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

WGS Featured Artist: Teri Swinhart

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Teri Swinhart

Teri Bailey

Teri Swinhart

Teri Swinhart is a multimedia artist holding a BFA in Glass from The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She thrives in learning, pursuing opportunities to expand her understanding of material at institutions such as Penland School of Crafts, the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Teri currently lives and works in Washington D.C. as the Studio Coordinator for the Washington Glass School and the Director of WGS Contemporary.

Teri Bailey teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Teri Swinhart teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Teri as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Teri Swinhart: The forms for the Sanctuary Series are constructed by precisely layering thin glass strands to imitate weaved textile patterns. The glass strands are lightly melted together and then heated until they slump over a hand-made mold.  Each mold is uniquely carved out of a soft plaster mixture that is removed after firing, creating a negative space within the glass sculpture. I also create a charcoal drawing of my inspiration (a child hiding under a blanket) to help guide the viewer and add visual variety.  

Teri Bailey, "Sanctuary Among Fragility"; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”

Teri Swinhart, “Sanctuary Among Fragility”; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”; concept sketch above finished work.

I combined an assortment of processes to create Seeking Home. This piece includes a hand sculpted figure as well as a glass quilt square. I made the square by sifting ground up glass powder (called frit) through a stencil onto a larger sheet of flat glass. I then fired the sheet and fused the pattern onto the surface. 

Teri Bailey, "Seeking Home"; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Teri Swinhart, detail, “Seeking Home”; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Delicate Revolution is an installation of over 400 eyehooks that have been corseted together with layers of silk ribbon. This installation changes every time it is presented and is dependent on the space around it.

Teri Bailey: Detail "Delicate Revolution"; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2'x8'x1'

Teri Swinhart, Detail “Delicate Revolution”; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2′x8′x1′

Defiance (in Artists for Racial Justice Fundraiser) is a deep red glass casting of a human neck with its chin raised. The chin proudly jutting out, even though it is fractured and worn. The mold for the piece was made by painting body safe rubber mold material onto my model’s neck, waiting for it to try, then removing the mold and pouring wax into it to create a reproduction. The wax neck is then covered in plaster-silica to create a kilnproof mold. The wax is melted of out the mold and the negative space that it leaves is filled with cold chunks of glass and heated up in a kiln until they melt.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Teri Swinhart: The work in this show highlights many of the different processes and materials that I enjoy working with. All of these works highlight my fascination with textiles and their role in the home. Similar to artists like Mary Cassatt, I am drawn to exploring the beautiful intimacy within the home and the personal.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Teri Swinhart: The two biggest things influencing my work (and much of the world) right now are COVID and the BLM Movement. So much of the inspiration for my work comes from the emotion and vulnerability of the extremely personal. I am painfully empathetic, so to watch this many people die so brutally leaves me fluctuating between heartbroken, terrified, and enraged. I don’t think I could keep emotions this intense out of my artwork even if I really tried. It has shown me that I need to take a stance on things I have been privileged enough to avoid in the past and use my voice to spread love and promote change. No pressure…

Here's your coffee - & thank-you for wearing a mask!

Here’s your coffee… & thank-you for wearing a mask!

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Teri Swinhart: A psychologist… or a barista.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Teri Swinhart: Definitely a little bit of both. I feel like I spend 75% of the time in my sketchbook working through each element of an idea before I begin making, then when I feel comfortable with the plan I begin bringing it to life. I am flexible throughout the process and lots of things change as I lay the materials next to each other and work through the installation… it keeps me on my toes!

Click here to jump to Teri Swinhart’s work in CLICK-IT!

Teri’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

Peppermill Village at Night – The City of Lights!

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Peppermill Community Center public art by Washington Glass Studio and the Peppermill/Landover community.

Cassi Hayden, the Senior Visual Media Photographer for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) was at Peppermill Village Community Center covering an event recently and found the artwork (made by Washington Glass Studio) in front to be exceptionally beautiful!

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Detail of the internally illuminated glass panels made with the Peppermill community as part of the public artwork.

Cassi took some shots attached high-res files for your use.  All photos in this posting by: M-NCPPC/Cassi Hayden

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center - and on the community that inspired the creation!

The artwork reflects well in the glass of the new center – and on the community that inspired the creation!

Click HERE to see the public art sculpture in the daytime and how the work came to be!

Washington Post Tips On Collecting Art: Buy Glass

Washington Post Weekend Section Suggests Visiting Washington Glass School on December 14th!

Washington Post Weekend Section Suggests Visiting Washington Glass School on December 14th!

DC’s Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, The Washington Post has tips on how to start – or build – an art collection without breaking the bank. WaPo’s Stephanie Williams writes tips on how to find affordable (real) art. winter.gateway.artist.by.the.tracks.washington.post.art.open.studio

Peppermill Community Center Public Art

Peppermill Community Center

Peppermill Community Center with the internally illuminated artwork “Telling Our Story…” by Washington Glass Studio.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) commissioned Washington Glass Studio (WGS) to create a public art sculpture for the new addition to the Peppermill Community Center in Landover, MD.

Shop drawing of sculpture by WGS.

Shop drawing of sculpture by WGS.

Some communities see public art as a way of enhancing or personalizing otherwise impersonal spaces. Others view it as a means to activate civic dialogue or provide a vehicle for the community to express its identity.

These landmarks and special events enhance our experience of a place and our quality of life. They engender a sense of pride and community identity. They reach audiences outside museums, galleries, and theaters, and they add to the beauty of everyday life. They declare the worth of a place and a time in our shared culture.

Erwin Timmers leads a community glass making workshop at the Washington Glass School.

Erwin Timmers leads a community glass making workshop at the Washington Glass School.

As such, the design of the site-specific sculpture by WGS was centered on finding ways to get the community excited and engaged with the convergence of art, history and community. The proposal for the art was based on a 15’H tower of glass and steel that would be internally illuminated with over 100 glass inset panels. The artwork of the insets were to be created by involving the community via a series of glass-making workshops held at the Washington Glass School

A great cross section of community came out to be part of the creation of the new public art for Peppermill Community Center.

A great cross section of community came out to be part of the creation of the new public art for Peppermill Community Center.

The residents and stakeholders were tasked with showing what they felt important to them and what inspired them were made. Images of family, nature, the environment, their neighborhoods, their sports teams were rendered in glass.

All sorts of imagery and glass techniques were employed to great effect.

All sorts of imagery and glass techniques were employed to great effect.

Cast glass images of the social groups – the sewing groups, the cheer squads, the state flag – even a Maryland blue crab were crafted. Historical references to the nearby horse farms and the old roller rink were included in the mix of glass panels. Part of the fun of the artwork is seeing how this mix of images and references all somehow work together.

The tower, titled :"Telling Our Story..." adds a powerfull and dramitic artistic element at the new entry at the community center.

The tower, titled :”Telling Our Story…” adds a powerful and dramatic artistic element at the new entry at the community center.

Shaping places—with landmarks and landscapes, events and ideologies—sets the stage for a critical part of our existence: our connection with our environment; with our past, present, and future; and with other human beings.

The mix of images and stories told create a compelling and inclusive mixture - each distinctive and unique - yet cohesive as a whole.

The mix of images and stories told create a compelling and inclusive mixture – each distinctive and unique – yet cohesive as a whole.

“Telling Our Story…”
Artist: Washington Glass Studio
Project Team: Teri Bailey, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate and Lee Kind.
Media: Cast and fused glass, steel, LED lighting, concrete.
Location: Peppermill Community Center, 610 Hill Rd, Landover, MD 20785
Client: The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Smithsonian Museum Curators Visit Washington Glass School

Smithsonian Renwick Museum Curator-In_Charge Nora Atkinson is compelled to touch the artwork by Michael Janis and Tim Tate on her visit to Washington Glass School.

Smithsonian Renwick Museum Curator-In-Charge Nora Atkinson is compelled to touch the artwork by Michael Janis and Tim Tate on her visit to Washington Glass School.

Nora Atkinson, Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian Renwick Museum and Robyn Kennedy, Smithsonian Renwick Chief Administrator pay a visit to the studio to have a look at the new collaborative glass installation by Tim Tate & Michael Janis.

Artist Michael Janis talks about the process and inspiration that he and artist Tim Tate used to make the stunning, collaborative artwork.

Artist Michael Janis talks about the process and inspiration that he and artist Tim Tate used to make the stunning, collaborative artwork.

The two Renwick Museum leaders wanted a preview of the work titled, “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air” before it heads up to Chicago as part of Habatat Prime pop-up exhibit that is part of SOFA Expo in a few weeks (Oct 31-Nov 3).

Artist Erwin Timmers points out the features of his thoughtful glass sculptures to SAAM Curator Nora Atkinson and Chief Administrator, Robyn Kennedy.

Artist Erwin Timmers points out the features of his thoughtful glass sculptures to SAAM Curator Nora Atkinson and Chief Administrator, Robyn Kennedy.

And a walk thru of the Washington Glass School looking at the artists work – what great way to spend a spectacular Friday in DC.

Michael Janis describes his sgraffito glass technique to Smithsonian's  Robyn Kennedy and Nora Atkinson as they tour the work on exhibit.

Michael Janis describes his sgraffito glass technique to Smithsonian’s Robyn Kennedy and Nora Atkinson as they tour the work on exhibit.

 

Washington Glass School Origins

The 9/11 anniversary always puts everyone in the Washington Glass School in a reflective mood.

Washington Glass School was originally named Meltdown

Originally named “Meltdown” an original class schedule.

Washington Glass School started in 2001 (the original name of the school was “Meltdown”) with its first class scheduled for September 13th, 2001, at the Millennium Arts Center in SW Washington, DC.

After the tragedy of 9/11, Director Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers contacted the students – sure that no-one was going to go to a glass class in Washington, DC. All the students asked that the class continue – as they wanted some sense of normalcy and wanted to work at creating something. 

Artist Diane Cooper Cabe was a student in the first class. Said Diane : "Being at Meltdown during that stressful, sad time with warm-hearted folks and creative work to do helped us all heal."

Artist Diane Cooper Cabe was a student in the first class. Said Diane : “Being at Meltdown during that stressful, sad time with warm-hearted folks and creative work to do helped us all heal.” Photo circa 2002.

 

The School started strong – with early student exhibitions covered by the Washington Post and Washington Times. Classes continued thru the years with some great glass and art instructors: Liz Mears, Lucartha Kohler, Sean HennesseyJoseph Cavalieri, Allegra Marquart, Bert Weiss and Debra Ruzinsky. Workshops by glass superstars Judith Schaechter and Therman Statom.  

Tim Tate (L), Erwin Timmers (Center L) talk with a student about glass and steel sculpture. Circa 2001.

Tim Tate (L), Erwin Timmers (Center L) talk with a student about glass and steel sculpture. Photo circa 2001.

Many of the students and teaching assistants have went on to open their own studios and become renown artists in their own right – including Cheryl Derricotte, Jeff Zimmer, Teddie Hathaway, Audrey Wilson, Laura Beth Konopinski and (later a Co-Director of WGS) Michael Janis.

In 2003, the school was reorganized and moved to the Washington Sculpture on Half Street in SE. Renamed “The Washington Glass School” remained at that location until the city used eminent domain to clear the area (and demolish the building) to make room for the new Nationals baseball stadium.

Washington Glass School circa 2004.

Washington Glass School circa 2004.

In 2006, The Washington Glass School moved to Mount Rainier, MD, and to its current facility in 2007.

We look back on the memories of the past 18 years with a bittersweet mixture of pride, sentiment, and fondness for those days and love for those who have passed on. 

And then take a deep breath and get back on to work.

A 2002 Washington Post newspaper article about the glass program - features Cheryl Derricotte and Erwin Timmers.

A 2002 Washington Post newspaper article about the glass program – features Cheryl Derricotte and Erwin Timmers.