Faculty & Staff

The key personnel for the Washington Glass School have many years of combined experience with glass, steel, sculpture, architecture, and public art installation. This includes education, creating and collaborating on public and private art projects. Much of the expertise involving advancements in sculptural design and theory, technological improvements and installation procedures is continually developed and refined.

School Directors

Tim Tate is a Washington, DC native, and has been working with glass as a sculptural medium for the past 25 years. Co-Founder of the Washington Glass School, Tim’s work is in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery and the Mint Museum. He was awarded the title of “Rising Star of the 21st Century” from the Museum of American Glass and was also the recipient of the 2009 Virginia Groot Foundation award for sculpture. His work has been shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Fuller Museum, the Asheville Art Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. He is a 2012 Fulbright Scholar recipient and was Artist-In-Residence at the Institute for International Glass Research (IIRG) in the UK.

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Erwin Timmers is Co-founder and Director of the Washington Glass School and one of the DC area’s leading ‘eco-artists’. Recycling, waste, the environment and how they relate to society are recurring themes in his work – and Erwin has developed a number of courses that integrate his environmental ethos into the classroom. Erwin is currently working with architects and designers on a number of “green” projects. His work in sustainable design can be seen in some of the large public art projects he has completed, including an award winning project for the EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, and the public artwork for the LEED certified Safeway supermarket in Bethesda, MD.

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Michael Janis developed a focus on kiln-glass after working for twenty years as an architect in the United States and Australia. Now Co-director of the Washington Glass School, Michael has taught at the Penland School of Crafts, the Bay Area Glass Institute, and The Glass Furnace (Istanbul, Turkey). His work has been shown at major galleries and art fairs and is included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2011, Michael mounted a solo exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum (Massachusetts). In 2012, awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, Michael went to the UK’s University of Sunderland and National Glass Centre, where he was Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for International Glass Research (IIRG). American Craft Magazine profiled his work in their April/May 2013 issue. Named a “Distinguished Artist of Glass” by the James Renwick Alliance, Michael has lectured about his work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2016, The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH) awarded Michael Janis the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Award for “Excellence in the Arts”. The Mayors Arts Awards are the most prestigious honors conferred by the city on individual artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations, and patrons of the arts.

Click here to visit Michael’s website
Click here to jump to Smithsonian Museum’s video webcast of Michael’s presentation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Click here to link of Glass Art Magazine‘s 2016 podcast interview
Click here to jump to Maryland Public Television “Artworks” Episode 513 with Co-Host Michael Janis

Current Instructors

The Faculty at the Washington Glass School includes working artists, professionals and educators from across the spectrum of art and sculpture, incorporating many different media. These seasoned professionals teach all aspects of sculptural, functional and decorative glass along with media such as steel, concrete, encaustics, ceramics, video, and lighting.

Audrey Wilson has a BA in Crafts with a Glass Concentration from Kent State University. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Audrey has worked at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio as the studio and teaching assistant, working with the museum’s visiting glass artists. Audrey’s artwork examines nature and organic forms and our relationship to them. She specializes in kiln casting, pate de verre and sand casting with mixed media. A published poet, when Audrey is not working in the glass studio, she spends quality time with her cat, Obi, who has light-saber paws.
Click here to visit Audrey’s website.

Robert Kincheloe has been working with glass since 1997, with a strong background in borosilicate glass. He has studied furnace glassblowing, flameworking, scientific glassblowing, sculpture, murrini, encasements, casting and coldworking. Over the years he has helped to set up several glass studios and for a number of years as a studio artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. Robert has pioneered working in cast and lampworked borosilicate glass. Robert recently received the “Emerging Artist Award” from FLOW glass magazine.

Michael (Fig) Mangiafico graduated with a BFA in glass art from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985. He has been teaching torchworking and glass blowing for over 20 years. He owns and operates his own glass studio in Pittsburgh, PA. Michael has exhibited and taught across the US and is a member of the Glass Art Society, The International Society of Glass Beadmakers, and The Pittsburgh Craftsmen’s Guild. His work is available in galleries nationwide and has been featured in numerous art magazines and publications.

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Elizabeth Ryland Mears is a full time, award winning, studio artist. Whether representational or conceptual, her creations reflect her strong connection with nature, and Liz’s sculpture often combines glass with mixed media. She has studied and taught lampworking techniques at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass Studio, and The Studio of Corning Museum of Glass. Flameworking, written by Liz, was published in 2003 by LARK Books.

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Pete Duvall graduated from Syracuse University in 1998 with a BFA in Photography and moved back to DC afterward. Pete teaches workshops and classes for the Art League School in addition to the Washington Glass School. Alison Duvall graduated from Syracuse University in 1999 with a BFA in Photography and has lived in the Washington, DC area ever since. She currently teaches art at the Parkmont School and has taught at the National Cathedral School, River School and Corcoran School of Art and Design’s Camp Creativity. She is also a freelance photographer with her husband for their company, Anything Photographic. Check out anythingphoto.net for more information.

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Lea Topping has been an independent studio artist for over 20 years with a gallery at the Torpedo Factory. She has studied at the Tyler School of Art, University of California/San Diego, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art and Purdue University.

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Alison Sigethy studied design at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and received degrees from Marymount University. She is a member of several glass guilds and was Chairman of the 2004 Glass Arts Festival, a bi-annual event sponsored by the National Capitol Art Glass Guild, the Glen Echo Glass Art Consortium, and the National Park Service.

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Sean Hennessey teaches sculpture and mold making. An accomplished painter and sculptor, he established Scenic Artisans in 2004, following a ten-year career in the theater, where Sean was responsible for all painting and sculpting of stage props and set decoration at the internationally renowned Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC. His work has been part of Helen Hayes Award winning productions. Sean has also contributed to projects at other arts and theater venues, such as the Kennedy Center, the Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Arena Stage, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, and the Smithsonian Institute. Sean has worked on many of the studio’s architectural projects, including fabrication of the Library of Congress Adams Building glass doors. He recently opened his own studio “Otis Street Art Projects“, next door the Glass School. Sean taught at Penland School of Craft in 2016.

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Dave D’Orio has a BFA in sculpture from the University of Hartford and has worked in glass for over 15 years. His artwork features mixed media, glass and steel. Dave is Director of DC GlassWorks, one of the DC area’s premier public access hot glass shop, located in Hyattsville, MD. DC Glass Works offers both glass blowing and metal casting. The classes formed by the combining the resources of both glass centers promises to create a diverse artistic population whose common goal is to explore glass and the creative process.

Allegra Marquart has been teaching printmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for decades. Nine years ago she began to include glass as a way to strengthen and revitalize her imagery. Her glass artwork is featured at international art venues, including SOFA Chicago and Palm Beach 3.

Click here to visit Allegra’s website

Tim Slagle has been an LED fanatic since getting his mom to buy him a Radio Shack grab bag in the 5th grade. Despite degrees in Engineering and work on optical data storage and digital imagers, Tim’s spare time is filled designing and building gadgets that blink and glow. Since moving from Silicon Valley to Washington, DC, he has led LED project workshops for Dorkbot DC and worked with local multi-media artists to add electronics smarts and interactivity to their work.

Diane Cooper Cabe’s glass portfolio comprises both sculptural and functional pieces. She began her career in glass with studies at local and national glass centers, including Washington Glass School, where she was one of the first studio artists. A Bullseye E-merge finalist, Diane’s cast and fused artwork has been exhibited in local and national galleries. She is a resident artist with the Art Glass Center at Glen Echo, Maryland.

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Jennifer Lindstrom began exploring warm glass in 2001 when she enrolled in her first glass fusing class. Her love of the medium has taken her to Penland as a work study student. Her elegant and disciplined aesthetic in glass was featured in the Washington Post’s Style Section.

Chris Shea has been a professional studio metalsmith since 1997, creating sculpture, furniture and architectural metalwork in forged steel, bronze and glass. His work is shown at Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia and has been exhibited throughout the country, most recently at SOFA Chicago through Maurine Littleton Gallery. Chris has taught at Montgomery College, Thomas Jefferson Arts Center and Snow Farm School in MA.

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Ellyn Weiss is a painter and printmaker that works in a wide variety of media. She lives in Bethesda and has her studio in Mt. Rainier, MD. Her work is inspired by biological forms and structures, which she finds endlessly fascinating in their combination of sheer beauty and functionality. She was one of the founders of Artomatic, is a member of the Board of “Art Enables”, has the largest piece of art in the DC City Hall Art Collection, and is represented by the Nevin Kelly Gallery in Washington where her most recent show, paintings in tar, opened in September, 2009. Ellyn is the arts blogger known as Gessohead.org

Click here to visit Ellyn’s website

Vivian Beer is a New England based furniture designer/maker. Her work is included in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Currier Museum of Art and the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC and public art in the cities of Portland, Maine and Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds a Master’s of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art and has held numerous residencies including the Penland School of Crafts, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the San Diego State University. She was a 2014 recipient of an Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and winner of this year’s Ellen’s Design Challenge on HGTV.

              Click here to visit Vivian’s website

Teaching Assistants and Friends of the Studio

The School also has a number of Teaching Assistants who bring their expertise and enthusiasm to the classes. This provides an excellent instructor/student ratio resulting in quality class time and opportunity for productivity. Friends of the Studio involves volunteers to support the Washington Glass School classes, events and collaborative projects.

Teaching Assistants

Patricia de Poel Wilberg
Jennifer Lindstrom
Laurie Brown

 

Special Friends and Supporters of the Washington Glass School

Janet Hirshberg
Kay Janis
Veronique Lanthier
Brett Marden
Liz Mears
Helene Safire
Chip Montague

Studio Artiststherman.statom.teaching.washington_glass_school

David Cook 
Cheryl Patrice Derricotte
Nancy Donnelly
Sean Hennessey
Allegra Marquart
Syl Mathis
Duncan McClellan
Veta Carney
Laurie Brown
Trish Kent
John Henderson
Kyle David Crosby