31 July 2012

Washington Glass Welcomes New Studio Coordinator

Audrey Wilson

The Washington Glass School welcomes its new studio coordinator - Audrey Wilson!
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Audrey has a BA from Kent State University. 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 references nature and organic forms, and she specializes in kiln casting, pate de verre and sand casting with mixed media. 
Audrey Wilson Fragility of Human Nature
recycled glass,
 pate de verre with oil paint  
Besides her work in glass, Audrey has a BA in art education, and will begin teaching classes soon at the school.

Erwin Timmers outlines the studio schedules with Audrey.
Make a point of stopping by the school and introducing yourself to Audrey!

30 July 2012

A Visit From Penland

L-R Glen and Florence Hardymon chat with ceramic artist Novie Trump at Flux Studios
Glen Hardymon -  Penland School of Crafts Chairman of the Board of Trustees and his wife Florence were visiting Washington, DC, this week and they made a trip out to see the Washington Glass School. 
Sean Hennessey, Tim Tate together with Glen and Florence Hardymon expound on the lighter side of the arts.
Glen and Florence were able to chat with a number of the artists working in the studio, and were able to stop at the ceramics studio next door Flux Studios for a visit with Novie Trump.
Michael Janis (center) shows how he gets layered fused glass imagery. 
Novie Trump describes artist Tamara Laird's motifs.
In August, Tim Tate is leading a tour thru Penland and nearby Asheville, NC as part of the annual Penland Auction - held to raise funds supporting Penland's educational programs.

Bullseye RCBA Gallery Opens Painterly Glass Exhibit

Bullseye Glass had earlier this year opened their new facility in the California's Bay area near the Silicon Valley/Berkely/San Francisco corridor of Emeryville, CA. The place is called Resource Center Bay Area (RCBA) and this facility (the third of BE owned centers) offers workshops, supplies and a gallery.
RCBA, Bullseye Glass' new home in California. 4514 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA
One of the upcoming exhibits at the RCBA Gallery opens this coming Saturday, Aug 4, 2012. Titled: Facture: Artists on the Forefront of Painterly Glass, a number of the works were shown at BE's Portland gallery early this year in a show of the same name. The exhibit will showcase kilnformed glass paintings (mostly frit on sheet glass) from the artists Abi Spring, Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt, Ted Sawyer, Jeff Wallin, and WGS' Michael Janis.

Jeff Wallin Residue of a Figure Study
kilnformed glass
from the BE website:
Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass is a group exhibition that explores many of the concerns of contemporary painting, but does this exploration with glass. Painting exists in a continuum with centuries of tradition while simultaneously embracing aspects of sculpture, installation and collage. Painting today goes beyond pigment on a surface; it is an approach to image making that encompasses the ways in which a material is used to construct a work, how an artist approaches a subject, and even how an image is conceived. The artists included in Facture are constructing paintings using glass.
Michael Janis Observation of Signals
kilnformed glass and steel 
Glass, unlike traditional painting materials, is both surface and solid. Value and intensity can be created on the suface as well as volumetrically. Paintings made from glass are image and object; illusion and reality, and these artists, at the forefront of this young method, are scratching at the boundaries of both.
Martha Pfanschmidt Last Year
kilnformed and coldworked glass
View the exhibition: Bullseye Resource Center Bay Area Gallery, August 4 - October 20, 2012.
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 4, 3–5pm. 4514 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA 94608
Go to map & driving directions

25 July 2012

Glass Fun Fact: Prince Rupert's Drops and Tempered Glass

Much of functional architectural glass applications - like shower doors, table tops, car windows, skylights, etc. - requires the use of safety glass - often glass that has through a process called tempering.  Glass is pretty wonderful stuff, but it does have some bad habits.  First, it is brittle and has a tendency to crack when struck or heated unevenly.  Second, shards of glass are really sharp and pretty dangerous.  Tempered glass solves both of these problems simultaneously.  Glass is much stronger in compression than tension.
Float Glass process
If you can cause the surface of the glass to become compressed relative to the interior of it, you can harden it by a factor of up to 10.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  One is to heat the glass and then cool it very quickly.  The surface of the glass will cool much more rapidly than the interior.  The slow cooling of the interior causes it to want to contract more than the surface, placing the surface under considerable compression.   This strengthens the glass and makes it more scratch-resistant and heat-resistant in the bargain.  Another method is chemical tempering, in which sodium atoms on the surface of the glass are replaced with potassium atoms, which are significantly larger.  This also puts the surface in compression, and can be done with glass of complicated shapes that would not survive heat tempering.
One interesting effect of the tempering process is that tempered glass doesn’t just crack.  When tempered glass encounters a big enough stress, it shatters into small granules.  If the integrity of the surface of the glass becomes compromised, the interior, which is under huge tension, will disintegrate.  This is much safer than big dangerous shards, but does make the glass suddenly an awful lot harder to see through.  This is one reason why the windshield of your car is not made with tempered glass, but laminated glass.  Laminated glass is made by bonding two or more layers of glass with an ‘interlayer’ of plastic film which will hold the pieces together if the glass should crack.
Tempered glass is an extremely useful material, but it does demand some planning.  Because of tempered glass’ all-or-nothing breakage, it must have been already cut to the size, shape, and already have any holes cut out before the tempering process.  There’s no cutting the glass down to fit afterwards. 
Tempering as an industrial process started in the 20th century, but it was a party trick far before that.  One of the first examples of tempered glass is something called Prince Rupert’s drops (or balls), supposedly named after the Bavarian prince who brought it to the attention of the Royal Society.  If you let a blob of molten glass drip into a bucket of water, it will form an extended teardrop shape with interesting properties.  The bulbous end of the drop is tempered and can withstand extreme force, such as hitting it with a hammer.  The tail, however, is very delicate, and if broken, the whole thing will shatter into tiny pieces.  

When you think about it the stuff is a bit odd, but that’s glass for you.  It’s odd stuff.

A local DC morning news television station visited Erwin Timmers' recycled glass art class, and he demonstrated the explosive properties of tempered glass by shattering a thick panel (jump to 2:47).
Click on each line below to jump to previous Glass Fun Facts postings:
Glass Fun Facts: Gaffer/Composer
More Glass Fun Facts: Bullseye Glass

Float Glass Fun Facts
Glass Fun Facts - Shattered Glass Predicts Weather
Why is Glass Transparent?

23 July 2012

In Memoriam: UK Glass Artist Charles Bray (1922 – 2012)

Charles Bray at the unveiling of his glass and slate sculpture work at Lancaster University, 2009.

It is with great sadness that we learned that UK glass artist Charles Bray passed away suddenly, but peacefully, Sunday afternoon. Charles was the instigator of the Glass & Ceramics course at Sunderland University and supportive founder member of Cohesion Glass network, as well as being a member of the Society of Glass Technologists. In 1976, he attended the Hot Glass Conference at the Royal College of Art which proved a major watershed in the development of Studio Glass in England
Charles also authored glass 
art & technology reference books.
Subsequently, he was instrumental in setting up British Artists in Glass (now the Contemporary Glass Society) to promote and support the work of glass artists in the UK

Charles’ glass sculptures were featured in the Glass 3 exhibit that featured glass artwork by Sunderland, Washington, DC and Toldedo artists held in Georgetown in 2008.  

Charles Bray's glass & stone works were strongly represented in the historic 2008 US/UK joint glass show "Glass 3".

Michael Janis Does (Hot Glass) Houston

Washington Glass School's own "Magic Mike" was just down in Houston - performing for the ladies out at the Hot Glass Houston (HGH) - a Bullseye glass Resource Center in Texas.
Michael Janis exposed all his secrets during his weekend review at club Hot Glass Houston. He happily line dances and pole dances (where he got the nickname "Magic Mike"), yet remains mum about what happened at the HGH karoke night...
Michael said there were many 'naturals' in the class that took to the sgraffito technique instantly, and HGH's Bob Paterson sent some photos from the class - 
Michael Janis outlines frit powder sgraffito process to the class.
In the three-day workshop, the artists created imagery using frit powder, enamels, image transfer, stencils, high-fire pens and paints, and later worked at creating depth by kiln-forming a stacked image panel.
TA Cynthia Gilkey sifts frit powder to recreate her puppy Bob in glass.
Bob after his time in a kiln.
Michael demonstrates how to manipulate frit powder. Its so easy!
Hot Glass Houston kilns fill with image laden sheets of glass.
Lynda Stoy's frit powder sketch awaits kiln firing.
Layered panel component sheets by Marilyn Dishman, Lynda Stoy and  Deborah Enderle are fired to fix the frit powder on the glass and allow for further embellishment.
The class dams each layered imagery panel prior to full fuse firing.
Catherine Coffman assembles her layered panel in the kiln and creates a dam surround.
After firing.
Brooke Colvin's romantic panel after clean up.
Liz Paul's glass artwork references a walk thru the woods.
Michael said he had a great time in Texas, and he enjoyed hanging out with the owner Bob Paterson and TA Cynthia Gilkey - although he mentioned a karaoke night debacle, he refused to give details. Click here to jump to Hot Glass Houston's facebook page. Click HERE to jump to Hot Glass Houston's website.

20 July 2012

Craft Will Save The World: Renwick Gallery's 40 Under 40

Stephanie Liner, Momentos of a Doomed Construct (installation detail), 2012, plywood, foam, Dacron, cotton, adhesive, live model
The Smithsonian Renwick Gallery's Craft Futures: 40 Under 40 exhibit has just opened this week (on exhibit now thru February 3, 2013), and it is a must-see show! Nicholas Bell, the Curator of American Craft organized the exhibition which features forty artists born since 1972 - the year the Smithsonian established the Renwick Gallery. Evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and glass, as well as in fields such as industrial design, installation art, fashion design, and mathematics are explored.
General view of gallery space - Artwork in foreground: Marc Maiorana, Renwick Gate, 2011, iron
Artwork in the exhibition was created since Sept. 11, 2001 and this new work reflects the changed world that exists today, one which poses new challenges and considerations for artists. Nicholas Bell talked about the work and the selection process at a noon lecture on Friday, July 20, outlining some concepts that included  underlying themes that could be seen within the works - including postmodernism, environmental and economic issues, and how the explosion in craft is based on a desire by artisans to try and fix the world via the process of creation. There was also mention of a topic at Nicolas' talk that I want to investigate more: the 'sloppy craft movement' (!) - but that is for a later blog posting.
Some of the standout works seen at the opening nite include:
Stephanie Liner, Momentos of a Doomed Construct (installation detail), 2012, plywood, foam, Dacron, cotton, adhesive, live model.
Stephanie combines clothing and furniture forms into Fabergé egg-like armatures that are as fascinating as they are unnerving. It's a rare opportunity to see them as they're intended, with living, breathing (beautiful) woman inside of the bubble, gazing back at you.
Andy Paiko, Spinning Wheel, 2007, blown glass, cocobolo, steel, brass, leather
Great to see Matt Szösz and his inflated fused glass. Matt was recently awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant. 
Korean born Bohyun Yoon describes his work titled “Glass Tube”.
Opening nights are about networking. Above left image in center: Chris Rifkin, Fuller Craft Museum's board chairman and Right rear image: Perry Price, Director of Education at American Craft Council.
Cristina Córdova, Dulce, 2011, ceramic, paper
Mia Pearlman’s paper works dominate one of the gallery spaces with massive installations and a video.
Olek, Knitting is for Pussies,2005-2011, mixed media, 100% acrylic yarn, live models
Detail from Olek's 'Knitting is For Pussies' installation and of 'yarn-bombed' tricycle parked in front of Renwick Museum on Opening Nite.
The opening night gala was a spectacular event - very much with a retro art-happening vibe.
The fun, audacity, interesting & provoking attitudes of the show make it a winner and it should be added to one's list of gallery/museum to-do lists for Washington, DC this year. Click HERE to jump to the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery website.

18 July 2012

Sunderland, England Visits Washington, DC

clockwise from left: Novie Trump, Tim Tate, George Koch, Oliver "Skip" Dulle, Tom Hurst, Catherine Auld and Erwin Timmers talk about the prospects for an international exhibition of glass and clay. 

Based on the aftermath of Tim Tate & Michael Janis' successful Fulbright Scholarship assignment to the University of Sunderland, representatives from DC's sister city (which is Sunderland, England) popped in for proverbial "spot of tea and a bit of a chat" - re: the possibility of another international glass exhibition to be held in DC in Spring 2013. (One may remember the fabulous Glass 3 exhibit hosted by Artomatic in 2008.)  
George Koch, founder and board member of DC's Cultural Development Corporation, chats with WGS' Tim Tate 
This time the arts organization is proposing to expand the format to include ceramics and possibly another international partner; all together exhibiting at a downtown DC gallery space. Discussions included international workshops, marketplace events and how cultural tourism could be integrated. The representatives from the UK met at the Washington Glass School and at Flux Studios.
Artist Novie Trump explains the process of a commissioned ceramic installation to the Sunderland delegation.
Dr David Smith, Chief Executive, Sunderland City Council and DC Mayor Vincent Gray sign the Sunderland, UK / Washington, DC Sister City Agreement, February 22, 2012, 
We don't want to jinx the procedures and process at this early stage, but we are excited at the prospect of such an event! 

17 July 2012

Brentwood Arts Exchange Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals and  Exhibition Applications
Deadline: Aug 31, 2012

The Brentwood Arts Exchange is The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's component of the Gateway Arts Center, a public-private partnership that serves as an anchor for Prince George's County Gateway Arts District. Dedicated to presenting and promoting the visual arts, the Brentwood Arts Exchange features a contemporary art gallery displaying diverse exhibitions, a Craft Showcase promoting local artisans, and a dynamic arts learning classroom/workshop. Since opening in March, 2010, the gallery has presented 16 exhibitions featuring regionally and nationally prominent artists as well as university and high school students, and has welcomed over 10,000 visitors. It is a place for people of all ages to meet, engage and learn about art, purchase locally made functional art, and explore new creative talents.
The art gallery is approximately 2,500 sq. ft. with 1,700 sq. ft. of exhibition space on an open floor plan. It features 14 ft. high ceilings, LED track lighting, and pristine white walls. The gallery is staffed by an attendant during all operating hours.
Each proposal should include:
  • An artist/curatorial statement that is no longer than one page.
  • A résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • A CD/DVD containing 15-20 images of work samples; OR 2-5 segments of audio and/or video, each no longer than five minutes in duration; OR an appropriate combination of images, video, audio and web-based work.
  • A list of works/images that includes titles, media, size, and dates created.
  • An SASE for the return of materials. Materials will not be returned unless an SASE with adequate postage is provided.
Attn: Exhibitions
Brentwood Arts Exchange
@ Gateway Arts Center
3901 Rhode Island Avenue
Brentwood, MD 20722

For More Info:
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact:
Phil Davis, Acting Director, Brentwood Arts Exchange
tel. 301-277-2863; tty. 301-446-6802; fax. 301-277-2865

Time Machine - back to 2007!

Using the power of Peabody's Wayback Machine, we can have a look in at what happened at Washington Glass School before there was a blog. 
Cam Ocağı 
In August of 2007, Tim Tate and I went off to Istanbul, Turkey for teaching stint at the international glass school - "The Glass Furnace" - (Cam Ocağı in Turkish). The facility is located in Öğümce'de Beykoz - out in the countryside, working from the Riva Glass Furnace on the banks of the Cyagiz Deregi, near the Black Sea
Also teaching there during the same session was Richard Jolley, who was teaching a glass blowing course. Although located a few hours from Istanbul's city center, we went into town at every opportunity - and we were able to hit some of the cultural spots.

Tim Tate and Richard Jolley at the Blue Mosque
The school's mission includes the interaction that would be established between the Turkish and foreign students at the camp, and the students from our class was multi-national with students from Greece, Armenia, Australia, Turkey, and the USA. The class was designed to be a mix of kiln casting in dry plaster, as well as working with my scraffito technique. Five years later, we look back at the adventure on the Bosphorus.
Artist Eirini Matinopoulou works in the kilns.
Eirini and her brother Adam Matinopoulou, Sertac Alpaslan, Tommie Rush and Ipek Kosova chill at the agora.
English, while the official language for the school was not always the option. We had to learn some handy Armenian phrases for the class. "Me Ara" was constantly exclaimed.
We were often able to have dinner along the river .
Turkish glass and mosaic artist Oguzhan Tugral (Oz) and his family visit. Oz had taken Tim and I around Istanbul and introduced us to renown Turkish painter, architect and miniaturist Nusret Çolpan, where we visited his studio in the city.
Turkish artist Nusret Çolpan came to The Glass Factory to see if he was able to work his artwork in glass.
While transiting the River Riva, little fish jumped into the boat to join the gang.

Semrin Korkmaz shows Tim Tate and me the sights of Istanbul.

Looking out from within the Hagia Sophia towards the Süleymaniye Mosque. 
For more photos - click HERE to jump to the Flicker set of photos from 'back in the day, including shots from the Istanbul student show taken at the end of the course!