Peter McGrain Workshop – Feb/March 2012


We attended a workshop in late February when Internationally acclaimed  Glass Artist/Designer Peter McGrain was in Saskatoon facilitating a workshop.

Peter taught us Traditional Stained Glass Painting , which is the age-old method of Painting on glass, historically used for creating imagery on the coloured glass of a leaded panel.  In the workshop, we covered trace lines, matting, glass stainer paints, silver stains and enamels, as well as many other techniques.  He  introduced us to his trademarked Vitri-Fusaille Technique, where coloured pieces of fusible glass which make up the colour fields of the finished piece.  These are then fully fused to a clear base of fusible glass.  Trace lines are applied to enhance the image as well as ‘hide’ any gaps between the colour fields.

The result is a striking, colourful piece of glass  art!

Teaching traditional painting techniques and his copyrighted Vitri-Fusaille technique,  workshop participants created 2 pieces in the workshop as well as a large group piece.   We enjoyed  the company of  a fun and dynamic group of enthusiastic glass artists.  We had a great time !  If you enjoy glass and ever have the opportunity to attend a Peter McGrain workshop — make sure you do!

Peter McGrain is a glass artist, designer, instructor and lecturer and  has been working with stained glass for over 30 years.  For more information on Peter McGrain:


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Julie Carter Preston — a potter whose works reflected the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement has died at age 85

ulia Carter Preston

Julia Carter Preston, who has died aged 85, was a masterful potter in the best traditions of the Arts and Crafts Movement; her work is preserved in both private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Julia Carter Preston
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Julia Carter Preston in her studio
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Crafty Studios

We’ve been so inspired with Amanda’s Craftroom –

Send us photos of your studio — or show us your ‘Dream Studio’ !!

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How to photograph glass | Glass Community

How to photograph glass | Glass Community.

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Glass Sparks: Michael Janis

09 May 2011

Glass Sparks: Michael Janis

photograph by Tom Wolff

Michael Janis studied architecture at Mies van der Rohe’s IIT in his hometown of Chicago, IL. In 1993 he moved to Australia and there he worked on a number of large scale architecture projects, including work for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It was in Australia that Michael first started working with glass, designing walls of cast glass.

Moving back to the United States in 2003, glass artwork became his focus. Michael began glass blowing at a Baltimore hot shop and was soon taking glass courses at art centers such as Haystack Mountain in Maine, North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft, and Urban Glass in New York.

Michael at Penland School of Craft

Attracted to the experimental and adventurous approach to the medium that defined the Washington Glass School, he soon became involved with the school as the Studio Coordinator.

L-R Washington Glass Studio directors Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate, Michael Janis. From the 2006 American Style article “Filling Glass With Meaning“. Photo by Roger Foley.

In 2005, Michael became one of the Co-Directors of the Washington Glass School, and he is the Director of Public Art projects for the Washington Glass Studio.

“The Gravity Between Us” Hotel Palomar, Washington, DC

Public Art sculpture for Prince George’s County Circuit Court

Michael continues teaching at the Washington Glass School, and also has taught glass art workshops at Istanbul’s Glass Furnace, the Penland School of Craft and the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) in California.

Michael teaching fused glass technique class at Washington Glass School, 2005

Michael Janis teaching at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute, 2010

His kilncast bas-relief glass and steel sculptures were featured in the seminal “Compelled By Content” exhibition at Bethesda, Maryland’s Fraser Gallery. In this show, artists that used glass with narrative content showed how the traditional craft of glass was evolving.

“Liar Paradox” Collection of Susan and Fred Sanders. Photo: Anything Photographic

Michael began incorporating imagery into his glass works, and by manipulating crushed glass powder he has been able to create intricate detail images within the glass, layering the images to emphasize the depth within.

Text and imagery work their way through Michael’s artwork panels, similar to an architect’s diagrams, suggesting elements of stories not fully disclosed. Michael’s work references the Surrealist artists of the early twentieth century and Neo-Dada concepts as seen in the work of artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell and Jasper Johns.

Click HERE to jump to a short documentary on Michael and his sgraffito frit powder technique.

From the catalog of the 2011 exhibit “Material World”:

“When viewers see images of Michael Janis’ work, they may not immediately recognize it as glass art…The virtuosity of Janis’ technique supports his imagery, which is often tinged with a nostalgia for days where innocence reigned and magic seemed possible. Janis is not simply naïve, for there is a darker undercurrent to these works that speaks to the loss of this sense of wonder.” Stephen Boocks curator, April 2011

Maurine Littleton Gallery space, SOFA Chicago 2009

In 2007, Maurine Littleton Gallery began exhibiting his glass artwork at international art shows such as Art Miami, SOFA Chicago and SOFA New York. Currently, his work is on exhibit at the Flemish Center for Contemporary Glass Art in Lommel, Belgium.

In 2009 he was awarded Florida’s “Emerging Artist” award by the Florida Glass Art Alliance, in 2010, he received the Saxe Fellowship from California’s Bay Area Glass Institute. This year, Janis will be named a “Rising Star” by the Creative Glass Center of America and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass at the biannual glass art conference held at the Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts, in New Jersey.

The Memory of Orchids, 2011

His first museum solo show will open this year (August 6 thru November 6, 2011) at the Fuller Museum of Craft, in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Detail from “In the Evening Twilight”

Michael will be one of the featured artists in Long View Gallery’s exhibition of Artists of the Washington Glass School:
Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years
LongView Gallery
1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC May 19 – June 19,2011
Artist Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

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Addicted to Glass

Addicted to Glass

May 1, 2011

Claire Anderson, Glass Art Association of Canada school representative for

Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario

Katrina Cheung, Red Balance Grey, 2011, Photo: Katrina Cheung

Being involved in the Sheridan glass program has left me with an addiction to glass that I fear I may never be able to shake. Without my regular studio fix I get shaky and irritable, break out into sweats and my fingers twitch in a useless effort to turn invisible air-pipes. This seems to be a common problem with most of the students here. We are known as ‘glass-holes’ as we converse about little else, and we can be found lurking around the studio at the strangest hours.

Claire Anderson, Paradise, 2011, Photo: Claire Anderson

This obsession, however, has led the 2011 graduates in directions that none of us could have predicted at the beginning of our journey here. We began as a class of eighteen, but now only ten stragglers remain after all of the injuries, head games, hundreds of broken pieces and, most importantly, survival of each other.

Aurora Darwin, Metropolis, 2011, Photo: Aurora Darwin

Spending all day every day with a small group of diverse individuals has been trying (to say the very least) at times, but it has made us into a small family. We all play integral roles.  For instance, the dad of the group, Andrew Beauchamp, is stocked full of the most interesting and useless information.  Katrina Cheung is our elder, sought after for vital life advice. Hana Schweiheardt is our young sapling that can often be caught dancing by herself somewhere.  And Allysun Rysnick keeps us all smiling, treating us to TimBits every Sunday! Andrew Wardlaw is a bit of a wild card; you really have to meet him to understand what I am talking about. Alyssa Getz is our purple-haired, loud-mouth glass blowing super star – I have the privilege of working with her this year – while Aurora Darwin is our own personal DJ. Silvia Taylor has become the electroplating grandmaster wizard while Melanie Billark is always encouraging – her energy is impossible to ignore. I suppose that leaves me, ‘noodle-head’, a reference to my waist length dreadlocks and definitely not my slight absent-mindedness. We have grown very close as we have lived, worked and played together for the past three years. We act as a support network, and in the extreme ups and downs we have been there for one other, offering vital criticism, encouragement and the exchange of ideas.

Alyssa Getz, Vessel with Lid, Photo: Alyssa Getz

Over the years, we have come to discover our various specialties and we have spread ourselves evenly throughout the studios. This has had a huge impact on our work and where each of us will take it in the future.  Many of us had very different initial expectations of what the glass program was about, and a few had no idea what to expect at all. The year I began, Sheridan was making major changes to the program, so what I had read in the Sheridan booklet was actually quite different than the program to which I enrolled. I had no idea what to expect, but it was the constant technical and conceptual challenge that got me hooked. I think it is the touch of madness that keeps me around still.

Hana Schweighardt, Flow Series, Photo: Hana Schweighardt

When I speak with my classmates, we all have at least one story about getting set on fire in first year, either by charging the sand casting furnace, or nicking an arm on the annealer. During our three years at Sheridan, three of us have had to get tetanus shots at the clinic and there have been two hospital runs. We have been cut, drilled, puntied, and burned more times then I can count on two hands (and both feet). But the hypnotic nature of glass held us and we continued with fierce dedication.

Andrew Beauchamp, Orbs, Photo: Andrew Beauchamp

With the guidance of the faculty, we have been able to discover our individual styles and learn both what inspires us as well as the concepts that interest us. The close relationships we have developed with our instructors have been vital, as we have been forced to think very critically about our own work. We are lucky to be taught by not only well-connected professionals, but individuals that we have come to know quite well. They go completely out of their way for us and are there to talk about anything … as long as it’s over a beer. They have been right there with us through our development as artists and designers and have helped us through our various mental breakdowns.

Silvia Taylor, Ogee, Photo: Silvia Taylor

Now, as the end of the year approaches, we have begun to realize our time together is nearly at an end. We have made our plans and have begun the motions to start our lives after Sheridan. Many of us feel this is not our last year of post-secondary education and we plan to continue our studies in sculpture and design. However, just as we began the creative process at Sheridan, there is no way to know how our next stage will develop. Glass is an unforgettable medium that each of us will incorporate in the future with the same passion that we displayed at Sheridan.

I loved my time at Sheridan and feel that I now have the tools necessary to become a professional studio artist. While I will miss the coziness of my safety net, I look forward to the challenges that the life of a creator presents.

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