Veterans Day: Honoring Those Who Served In The Armed Forces

Above is from a series of works Melissa Kistler created during a class focused on imagery in glass at The Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

In the new post-studio glass landscape, content driven artwork continues to evolve. Often people struggle to tell a story with their artwork, and as artists, work at connecting to the viewer with personal narratives integrated into their work. For this Veterans Day we feature one artist’s successful series that draws from her family story.

Glass artist Melissa Kistler was born and raised in a small rural community in northeastern Pennsylvania. As the daughter of a Master Gunnery Sergeant of the Marine Corps, her work draws from the overlapping spheres of family, the military, and home.

Melissa Kistler; “Mother, Daughter” detail; mirror, print

Utilizing nostalgic references to childhood and memory, she delves into the phenomena of collective identity and the fluidity of the self. Melissa’s work is informed by sociological studies of identity and the military and cultural representations of family and military membership.

Melissa Kistler; “Sailors”mirrored glass, print

Melissa earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in glass from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. She was a recipient of a Creative Arts, Research, and Scholarship Grant from Temple University and has continued her education at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York as a scholarship student. 
She has shown her work in numerous galleries nationally, and recently had her work included in the IGAA exhibit ” The GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland,” which opened Oct. 19 at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery. Melissa currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she continues her work.

New Class – Just Added! Mirroring on Glass

Through The Looking Glass

If you have ever gazed into a mirror and wondered how exactly does a sheet of glass become such a stunning reflective surface, then I invite you to journey down the rabbit hole into the seductive world of mirrored glass. This class will demystify the mirroring process without losing any of the magic, allowing each student the opportunity to create their own mirrored object.  This two-day workshop will cover some simple chemistry, glass preparation and handling, chemical application and teamwork.

Flat glass will be available, however feel free to bring a small clear or transparent colored glass vessel such as a bottle, vase or dish, the cleaner the better. On the other hand – please bring clothes to get dirty in because the chemicals can be quite messy!  See you on the other side of the looking glass! 
Our instructor is supastar Evan Morgan – he’s come back to DC teach this special class. Evan was born and raised in Hawaii but is now living outside of Athens, GA. Evan graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with a BFA in sculpture. He was raised around the arts and by sixteen he was helping build glass shops on the outer islands with his stepfather Hugh Jenkins. Glass became not only a passion but a challenge, Evan continued to blow glass through out high school, exhibiting in Hawaii Craftsmen by 1999.

Instructor      Evan Morgan

Dates:          Sat/Sun July 20 & 21

Times:          1 pm to 6pm  on the Saturday; 1pm to 4pm on Sunday

Tuition :        $300 per student (all materials included) 
Limit 12 students 

Interested? Send an email about the mirroring class to the school: washglassschool@aol.com

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

International Glass & Clay – In the Quieter Moments

The opening reception for the International Glass and Clay 2013 was crazy and fun – meeting all the artists was great, but I didn’t focus on the works. My good friend, Patrick Oberman of Artomatic invited me to come back to the show on a quiet afternoon and really look.  This posting is intended to contemplate the media based artwork by the talented artists involved in the International show and see what the works say.

The artwork on exhibit invites investigation.

UK glass artist Roger Tye  – Roger has two works in the exhibit, and they each present very different aspects. His wall piece is lush with color and organic plant forms. The glass tendrils curve around and out of the dimensional piece – its a very pretty and appealing work.

Roger Tye’s blown glass wall sculpture.

His other sculpture “Fold” has a different feel – its much more narrative. All over the moors and fells of the North of England and southern Scotland, there are strange dry-stone structures – similar to what Roger has sculpted. The stone structures (aka ‘sheepfold‘) were designed to provide a shepherd with a place to hold a few sheep and protect from theft. Roger’s sculpture “Fold”, made of cast glass and slate, is a witty contemporary commentary on this concept, complete with security camera.

“Fold” by Roger Tye.

US ceramic artist Jeff Herrity has three of his slipcast ceramic “totems” in the show. Jeff’s mother was a ceramic artist, and these works harken back to his childhood memories that include kitschy bits and bobs and elements created from ceramic molds. He sees the stacked figures as representative of a group of people that are a clan. We are all may different, yet we rely upon each other – for if one goes missing, we all fall.

Jeff Herrity “Totem I”, “Totem II”, “Totem III”

UK glass artist James Maskrey has some exquisite narrative glass works in the show – amongst my favorites:

James Maskrey “The Worst Journey In The World”

His blown works all reference the 1910–1913 British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. The ill-fated journey was to recover eggs of the Emperor penguin for scientific study. It was thought at the time that the flightless penguin might shed light on an evolutionary link between reptiles and birds through its embryo.

James Maskrey, “Winter Journey”, “Last Entry”, “The Barrier”.

The series based on the story “Worst Journey in the Worldand asks, but does not answer, the question of whether their suffering was futile, or whether it would inspire future human beings facing very different challenges. 

Nancy Donnelly’s fused glass panels.

US glass artist Nancy Donnelly is exhibiting her beautiful fused glass panels “Thistle & Berries” and “The Night Garden”. Both are made from fused frit powders and enamels fired into panels of glass. Her works have a quiet and thoughtful reserve.

Inge Panneels, “Micro Macro”

UK glass artist Inge Paneels’ fused glass panels are created using waterjet to precisly cut intricate patterns based on aerial imagery of river estuary juxtaposed with blood vessel structure. The fused glass panel highlights the communalities

Joe Hicks “Bottle”

US clay artist Joe Hicks has some beautiful ceramic stoneware with shino glaze. His works anchor the entry space of the gallery.

Philippa Whiteside’s ceramics feature incredible detail. The waterjet cut ceramics tell a story that runs around the cube form in different fonts.
Philippa Whiteside “Hope”

UK ceramic artist Philippa Whiteside works at creating beauty with her detailed clay works. She clearly loves to experiment with surface decoration and texture, and has a fascination with text and words.

Syl Mathis’ boat shaped glass/mixed media forms showcase his master craftsman skills.

US glass artist Syl Mathis‘ artwork has me fall in love with both the glass and the method he displays the kilncast forms. He is very skilled in his metal and stonecarving techniques, and I love his sandcarving of the glass figures.

Syl Mathis, “Ancient Ice”, “Time Bound”.

The artworks by the artists create intriguing and beguiling relationships with the other works on display. Part of the fun of the show is the new juxtapositions of the different styles and approaches of the art. 

Allegra Marquart‘s kilnformed & sandcarved glass panels (L) and Erwin Timmers‘ cast recycled glass sculptures (R) have a great dialog in the gallery.

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.

Pepco Edison Place Gallery

Michael Janis named "US Cultural Ambassador", Knighthood Next?

The British Council is a British organization specializing in international educational and cultural opportunities. It was founded in 1934 as the British Committee for Relations with Other Countries, and granted a royal charter by King George VI in 1940. Its “sponsoring department” within the UK Government is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Recently, the British Council asked our Michael Janis to write about the sister city relationship between Sunderland, England and Washington, DC and how the Washington Glass School came to be one of the participants in the spectacular International Glass and Clay exhibit that opened March 1, 2013.

Click HERE to jump to British Council blog.

Michael was listed as a US Cultural Ambassador” and he is loving the title upgrade. He now insists on being called “honorable” and says he is planning to stage a “glass coup” at the UN and that he will begin issuing a list of non-binding resolutions. 

Michael Janis – the Dark Knight

After all his work with the British glass and ceramic artists, Knighthood surely is being planned.

This Saturday, March 9th, from noon- 1:00 pm, the International Glass and Clay Exhibit hosts a roundtable discussion about the Fulbright Scholar program. Come to the gallery and have a chat with Fulbright Scholars from area universities.

International Glass and Clay 2013
Pepco Edison Place Gallery  @ 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Gallery hours are Saturday and Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Gallery is closed on Sundays. The Gallery Place Metro station is within walking distance of the Gallery. The show is organized by Artomatic and the DCCAH.  

US President George Washington Hearts England

Sunderland, England has had a long association with Washington, DC. General George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789 and the United States Capitol City named ‘Washington” in his honor. George Washington was a descendant of the Washington family, which took its name from Wessyngton (now Washington) and resided at Washington Old Hall in Washington Village.



Washington Old Hall is a manor house in the Washington area of Tyne and Wear, in the North East of England.



Washington Old Hall incorporates parts of the original medieval home of George Washington’s direct ancestors. It was re-opened in 1955 by the US Ambassador, following restoration of the property which which was led by local schoolmaster and historian Frederick Hill. United States benefactors played a key role, donating funds and furniture to the project. Washington Old Hall is now managed by the National Trust with assistance from the Friends of Washington Old Hall.

Washington Glass School comes to Washington, England. Fulbrighters Tim Tate and Michael Janis at Washington Old Hall in March 2012.

The District of Columbia’s official “state” flag (adopted in 1938), is based on the shield from the Washington Coat of Arms. Early examples of the Washington Coat of Arms, dating back to the beginning of the 15th Century, can be seen on the cloister ceiling in Durham Cathedral.

US federal district (Washington, DC) flag consisting of a white field with two horizontal red stripes and three red stars above the stripes. The flag’s width-to-length ratio is 1 to 2.

It has often been said George Washington used his family coat of arms as the basis for the original American ‘Stars and Stripes’ flag.

Image from Library of Congress ‘An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera.’

As a result of these historic ties, Washington, D.C., and City of Sunderland had formed a “friendship agreement,” (originally in 2006 and renewed in 2012) with the intent of  creating cultural and economic ties with one another. Sunderland City is the only non-capital in the world to have such an agreement with the US Capitol. Working with the DC Sister Cities, the DCCAH and Artomatic, the two cities are collaborating in presenting an international glass and clay artwork exhibit opening March 1, 2013.

International Glass and Clay2013 will be open from Friday, March 1 to Friday, March 22. It is free for the public to attend. Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street (between G and H Street) will house the artworks and many of the events. Gallery hours are 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Tuesdays, and 12 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The Gallery Place Metro station servicing the green, red and yellow lines is within close walking distance to the gallery.

Michael Janis Goes West!

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photos by Demetra Theofanous

An earlier WGS blog post mentions that our own master of glass imagery – Michael Janis – was heading out west to teach a series of workshops at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI).
Michael’s workshops were about integrating imagery into glass – one workshop was creating deep bas-relief and in the other workshop he taught how he does his unique frit powder drawing technique.
Below are some photos of the California workshops:

Making clear and color bas-relief samples.

The students try out working in the plaster molds.

Mark adds color to his work; a student’s work shows the cast glass bristles of a paintbrush.

BAGI Executive Director Mark Murai is amazed at the detail captured by the kilnformed glass.

Michael Janis describes what goes on inside the glass during the firing.

Michael reveals all his secrets in how to use frit powder for drawing and how the layers of glass create the depth of the work.

Michael said he had really enjoyed working at BAGI’s facilities: “It’d be my new home… it has that experimental vibe – where as an artist you can really respond and can take your work the next level.”

Click HERE to jump to BAGI’s website.

Call For Entries St Louis Craft Alliance

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Gregory Grennon oil on glass

Saint Louis’ Craft Alliance has announced a national invitational and juried exhibition titled “Identify Yourself” – exhibition dates are May 20-July 3 , 2011.

The theme of the show is, “Who are you? What is your history and what makes you, you?” The curator/juror, noted gallery owner Duane Reed, will be choosing work that explores ideas pertaining to cultural identity, psychological identity or personal narrative.

Some of the invited artists include Sonya Clark, Gregory Grennon, Elizabeth Lo, Mark Newport and Joyce J. Scott. The exhibition will be at the Craft Alliance DELMAR LOOP location: 6640 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130.

All featured works must be made of clay, glass, metal fiber or wood.

Entry postmark deadline is MARCH 25, 2011.

Click HERE to jump to prospectus.

Spotlight on Susan Taylor Glasgow

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Susan Taylor Glasgow ‘You Are My Sunshine’.

On of the features of the blog is to showcase the work of favorite artists. One of the contemporary leaders of narrative glass is Susan Taylor Glasgow. Susan will be in the DC area soon, teaching a workshop at Weisser Studios.

Susan Talor Glasgow ‘Eve’s Penance’.

Susan Taylor Glasgow is represented by Heller Gallery, NY, and is exhibited throughout the United States. Her ‘Sewn Glass’ technique embraces the domestic act of sewing in an unexpected medium. Combining text with 1950’s imagery, Susan explores the “complex dichotomy of women’s roles within the household”. Each sewn glass sculpture starts out as a flat sheet of glass.

Susan says of her work “In my previous life I was a professional dressmaker and seamstress, so I have a comfortable understanding about how to take a flat sheet of material and give it form. Each panel is cut from a pattern designed to match the form I’ve made for it.”

To establish the three-dimensional shape and holes, each section of the glass is kiln-fired several times. The imagery is imbedded into the glass by sandblasting, and then by rubbing glass enamels into the blasted area to create the black and gray “photo”. The components are then re-fired to melt the enamel into the glass. Once cooled, the sections are finally sewn together. Depending on the complexity of the vessel or sculpture, the entire creative process may take two to four weeks to complete.

Susan Taylor Glasgow ‘Glamour Legs Model #121757 Set’.

Susan’s studio is in Missouri, in an old 1930’s house in downtown Columbia that she and her husband rescued from demolition. She is a 2002 recipient of Pilchuck Glass School emerging artists grant, and a Wheaton Arts fellow in fall of 2003, and most recently a resident artist at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Susan’s work has earned numerous awards and she has work included in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum, Chrysler Museum, Museum of American Glass, and several others.

Click HERE to jump to Susan’s website.

Susan’s work will be part of a group show titled “Domesticity: How We Live” at Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA, opening in October.

Susan also has a solo show at Gallery One One titled ‘Refuge’ now on exhibit at Brazee Street Studios in Cincinatti, OH, with the closing reception on Oct 8th.

Ms. Glasgow is also a chair at the upcoming Pittsburgh Glass Center Benefit Auction to be held Oct. 15th in Pittsburgh, PA.

Sunderland Returns!

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A Sister City to Washington, DC is Sunderland, in the UK. This city has a long history of glass making and has the UK’s National Center for Glass. One of the organizations that supports and networks their glass artists is the Cohesion Glass Network.

This group of artists had shown in Washington, DC in 2008 – as part of a groundbreaking joint city glass show called Glass 3,

with work by Toldeo, OH, Sunderland, UK and Washington, DC glass artists. Click here to see DCist review of the show.

Well- they’re baack – this time they have brought reinforcements. Glass makers, rock bands and artists are among 37 creative businesses heading to Washington DC, to take part in the five-week Artomatic Exhibition.

Artomatic has gone international! The 5 week arts events opens May 29th, encompassing all floors of a new building at 55 M Street, SE in Washington, DC.

For an article about the UK superstars like Phil Vickery and more information about Sunderland – click here