WGS Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar‘s glass sculptures inspires and provoke imagination. Telling stories has always been her primary objective. Some narratives are sad, funny, or thoughtful but artworks are always about celebrating life. Carmen lives in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where she maintains a studio and is a member of the art faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Pittsburgh Glass School, Appalachian Center for Crafts, The Chrysler Museum, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She has had residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and Penland School of Craft. Although she travels abroad to teach and share her love for glass – most recently to Turkey, Italy, and New Zealand – she always returns to her Midwestern roots. 

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Carmen as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” 

Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Carmen Lozar: I work with rods and tubes of borosilicate glass at a torch.  Flameworking lends itself to small intimate pieces, the type I most enjoy making. The process requires concentration, years of skill building and many, many generous mentors who are willing to share their knowledge. 

Caremen Lozar, "Bubble Gum", 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3"x 2"x 6"

Caremen Lozar, “Bubble Gum”, 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3″x 2″x 6″

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Carmen Lozar: The work is the show is meant to be intimate and accessible, highlighting human follies in a lighthearted way. The bubble gum pieces are about the sticky messes we continually put ourselves in but also the ridiculous and stretchy nature of glass as a material. To me, much of the work is both funny and sad. 

The ketchup and mustard piece, Fight, is about the continual small spats that my daughters engage in daily. I know that they love each other and work well together but this does not stop them from ongoing sibling rivalry. This piece makes light of their arguments knowing they will pass and, in a way, preserving my sanity.

Carmen Lozar, "Fight", Flameworked glass and found object. 3"H x 8"L x 2"D

Carmen Lozar, “Fight”, Flameworked glass and found object. 3″H x 8″L x 2″D

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Carmen Lozar: I have been oscillating between enjoying a quiet summer and completely freaking out. There is so much to process and digest that I am sure the landscape of what we make will change as a result. I believe an entirely new aesthetic will result as a product of the pandemic and unrest.

Image from Carmen Lozar's sketchbook.

Image from Carmen Lozar’s sketchbook.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Carmen Lozar:  I do a lot of planning before I begin a new artwork, usually beginning with several drawings in my sketchbook. I usually stick to the drawing/idea pretty closely although if there are too many repetitive parts in the piece I will simplify. I have a short attention span and making the same objects over and over, while I love the way it looks, is difficult for me.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Carmen Lozar: An allergist.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Carmen Lozar: You get a crazy wonderful rush of adrenaline that you cannot find anywhere else!

Click here to jump to Carmen Lozar’s work in CLICK-IT!
Click HERE to jump to the show.

WGS Featured Artist: Erwin Timmers

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Erwin Timmers

Erwin Timmers is the co-founder of the Washington Glass Studio and Washington Glass School. Originally from Amsterdam, he moved to California and graduated from Santa Monica College for Design Arts and Architecture. In 1999 he moved to the Washington DC area and since then his sculptural artwork has been on display in Zenith Gallery, Fraser Gallery, and Gallery Neptune. Erwin was named the Montgomery County, MD Executive’s Award Outstanding Artist of the Year in 2018.

His approach to art is multifaceted, incorporating metalwork, innovative lighting and glass design. He teaches glass, lighting, sculpture, and metal work. Industrial salvage and recycling are recurring themes in his work, which he sees as crucial parts to the interaction with one’s surroundings. Recently, the Artisan 4100 - an apartment community opening along Route 1 in Brentwood, MD – commissioned Erwin Timmers to create a major glass and light installation for the new building lobby.

Artist Erwin Timmers installs Artisan 4100 Building artwork commission.

Artist Erwin Timmers installs Artisan 4100 Building artwork commission.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Erwin as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.
Erwin Timmers: I cast objects in recycled glass. For this series I have used discarded packaging material, from which I take molds in plaster. The glass then heats up in an electric kiln, melts and takes on the shape of this mold. To finish I chop, and trim the glass and weld the metal frame.

Erwin Timmers, "Patterns of Containment V" cast recycled glass

Erwin Timmers, “Patterns of Containment V” cast recycled glass

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Erwin Timmers: The work features single-use plastic wrappings that viewers may recognize. The grid format formalizes the display of “trash” as art and then I use grids within each frame as well. I hope to give viewers a moment of pause while contemplating the shapes and patterns.

Erwin Timmer: detail "Patterns of Containment"

Erwin Timmer: detail “Patterns of Containment”

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Erwin Timmers: Initially COVID was like snow days we hadn’t had, but with great weather. That was before any financial pressure came into play. It was motivating to see the air pollution worldwide go down, I wish it could stay like that. But at the same time the single use plastic pollution is increasing, giving me even more art base materials…

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?
Erwin Timmers: The current civil crisis has been deeply moving. It caused me to rethink and redevelop the direction of my hands symbol series.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?
Erwin Timmers: Epidemiologist 

Erwin Timmers suits up in his PPE gear to work in the studio.

Erwin Timmers suits up in his PPE gear to work in the studio. Or tend the studio bee-hives.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?
Erwin Timmers: I plan the general idea, but often new ideas and aspects emerge as I work. I try to incorporate these, and I can then evaluate whether they work or not.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?
Erwin Timmers: When I sign it, it is done…

Click here to jump to Erwin Timmers work in CLICK-IT!
Erwin’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

Glass 48 Opens May 8!

Glass 48 opens Friday May 8 @ 1:00 pm ( Eastern time).

Glass 48 opens Friday May 8 @ 1:00 pm ( Eastern time).

The pandemic has changed many planned arts events across the world. Habatat Galleries has adapted their planned Glass48 International event to an online presentation so the exhibition can be viewed from anywhere. This monumental experience will allow all visitors to view presentation from anywhere in the world. This experience includes personalized videos of each artists work and will also feature studio tours.

WGS Artists Tim Tate and Michael Janis are featured in the International exhibit – and they each have video presentations of their individual work and of their collaborative work.

Pate De Verre Class Fun!

This weekend’s pâte de verre class was a great success! 

Instructor Teri Bailey demonstrates how to apply color frit powder into specific areas for the class.

Instructor Teri Bailey demonstrates how to apply color frit powder into specific areas for the class.

Pâte de verre is a kilncasting method that literally means “paste of glass”. The general premise is to mix frit granules with some sort of binder such as gum arabic, then apply the glass to the inner surface of a negative mold.

Teri Bailey demonstrates proper frit application.

Teri Bailey demonstrates proper frit application.

The Pâte de verre students made plaster molds in which they would cast the glass.

The Pâte de verre students made plaster molds in which they would cast the glass.

Lively discussion on ways to kilncast glass sculpture was explored by the class.

Lively discussion on ways to kilncast glass sculpture was explored by the class.The students all loved the process and can't wait til the firings are out of the kilns. The students all loved the process and can’t wait til the firings are out of the kilns.

 

The Process: Public Art 900 Thayer in Silver Spring, MD – “Social Fabric”

Public art can strengthen social bonds, especially for culturally diverse neighborhoods.

Corner installation of "Social Fabric" public art at Fenton Apartments in Silver Spring, MD.

Corner installation of “Social Fabric” public art at Fenton Apartments in Silver Spring, MD.

Washington Glass Studio recently completed a public art project in Silver Spring, MD, for a new mixed use development at 900 Thayer Ave

The original 2005 design concept - cast glass panels helped define the architectural entrance to the development.

The original 2005 design concept – cast glass panels helped define the architectural entrance to the “Adele” development.

Washington Glass Studio began creating artwork options for developments on the site, starting in 2005, when the site first was being developed as a residential development called “The Adele”. After a review and approval by Montgomery County Arts Council, the project languished as the real estate market changed.

In 2013, WGS Studio began working with the developers that purchased that project site, Redbrick LMD. Working with the design team, WGS artists were inspired by the rich mixture of ethnic groups in Silver Spring. Imagery and patterns that were based on the cultural fabric and textiles, as well as indigenous weaving and embroidery patterns for tapestries, wraps, blankets and garments.

Fabrics & textiles of the cultures that make up the Silver Spring neighborhoods was the inspiration of the new artwork design for 900 Thayer.

Fabrics & textiles of the cultures that make up the Silver Spring neighborhoods was the inspiration of the new artwork design for 900 Thayer.

 

Artwork on the corner column made up of backlit glass panels would be a colorful reference to the cultures, and add a bright pop of color on the site.

The corner location of the artwork would also frame out the proposed future planned arts development that would be up the road from 900 Thayer, and the Montgomery County Review committee was keen on having the artwork go further – asking if the artwork could be extended all along the ground level of the new development. Happily, Redbrick Developers agreed, and the scope of the artwork was extended along the entire street level and apartment outdoor spaces.

The corner column at 900 Thayer was to have an 11 foot high tower of backlit panels mounted to the surfaces.

The corner column at 900 Thayer was to have an 11 foot high tower of backlit panels mounted to the surfaces.

The project stalled in 2015. In 2017, Chesapeake Realty Partners joined with Redbrick Developer and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County in moving forward with the property  proceeded with groundbreaking and construction of the development in June of 2018.

WGS Studio was contacted and engaged to fully develop the design. WGS revisited the idea of incorporating cultural textile and fabric patterns would encourage viewers to appreciate the colorful patterns enlivening the streetscape, as well as promoting a message of open-mindedness, promote tolerance and curiosity about other cultures.

The brightly colored hand-screened glass features patterns were artistically based on Ethiopian textiles, African mudcoths, Central American weavings, European folkloric fabric prints, intricate and colorful ancestral weaving designs from Asia, Native American blankets, and Colonial American quilt patterns. Using identity and culture as the main theme of the building’s public artwork, WGS sought to inspire self-reflection, human connection, and conversation.

Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg work on silkscreening the enamel patterns on glass, to be fired in the kilns after.

Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg work on silkscreening the enamel patterns on glass, to be fired in the kilns after.

The Washington Glass Studio team worked on the production of the glass artwork starting in early 2019. Large silkscreen panels were made to allow the patterns to be enameled and fired in the WGS kilns. WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers worked on the LED design and integration of the glass artwork.

The enameled glass was fired to keep the high contrast color selections vibrant.

The enameled glass was fired to keep the high contrast color selections vibrant.

Over 60 18″ x 18″ panels were made – and were to be mounted in a variety of multi-panel arrangements.

The installation on site began in October of 2019, and as the building occupancy needed the artwork to be completed to allow for certification, a focused WGS team made short work of the outdoor artwork installation. 

Detail of one of the LED illuminated glass panels at 900 Thayer Ave.

Detail of one of the LED illuminated glass panels at 900 Thayer Ave.

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is a vision in orange as he preps the LED mounts for the glass.

WGS Co-Director Michael Janis is a vision in orange as he preps the LED mounts for the glass.

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers sets the final glass artwork panels in the corner column at the 900 Thayer site.

WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers sets the final glass artwork panels in the corner column at the 900 Thayer site.

The Fenton Apartment corner column artwork has a strong presence in the daytime, with the LED illumination.

The Fenton Apartment corner column artwork has a strong presence in the daytime, with the LED illumination.

Project Details
Location: 900 Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring MD, 20910
Washington Glass Studio Public Art Team: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Teri Bailey and Patricia De Poel Wilberg.

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!

Peppermill Community Center Public Art

Peppermill Community Center

Peppermill Community Center with the internally illuminated artwork “Telling Our Story…” by Washington Glass Studio.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) commissioned Washington Glass Studio (WGS) to create a public art sculpture for the new addition to the Peppermill Community Center in Landover, MD.

Shop drawing of sculpture by WGS.

Shop drawing of sculpture by WGS.

Some communities see public art as a way of enhancing or personalizing otherwise impersonal spaces. Others view it as a means to activate civic dialogue or provide a vehicle for the community to express its identity.

These landmarks and special events enhance our experience of a place and our quality of life. They engender a sense of pride and community identity. They reach audiences outside museums, galleries, and theaters, and they add to the beauty of everyday life. They declare the worth of a place and a time in our shared culture.

Erwin Timmers leads a community glass making workshop at the Washington Glass School.

Erwin Timmers leads a community glass making workshop at the Washington Glass School.

As such, the design of the site-specific sculpture by WGS was centered on finding ways to get the community excited and engaged with the convergence of art, history and community. The proposal for the art was based on a 15’H tower of glass and steel that would be internally illuminated with over 100 glass inset panels. The artwork of the insets were to be created by involving the community via a series of glass-making workshops held at the Washington Glass School

A great cross section of community came out to be part of the creation of the new public art for Peppermill Community Center.

A great cross section of community came out to be part of the creation of the new public art for Peppermill Community Center.

The residents and stakeholders were tasked with showing what they felt important to them and what inspired them were made. Images of family, nature, the environment, their neighborhoods, their sports teams were rendered in glass.

All sorts of imagery and glass techniques were employed to great effect.

All sorts of imagery and glass techniques were employed to great effect.

Cast glass images of the social groups – the sewing groups, the cheer squads, the state flag – even a Maryland blue crab were crafted. Historical references to the nearby horse farms and the old roller rink were included in the mix of glass panels. Part of the fun of the artwork is seeing how this mix of images and references all somehow work together.

The tower, titled :"Telling Our Story..." adds a powerfull and dramitic artistic element at the new entry at the community center.

The tower, titled :”Telling Our Story…” adds a powerful and dramatic artistic element at the new entry at the community center.

Shaping places—with landmarks and landscapes, events and ideologies—sets the stage for a critical part of our existence: our connection with our environment; with our past, present, and future; and with other human beings.

The mix of images and stories told create a compelling and inclusive mixture - each distinctive and unique - yet cohesive as a whole.

The mix of images and stories told create a compelling and inclusive mixture – each distinctive and unique – yet cohesive as a whole.

“Telling Our Story…”
Artist: Washington Glass Studio
Project Team: Teri Bailey, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate and Lee Kind.
Media: Cast and fused glass, steel, LED lighting, concrete.
Location: Peppermill Community Center, 610 Hill Rd, Landover, MD 20785
Client: The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

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.

 

Breaking Glass News! Jeff Zimmer Wins British Glass Biennale!

The British Glass Biennale is the foremost exhibition of excellence in contemporary glass by artists, designers and craftspeople currently working in Britain. Taking place every two years it is the highlight of the International Festival of Glass.

Winner of the 2019 British Glass Biennale - Jeff Zimmer!

Winner of the 2019 British Glass Biennale – Jeff Zimmer!

So excited to find out that WGS alum Jeff Zimmer has won this prestigious award! Super Congratulations Jeff!

Building Worlds @ GRACE

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) in Northern Virginia’s town of Reston,  presents Building Worlds - an exhibit of artwork that focuses on the role of science fiction, scientific fact, and fantasy in the changing nature of our relationship to our fears, ideals, and questions about being human.

Laura Beth Konopinski, "Hang:Purge"; glass; 2018

Laura Beth Konopinski, “Hang:Purge”; glass; 2018; photo by Pete Duvall

The artists in this exhibition create their own worlds, including cultural references and artifacts, to question the assumptions of history-making and truth-telling. Building Worlds features the work of Michael Booker, Rachel Guardiola, Timothy Harper, Laura Beth Konopinski, and Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann.

Opening Reception and Curator’s Talk: July 21, 5–7pm

Building Worlds
July 21- September 15, 2018
Greater Reston Arts Center
12001 Market Street, Suite #103, Reston, VA 20190
703.471.9242