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.

Washington Glass Presents to James Renwick Alliance

Clemmer Montague – President of the James Renwick Alliance introduces the panel of speakers to the audience.

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft and to encouraging connoisseurship and collecting. The Alliance assists the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in adding to its permanent collection of American craft, supports scholarly research in contemporary American craft and pursues other activities in support of the studio craft movement. As part if this goal, the JRA held a talk on the process and inspirations that made up Washington Glass Studio’s recently completed Safeway Bethesda public art project. The talk was much more popular than the organizers had anticipated, as there was standing room only. Readers of the Glass School blog are familiar with the development of the project. Here are some shots of the event – photos by Miriam Rosenthal of ThirdEyePhotography.


Safeway’s Renee Montgomery, Safeway’s Eastern Division, Area Real Estate Manager outlines the Safeway’s approach towards supporting and integrating American craft artwork in its buildings.


Michael Janis outlines the concepts employed by the glass studio.


The audience is transfixed by the sheer poetry of the project .


Here Michael describes how eco-artist Erwin Timmers is planning to save the planet with his sustainable design artwork – one piece at a time.

This is the part where Erwin sings ♪ Here I Come To Save The Day! ♫

The talk continued with a tour of the Safeway public art project onsite, hosted by Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers. For more information about the James Renwick Alliance events – click HERE.

James Renwick Alliance Hosts Review Of Safeway Bethesda Public Art

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The James Renwick Alliance is hosting a presentation of how Safeway supermarkets support American Craft with their new public art project in Bethsda, MD. The process and inspirations of the artwork will be reviewed in the talk. Find out about tickets by clicking on the link!

The JRA is an independent national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft, to supporting activities directed toward this purpose, and to encouraging connoisseurship and collecting. The Alliance assists the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in adding to its permanent collection of American craft of artistic significance and superior workmanship, supports scholarly research in contemporary American craft, sponsors public educational activities, and pursues other activities in support of the studio craft movement.

More info on the event:
Ticket cost is a tax deductible nonrefundable contribution of $15 per person and space is limited. Please RSVP to the JRA office by phone or email (301.907.3888 or admin@jra.org) by 5 p.m. on Monday, December 5 by 5 p.m.

Safeway Bethesda Opens In Grand Style

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Safeway Bethesda located at Bradley Boulevard and Arlington Road on Wednesday night.


The Safeway Bethesda supermarket – that features Safeway’s first public art project – celebrated its grand opening with a lavish gala that featured bands, celebrity chefs, public officials, television celebrities, and most importantly, artwork.


Safeway Bethesda Bradley Avenue façade. Comments on the building artwork include one that “Safeway’s kundalini has risen”


The process the Washington Glass Studio employed for the creation of the bas-relief artwork walls made from glass salvaged from the original supermarket building (1956- 2010) has been documented in a number of previous
postings, including the installation of the artwork (and time-lapse imagery of the building construction).


Special lighting emphasizes the dry stack stonework.

The opening was a great vernissage – in a supermarket. (By the way, walking thru the freezer section of a supermarket, while listening to a live jazz combo performing one aisle over & gourmet appetizers made by guest celebrity chefs, and being offered fine champagne by waiters is a surreal experience – all cool, but very unusual.)

Champagne?… why yes, thanks…


Why is that an ICE sculpture?… It should be glass.

Jazz performed amongst the seasonal goods.

One of the cool event accouterments was the carved pumpkin displays. The artist based the pumpkin carvings on the building’s cast glass panels – a nice switch on the traditional glass pumpkins.
The night also featured artwork displays; the work by sculptor Judy Sutton Moore was exhibited on the staircase, and work by the Washington Glass School was featured in the rotunda.


Featured artists: Washington Glass School


WUSA – channel 9 news anchor Andrea Roane was the master of ceremonies.

Andrea received a gift of one of the WGS cast glass tile squares, and showed the artwork the next morning during her broadcast.

Project data:
Client: Safeway Inc.
Architect: Rounds Vanduzer
Builder: Roche Constructors
Completion: Oct 2011
Artwork team: Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, M L Duffy, Chris Duffy, Robert Kincheloe, Evan Morgan, Susan Lomuto, George Anderton.