The Process: Shady Grove Hospital Glass Artwork

Earlier, the blog had posted about the commission of artwork from Washington Glass Studio to be installed in the chapel in Shady Grove Hospital’s new Aqualino Cancer Care center. The artwork was recently installed – here is a look at the process:

Original design sketch

After the concept design, dimensions and glass techniques proposed was approved, the Washington Glass Studio team worked at getting the glass underway.
First, glass of the right size was needed. The glass triptych panels were 5′-0″ long, much larger than the glass we had in the studio. Getting large shipments of glass and then (successfully) cutting the glass would be a project into themselves!

Erwin Timmers and Tim Tate receiving the large pane of sheet glass.

The process of cutting such a large sheet of glass involved many from the studio – just to keep the score line straight.

The glass is larger than the pair of work tables.


Erwin Timmers preps the glass for cutting.
The cutting crew: L-R Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Audrey Wilson.

After the glass is cut and cleaned, work inside the kilns proceeds. Audrey Wilson set beds of dry sifted plaster within the large kilns, and began creating the molds the glass would be melted into.

Audrey working on the glass mold that is set up in the kiln.

After firing, annealing and cooling the glass panels, the edges needed to be ground and polished smooth – a noisy messy job. 

Audrey takes to working outdoors to do the wet grinding.

Now the glass is ready for the site. Tim and Erwin traveled to the new cancer facility to install the glass panels into the steel slots that were previously set into a concrete plinth. The surrounding area to the glass panels will incorporate a rock garden.

Erwin Timmers and Tim Tate being installing the panels into the steel framework.
Artists Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers stop for a chat about the glass artwork.
The finished work from inside the Aqualino Cancer Center chapel.

 Adventist Healthcare’s executive director of Cancer Care Services sent a note about the just installed artwork – she wrote to the Shady Grove Art Consultant Lillian Fitzgerald: “… I was in the ACC today and the whole stone and glass took my breath.  The glass is the most beautiful work I have ever seen.  Thank you for your vision...

A great note to end the story of the process of the artwork!

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