Part 1 of the Washington Glass School blog about the History of Fused Glass.