Tim Tate: Reflections on Studio Practice

Glass Sculptor and Artist Tim Tate looks back on 20 years of creating a community. He recently put together some of his observations on well, how did we get here?

Artist Tim Tate

“I had been raised in a household filled with craft materials. I rarely saw my mother’s hands empty, always creating something. I inherited this love. I spent my early adult years being trained in the methods revolving around studio glass while attending the 2 weeks to 2-month workshops of Penland, Pilchuck, Corning, Pittsburg, etc. (I had no money to attend grad school …though I yearned for Cranbrook). These years of varied workshops and practitioners was the perfect way to obtain a broad outlook on the entire field. We founded the Washington Glass School in 2001 with very specific goals. Let me see if I can make this clear.

Tim Tate & Joyce Scott work on a new collaborative sculpture at the Washington Glass School.

1). We wanted to be something other than a traditional studio glass shop. From the beginning we realized we wanted a much broader approach; something that reflected the mission of education centers like the Crucible in Oakland and Penland in NC. We embraced mixed media work from the beginning with varied classes in kiln formed glass, steel, electronics, encaustics, etc. Our idea was not to in any way denigrate the rich history of studio glass, but to live just outside of those confines to see what would happen. To step slightly away from the 20th century.

Tim Tate
Tim Tate “We Rose Up”, 2017, Cast objects, mirrors, and LED’s, 32 × 32 × 4 in.

2). As a gay man in glass, it was apparent that diversity was sorely lacking in every way in the glass world. So we did outreach and advertised our classes in many publications that went to diverse populations, rather than wait for these populations to approach us. This worked very well. Even now we go to the Facebook pages of different neighborhoods to show our class schedules.

Einar and Jamex de la Torre at Washington Glass School 2015
The Brothers De La Torre visit the Washington Glass School in 2015.

3). We have embraced social media in every way possible, from individual and school Facebook and Instagram pages (where we post regularly) to administering a Facebook discussion group. This group is called “21st Century Glass/Conversations and Images/Glass Secessionism” and maintain over 8000 members from 97 countries.

With William Warmus we came up with the original concept of “Glass Secessionism”…to step slightly away from the recognized canon of 20th century glass and to create as much dialog and critical analysis as possible. There have been over 1.5 million words written and over thousands of images shared on this page focusing almost entirely on that theme.

In 2008, Artomatic held an international glass show.

4). We participated in many local shows here in the DC area, such as the spectacular Art-O-Matic show that truly put us on the map. We also curated many shows over the years to include local emerging artists. I have served on a dozen boards and juried dozens of shows and grant applications to stay in the loop and form a community bond. There are 3 Co-Directors here, all sharing a similar mission….to create a large regional, national and international community to foster new growth within our field.

2009 Glass Workshop at Washington Glass School. L-R Cheryl P Derricotte, David Cook, Nicole Puzan.

5). Our first class was on Sept. 13, 2001…. a difficult day in history to start anything being right after 9/11. We thought no one would even attend the first classes. But we discovered something else….no one cancelled. It appeared that while the purchase of art slowed to a trickle around the country, the creation of art thrived. Our first class was filled with artists who wanted to make narrative work about the devastation of that event. From that moment on we embraced narrative work with all our hearts. Works about political events, social injustices and inequalities were common within our sculptural classes, and certainly in my own works. We have now been in operation over 20 years, with over 6000 students. 60% of those were and are women, we have a large population of BIPoC students and we have worked with hundreds of LGTBQ students. We are so very proud of this fact.

My purpose for serving on boards right now is to focus on the building of communities as an artistic practice. I want to take a slight step away from academia as these institutions can become elitist, and I want to be non-elitist as we have been from the beginning. I also like regional boards that focus in the mid-Atlantic.

My personal practice had been deeply imbedded in the world of glass galleries and museums, though frequently as an outsider. I have stepped away from this in the last few months. I have moved towards the fine art world once again, as I had started there. It feels great to go back to my roots, surrounded by a community that reaches far beyond anything we ever anticipated.” – Tim Tate, October, 2022

Michael Janis Finalist in 2022 Contemporary Craft Prize

Michael Janis, “Allowing Our Past to Become Part of Ourselves” detail, 2022, fused glass, glass powder imagery. Photo by Pete Duvall.

17 national and international finalists have been selected for this biennial exhibition in glass art, featuring newly created, innovative works.

Michael Janis glass art - title "Allowing Our Past to Become Part of Ourselves" 60"H x 40' W fused glass, glass powder imagery aluminum

Glass is itself a transformation: created when ordinary sand encounters extreme heat. In this breathtaking exhibition, glass is transformed again, this time by 17 contemporary artists from across the globe. The resulting work pushes the boundary of traditional craft techniques and takes glass from the realm of the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Transformation 11: Contemporary Works in Glass is Contemporary Craft’s 2022 Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize juried exhibition. The winning artist and their work will be announced and presented at the public opening of the exhibition on Friday, September 9, 2022, where they will receive a cash prize. The 2022 prize will be awarded in the category of glass, and must meet the requirement that it has been made within the last 12 months and addresses the theme of “transformation.” Seventeen contemporary artists from across the globe explore creative concepts and innovative approaches in their use of the glass medium, with the winning artist sending additional works to demonstrate the breadth of their work.

The 2022 Raphael Prize finalists are: Dean Allison, Pittsburgh, PA; Eunsuh Choi, Rochester, WI; Donald Friedlich, Madison, WI; Michael Janis, Washington, DC; Lauren Kalman, Detroit, MI; David King, Danville, KY; Eriko Kobayashi, Carbondale, IL; Weston Lambert, Tacoma, WA; Patrick Martin, Emporia, KS; Hisayoshi Muto, Yatomi, Aichi, Japan; Aya Oki, San Bernardino, CA; Miroslava Ptackova, Zlín, Zlínský kraj, Czech Republic; David Schnuckel, Rochester, NY; Michaela Spruzinova, Ústí Nad Labem, brná, Czech Republic; Ben Wright, Stanwood, WA; Ayano Yoshizumi, Everard Park, SA, Australia; and Hoseok Youn, Toledo, OH.

The jury for the 2022 prize includes Anna Rothfuss, Project Development Manager, Derix Art Glass Consultants, LLC U.S., Portland, OR; Heather McElwee, Randi & L. Van V. Dauler, Jr. Executive Director, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh, PA; Alexandra Raphael, enameller, London, England; Catherine Raphael, metalsmith and writer, Pittsburgh, PA; Rachel Saul Rearick, Executive Director, and Kate Lydon, Director of Exhibitions (retired), Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Contemporary Craft, 5645 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Contemporary Craft hours: Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM

September 9, 2022 – March 18, 2023

This opening is free and open to the public.

ABOUT CONTEMPORARY CRAFT

Contemporary Craft presents contemporary art in craft media by regional, national, and international artists. Contemporary Craft offers cutting edge exhibitions focusing on multicultural diversity and contemporary art, as well as a range of artist-led studio workshops, community engagement programs, and a store. Located at 5645 Butler Street in the Upper Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit www.contemporarycraft.org

AACG Creates Baltimore Glass Exhibit for IYOG!

Artworks by : Dr Joyce Scott, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Soledad Salamé & more!

2022 is the International Year of Glass (IYOG) AND the 60th Anniversary of American Studio Glass Movement. As part of the events celebrating glass, Howard Cohen of Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass has organized a spectacular exhibit of glass artwork during the Glass & Optical Materials Division (GOMD) conference in Baltimore at Coppin State University. This will be the first glass exhibit in Baltimore since 1996! The goals of the show are to showcase ways glass has matured into a sculptural medium, bring a diverse group of renown artists from the Baltimore/Washington region to the arts communities, and students in the area, and amplify artists voices including members of the BIPOC, Hispanic, LGBQT and immigrant communities. The exhibit will feature artwork by Dr Joyce Scott, Tim Tate, Soledad Salamé, Erwin Timmers, and Michael Janis. The exhibition is made possible through the support of the GOMD, the American Ceramic Society, Corning & Owens Corning for funding some of the exhibition costs and to fund the Baltimore scientific outreach to Baltimore City High schools.

The exhibit is scheduled to run from Mid-May through June 2022.

IN MEMORIAM: Erwin Eisch

Sad news to report – world-renowned glass artist and painter Erwin Eisch has died at the age of 94. Erwin Eisch fell asleep after midnight in the retirement home in Zwiesel, where he had lived since October. “On January 7, he celebrated a diamond wedding with his wife,” said Katharina Eisch-Angus. The parents Erwin and Gretel Eisch had celebrated the 60th anniversary of their marriage together in the home. The death was unexpected, as Erwin Eisch was in good health. The last few days, when his condition had deteriorated, someone from the family had always been with him.

Erwin Eisch was a pioneer German artist who was considered a founder of studio glass in Europe and the world. He was also a painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. Working with friend and colleague in glass Harvey Littleton, Eisch’s work in glass embodies the ideas of the international Studio Glass movement.

Erwin Eisch’s 8 mold blown works as a tribute to Harvey Littleton in 1976. Corning Museum of Glass

Eisch’s non-traditional approach to glassmaking had a profound impact during the formative years of the American Studio Glass movement, and his relationship with American glass pioneer Harvey K. Littleton forged an important link between European and American studio artists working in glass.

Harvey Littleton and Erwin Eisch
Blown & enameled bowl by Erwin Eisch made in U.S. at U Wisconsin. (ca 1967)

Janis/Porto Exhibit Dominates Detroit!

Michael Janis and Tony Porto glass/mixed media exhibit has dominated Michigan’s press as the news agencies and tv shows all feature works by the artists and their story.

Click here to read story in Detroit News.

Detroit News loves the new glass/mixed media works by Michael Janis and Tony Porto!

Local Fox News – Fox 2 – sent reporters into the gallery to interview Director Aaron Schey and get the story on the Not Grandmas Glass (NGG) exhibit and competition as well as an eyeful of the artworks. Click here to jump to one of the three interviews by Fox.

Fox 2 Detroit interviews Habatat Galleries’ Aaron Schey to dish about NGG and works by Michael Janis and Tony Porto.
“Friendship is Magic” and “Say Your Prayers and Take Your Vitamins” glass/mixed media artworks by Michael Janis and Tony Porto are on exhibit at Royal Oak gallery.

Click Here to jump to article about the Janis/Porto exhibit in the Oakland Press.

Click HERE to jump to article on Not Grandmas Glass exhibit in the C & G newspaper.

Open Studio Tours – Washington Glass School and OST 2020!

Mark your virtual calendars! August 22 Open Studio Tours goes ONLINE! See what the artists in the Glass School have been doing over the past months! washington.glass.school.art.fused.craft.america.new.vibha.inclusive.kiln.formed.cast

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 Swinhart (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 Swinhart 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.

 

Artist Mary Van Cline’s Love Letter Portrait Project to the Glass Art Community

Mary Van Cline; The Floating Sea of Time;  Photosensitive glass, pate de verre, 24 x 20 x 5 in.

Mary Van Cline; The Floating Sea of Time;
Photosensitive glass, pate de verre, 24 x 20 x 5 in.

Mary Van Cline artwork blends pâte de verre elements with photographic images creating a new quality in dimension. Recently she has focused on the photography aspect to create “The Documenta Project,” which she hopes to build an archive of life-size photographic portraits that capture the unique personalities of the major glass world figures.

Mary Van Cline has been known for her artwork combining photography and glass since 1978.

Mary Van Cline has been known for her artwork combining photography and glass since 1978.

Since early 2017, she’s been traveling the U.S. to take photographs of glass artists, prominent dealers, collectors and critics in an effort to document and immortalize the unique artistic ecosystem that defines the Studio Glass world. Mary’s goal is support to capture the spirit of the people who enabled and contributed to the glass community using life size photographic images where their gestures and presence will be preserved on large format B&W film, and high-resolution color digital files. 

Glass Artist Laura Donefer captured by Mary Van Cline

Glass Artist Laura Donefer captured by Mary Van Cline

 

Mary said that she has taken some 10,000 photos. From each session alone, she took at least 400 photos with the digital camera. 

NYC Uber collectors Susan and Fred Sanders

NYC Uber collectors Susan and Fred Sanders

 

Though almost entirely self-funded so far, Mary hopes that others who appreciate her project and the progress she’s made on her own might approach her with offers of support. This year the project has been invited back to SOFA and, in April, Van Cline hopes to bring it to Detroit during the Flint Museum opening and the Habatat International.

The fact is that such an ambitious project is costly and donations are needed in order for it to continue. The Tacoma Art Museum has agreed to accept nonprofit donations on behalf of Van Cline, and transfer any funding directly to the project with no fee.

WGS Glass Artists Michael Janis & Tim Tate documented for the Documenta Project

WGS Glass Artists Michael Janis & Tim Tate documented for the Documenta Project

Donations can be mailed to the Tacoma Art Museum at the following address:

Tacoma Art Museum
Rock Hushka, Curator
Attention: Documenta Project
1701 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, Washington 98402

For any questions, contact Mary Van Cline at: mary@maryvancline.com

Laurel Library’s Grand Opening Features Public Art Sculpture by Washington Glass Studio

玻璃艺术雕塑

Washington Glass Studio sculpture at the new Laurel Library. Photo by Pete Duvall.

The Washington Glass Studio (WGS) has recently completed installation of a community based site specific public art commission for Prince George’s County Laurel Library. The new building was designed by Grimm + Parker Architects, with the grand opening of the new library scheduled for November 28, 2016. Features of the spectacular new library include an inset floor area in the children’s section where kids will get to peer at a replica velociraptor skeleton through the glass floor. Just a few miles away from the library site is Dinosaur Park, where scientists work to excavate fossils from the early Cretaceous period. Dinosaur imagery was also included as a theme running through the glass artwork panels.

WGS design proposal sketch

WGS design proposal sketch.

WGS was awarded the commission to make the outdoor sculpture at the front of the new library by Maryland’s Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (PGAHC). The Art in Public Places Program RFQ sought out artwork that would provide world class artwork for Prince George’’s County residents and visitors. 

WGS proposal for the project was a 17’H internally illuminated glass and steel sculpture that incorporates glass panels made by the community,residents and stakeholders of the Laurel, MD community. The engineering of the steel framework involved detailed analysis of the structure and its components. WGS worked with structural engineer Holbert Apple to ensure the integrity of the design.

Detailed analysis of sculpture was part of the design development process.

Detailed analysis of sculpture was part of the design development process.

Over 100 glass inset panels were made during the series of workshops held at the Washington Glass School. The Baltimore Sun newspaper featured a story by reporter Lisa Philip about the process. 

A series of community glass quilting bees were held at the Washington Glass School for the library during the summer.

A series of community glass quilting bees were held at the Washington Glass School for the library during the summer. Photo by Lisa Philip/Baltimore Sun

 

 

The artwork’s title “Involve Me and I Learn”  is based on a phrase attributed to US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (who also opened the first US public library). The name references the engagement of the community. The neighborhood and the Laurel Library supporters had joined in making the individual glass panels in workshops at the Washington Glass School.Laurel_Library.artists.washington_glass_school.studio.sculpture.public_art.project.american.great.commission.site_specific.fused.jpg

The resulting variations in each tile’s imagery and technique embody the artist’s concept in bringing the people from the diverse community together to create a cohesive and vibrant sculpture. 

 

 

The artwork inset kiln-formed glass panels express the personality and the  individuality of everyone involved in the project.

The artwork’s internally illuminated kiln-formed glass panels express the personality and the individuality of everyone involved in the project. Photo by Pete Duvall

Project  Information

Artist: Washington Glass Studio 

Design Team: Laurie Brown, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson. With Josh Hershman and Pierre Browning.

Structural Engineer : Holbert Apple Assoc Inc 

玻璃艺术雕塑 WGS_Laurel Library.MD.aipp.washington_glass_studio.public_art.sculpture.site.specific.sustainable.design.usa.jpg

Photo by Pete Duvall

Laurel Library
507 7th Street, Laurel, MD 20707

Grand Opening / Dedication – 10:30 AM, Monday, November 28, 2016 – All are invited!