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.

What Can You Do With A Broken Bottle?

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Ok – we can all agree that there is some perverse enjoyment in the sound of breaking glass.
ReadyMade Magazine is sponsoring an event called Glassphemy in NY that exploits this cathartic process and ties in recycling as well.

Part game, part art installation, part mobile recycling center, Glassphemy! is a 20-by-30-foot steel structure lined with bulletproof glass. A person standing on one side can throw bottles at a friend or enemy who is standing in safety behind the clear wall on the other side. Satisfying crashes and bright lights ensue upon impact. Glassphemy! is about relieving psychological tension, having fun, and getting your recycling done all at the same time.

ReadyMade also is running a competition on what to do with the broken glass.

The glass can be in shard form, or it can be ground up further, melted, mixed with other materials–transformed in any way you can think of. Your design must incorporate broken glass, but it can include any other materials you like. You don’t need to make the thing you’re designing (though you can!). But you do need to provide a general description of how to make it: what the materials are and how it would come together.

You may submit your design in any form you like: Drawings on the back of a cocktail napkin, a 300-word essay, SketchUp files, a video of yourself describing it in words and hand gestures. Whatever best gets your idea across!

Send your design to info@readymademag.com, or mail it to:

ReadyMade Magazine, attn: Glassphemy! Contest, 125 Park Avenue, 18th Floor, New York NY 10017

The contest starts on May 12.
The entry deadline is Friday, June 4.

Click HERE to read more about Glassphemy!