Class 3502 – Conceptual Coldworking

By Ahmed Mohammed

* This course has been postponed and will now be running from Sept. 30th – Oct. 14th.

This course focuses on pushing conceptual narrative and thinking outside the box. It will explore cold working/sandblasting glass in more detail by transforming recycled bottles into beautiful art (with a message!). No experience necessary!

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.

Erwin Timmers Glass Artwork @ 30th Smithsonian Craft Show

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Among the 121 artists on display this weekend at the 30th annual Smithsonian Craft Show, Erwin Timmers’ glass artwork made from recycled glass sparkle like gemstones.

Erwin (also known as the “KING of Recycling”) uses glass diverted from the waste stream as his main source of raw material for his creations. Environmental integrity may be the inspiration of his work, but the result is pure beauty. Erwin has said that his work looks to bring out the unseen qualities that are often overlooked.

Make sure you stop in at the KING of Recycling’s space at the Smithsonian Craft Show held at the National Building in Washington, DC.

Smithsonian Craft Show
April 19 – 22, 2012
Erwin Timmers – Space 503
National Building Museum
(Judiciary Sq. Metro – Red Line)
401 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Erwin Timmers Preps for Smithsonian Craft Show

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Erwin Timmers’ luminescent sculptural forms are made from glass diverted from the waste stream.

Our master of sustainable design, Erwin Timmers, is getting his glass balls polished and ready for display at the Smithsonian Craft Show. This show is the 30th Anniversary of what is often referred to as the premier juried show of fine American Craft Art, running April 19 – 22, 2012, with a Preview Night Benefit on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

WUSA’s JC Hayward

Erwin will be interviewed by WUSA9 anchor JC Hayward. The two will be discussing the Smithsonian show held at the National Building Museum and how Erwin’s sculptural work references environmental issues. His interview will be during the 9 News Now At Noon (slotted between “The Price is Right” and “The Young and the Restless”)


We will post links once they appear online!
Click Here to jump to the Smithsonian Craft Show website.

Smithsonian Craft Show
April 18 – 22, 2012
Erwin Timmers – Space 503
National Building Museum
(Judiciary Sq. Metro – Red Line)
401 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Recycled Glass: Sculpture and Design

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Schiffer Publishing has a new book out that has a focus on artists that use recycled glass as the raw material for their artwork and sculpture. Written by artist/author Cindy Ann Coldiron, the book, Sculpture and Design with Recycled Glass, features a number of area artists that utilize glass diverted from the waste stream.

The book also contains an overview of technical issues on the use of recycled glass, and features artwork and projects made from recovered glass from around the world.
There are some great works and images of projects, including works by DC area artists Nikki O’Neill, Bill Hess and Cindy Ann Coldiron.


Some of the notable works included in the book:


“Glass on Stone”
Erwin Timmers, 120″ x 20″ x 2″, kiln cast recycled window glass
photo by Anything Photographic


Our Erwin Timmers‘ environmental themed artwork has an attractive spread in the book. Erwin’s work has been in a number of art book publications this past year – his work has become increasingly popular. Erwin will be showing at Cincinatti’s Brazee Street Gallery in March.

Australian artists that work in recycled glass are also featured in the book – including some spectacular projects by Mark Wotherspoon. Mark reclaims glass from television tubes and creates evocative figures from the hard glass.


“Revelation of Death”
Mark Wotherspoon, 6′ x 8′ x 8′, kiln-cast television screen glass


Have a look at this fascinating look at artists that are looking to create environmentally sustainable artwork.

Safeway Bethesda Public Art Sculpture From Recycled Glass

>Roche Constructor’s webcam located opposite the Bethesda Safeway site caught Evan Morgan and Erwin Timmers installing the cast recycled glass and metal framework into the facade of the new building.

The installation of Safeway Supermarket’s Bethesda store public art is nearing completion. WGS’ “green artist” Erwin Timmers has been putting the final touches on the outdoor sculpture with Evan Morgan as the contractors race to compete construction of the LEED certified building in time for the scheduled October 13, 2011 ribbon cutting. The public art project, using cast recycled glass – including glass salvaged from the original building and refrigeration displays – was designed to respond to the LEED certified architecture it is now integrated.

Susan Lomuto and Erwin Timmers salvage glass from the demolished Safeway freezer units.


The cast bas-relief glass motifs of fresh herbs were designed to meander organically across the building’s façade, working as a counterpoint to the rhythm of the strong stone piers, while relating to aspects of the building’s use.

Cast recycled glass inside the kiln. The glass has been fired into one-time molds at 1500° F and annealed. Next, the bas-relief panels will be cut and the glass tile edges polished.

The artglass color palate ranges between clear, amber and a blue-shift color. Areas of within the grids are left open to allow air and establish a connection between the interior and the busy streetscape.

Erwin Timmers touches up the steel frame finish.

The design and progress of the cast recycled glass has been mentioned in earlier postings on the school blog.

The Safeway architects, builders and design team admire the transformative quality the glass gives to the interior.


Other media outlets have been covering the Safeway supermarket design- including the DC area real estate blog
DCMud and NewsChannel 8′s TBD.com has covered the supermarket-as-art curator aspect.

Artist Erwin Timmers can be seen silhouetted thru the glass.

The supermarket is excited about their addition to both the Bethesda retail scene and their first foray into the art world. We will post pix and coverage of the store’s celebrity filled vernissage this October.

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to photos of the finished project.