WGS Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar‘s glass sculptures inspires and provoke imagination. Telling stories has always been her primary objective. Some narratives are sad, funny, or thoughtful but artworks are always about celebrating life. Carmen lives in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where she maintains a studio and is a member of the art faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Pittsburgh Glass School, Appalachian Center for Crafts, The Chrysler Museum, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She has had residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and Penland School of Craft. Although she travels abroad to teach and share her love for glass – most recently to Turkey, Italy, and New Zealand – she always returns to her Midwestern roots. 

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

Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar

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

Carmen Lozar: I work with rods and tubes of borosilicate glass at a torch.  Flameworking lends itself to small intimate pieces, the type I most enjoy making. The process requires concentration, years of skill building and many, many generous mentors who are willing to share their knowledge. 

Caremen Lozar, "Bubble Gum", 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3"x 2"x 6"

Caremen Lozar, “Bubble Gum”, 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3″x 2″x 6″

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

Carmen Lozar: The work is the show is meant to be intimate and accessible, highlighting human follies in a lighthearted way. The bubble gum pieces are about the sticky messes we continually put ourselves in but also the ridiculous and stretchy nature of glass as a material. To me, much of the work is both funny and sad. 

The ketchup and mustard piece, Fight, is about the continual small spats that my daughters engage in daily. I know that they love each other and work well together but this does not stop them from ongoing sibling rivalry. This piece makes light of their arguments knowing they will pass and, in a way, preserving my sanity.

Carmen Lozar, "Fight", Flameworked glass and found object. 3"H x 8"L x 2"D

Carmen Lozar, “Fight”, Flameworked glass and found object. 3″H x 8″L x 2″D

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Carmen Lozar: I have been oscillating between enjoying a quiet summer and completely freaking out. There is so much to process and digest that I am sure the landscape of what we make will change as a result. I believe an entirely new aesthetic will result as a product of the pandemic and unrest.

Image from Carmen Lozar's sketchbook.

Image from Carmen Lozar’s sketchbook.

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

Carmen Lozar:  I do a lot of planning before I begin a new artwork, usually beginning with several drawings in my sketchbook. I usually stick to the drawing/idea pretty closely although if there are too many repetitive parts in the piece I will simplify. I have a short attention span and making the same objects over and over, while I love the way it looks, is difficult for me.

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

Carmen Lozar: An allergist.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Carmen Lozar: You get a crazy wonderful rush of adrenaline that you cannot find anywhere else!

Click here to jump to Carmen Lozar’s work in CLICK-IT!
Click HERE to jump to the show.

Flameworker Simone Crestani



Italian flameworker Simone Crestani will be teaching workshops at the new Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Workshop. Simone has been working at Rob Kincheloe’s new torch studio out in Virginia.

Simone Crestani

The glass bug has bitten many – and to make fact clear, Simone has made the bug physical.

The glass will ultimately be filled with neon and charged.

The glass bug anneals at the glass school – shown here sleeping on a nice soft bed of fiberfrax blanket.

Things are all great – until the bug gets all aggressive and charges Rob. Oh, the humanity!

Glass Sparks: Robert Wyckliffe Kincheloe


Glass artist Robert Wyckliffe Kincheloe is focused on blending a variety of techniques to create sculptural works in glass. Rob has studied all forms of glass including scientific flameworking, sculptural flameworking, fusing, kiln-casting, glass blowing, hot casting, cold-working, and the blending of techniques for sculptural assembly. His focus is flameworked and cold-worked borosilicate glass and he has been pioneering the use of kiln-casting borosilicate glass for use in flameworking.

Robert Kincheloe demo at Penland School of Crafts 2011

Robert has studied and taught glass techniques at many centers, including Virginia Tech Scientific Glass Lab, Penland School of Crafts, the Carslisle School of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, and The Bullseye Research Lab. For several years, Rob has been part of the technical staff involved with the International Society of Glass Beadmakers annual Gathering. He was selected as a Glass Craft Emerging Artist for spring 2010 in The Flow Magazine. Robert was also been published in the spring 2011 edition of The Flow magazine for his techniques on incorporation of kiln-casting of Borosilicate components in Flameworked Sculptures. He has another tutorial on cold-working techniques coming out in the summer 2011 edition of The Flow Magazine.He has been the Studio Coordinator and a Resident Artist at the Washington Glass School for the last year.

Robert heads up the flameworking program at the Washington Glass School, where he is adding new levels of glass instruction and working at crossing over techniques to those already offered at WGS.

Robert Kincheloe Tree of Life, 2010

Robert Kincheloe Holding onto Possibilities, 2010

Holding onto Possibilities” was made for the The Flow Magazine’s Spring 2011 Tutorial: Flameworking with Kiln-cast Borosilicate Glass.

Robert Kincheloe Shine On Your Love Light, 2011
Kiln-cast glass, Steel, and LED lighting.

Robert actively teaches and promotes the progress of glass arts as a creative medium. This summer Rob will be teaching and presenting at the 2011
ISGB Gathering in Louisville, KY. He will be assisting Elizabeth Ryland Mears at the Pittsburgh Glass Center for her summer flameworking intensive. Robert will also be presenting cold-working techniques for flameworking at the Art Glass Invitational in Hilliards, PA.

Click HERE to jump to Robert Kincheloe’s website.

Robert will be one of the featured artists at Longview Gallery ‘s exhibition in honor of Washington Glass School’s 10 year anniversary: Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years

LongView Gallery

1234 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 19 – June 19, Opening Reception, May 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM

For other glass artist profiles:

Diane Cabe

Sean Hennessey

Teddie Hathaway

Elizabeth Mears

Jeff Zimmer

Allegra Marquart

Jackie Greeves

Rob Kincheloe’s Flow Magazine Tutorial


Torchworker Robert Kincheloe has a tutorial on his boro casting technique featured in the latest issue of The Flow glass journal.

In the magazine, he demonstrates how to re-create an object in borosilicate glass using his lost wax casting techniques, and incorporating the cast boro into flamework sculpture.

Rob’s tutorial is also available
online thru the magazine’s website – Click HERE to jump to The Flow’s class website.

Glass Sparks: Elizabeth Ryland Mears


Elizabeth Ryland Mears is an amazing, award winning, studio glass artist that is a master with flameworked glass. Flameworking is a technique of working with hot glass. Rods or tubes of glass are held in the flame of a bench torch where the glass is softened and then shaped by sculpting and/or blowing. The forms created are limited only by the artist’s creativity and skill, in addition to gravity and the sizes of the bench torch and annealing kiln.

Elizabeth has studied and taught lampworking techniques at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, The Studio of Corning Museum of Glass, and has been involved with the Washington Glass School for many years. Her instructional book of borosilicate glass techniques Flameworking, was published in 2003 by LARK Books.

The creative work of Elizabeth Mears incorporates several different series; each one relates to and informs the others. In her Artist Statement, Elizabeth informs the viewers of her work that she ”uses the lexicon of Nature images to portray her relationship to her inner and outer worlds”. Her “Bundle of Twigs” series clearly expresses this theme, as does her “Basket” series.

Elizabeth Mears Basket of Past Dreams and Future Fears
Each bundle represents some aspect of her inner world or the outer world, as she relates to it. Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers also speaks of this relationship, “The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet”.

In her “Shelter” series the glass structure of the shelters serve as the protective shell for the work of her inner journey. Each shelter has a different theme.

Elizabeth Mears Shelter For Endings That Beget Beginnings

One such shelter created at a time of transition in Elizabeth’s creative life is entitled, “Shelter for Endings That Beget Beginnings”. The inner objects of this shelter are composed of hollow blown egg shapes which contain the charred remains of cedar wood shavings collected at Pilchuck Glass School from the 30th Anniversary Totem carved while she was at the summer session. The egg shapes can represent new life, and the charred remains, the death of the old life. Liz has commented that her time away at Pilchuck was instrumental in her personal transformation.

In 2002 Liz began a series, which started as a collaboration with her daughter L. Lindsey Mears, a maker of artist books and prints. Elizabeth created the glass sculpture, which later became “books” with her daugher providing the content through her photographs and poetry. Elizabeth is now the sole creator of the glass books, which contain the poetry that she writes. The photographic images chosen are symbols, which represent the experience of her poetry.

Elizabeth Mears Breath

A later series began after the death of Elizabeth’s mother in 2006. One day after that death Mears learned that her mother had been adopted as a newborn. She had never shared with any of her four children this secret she carried and no information exists about her birth family. Soon after this revelation, Liz learned many other family secrets, which prompted a continuing series of glass and mixed media pieces dealing with various aspects of the secrets we each consign to the dark recesses of our lives. In the process of making these pieces and contemplating secrets as a universal theme, Elizabeth looks at how the secrets of life often bind us together more than the parts of our lives which are shared openly. According to Campbell, “…the experience of eternity right here and now, in all things, whether thought of as good or as evil, is the function of life”.

Elizabeth Mears Secrets They Sprout Up and Burst

Liz felt a strong connection to the comment by Joseph Campbell, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you”. She was struck by the similarity to a statement she has included in her own writings for many years.

In 2008, Mears was asked by LARK Books to be one of ten master artists to write a chapter for the book, The Penland Book of Glass. In her chapter, Elizabeth writes the following about her personal philosophy of living a creative life, “I am a proponent of the philosophy that when we are born, we come to Earth with a personality and a set of gifts, propensities, and abilities. If we pay attention to them, they lead us along a path to fulfillment. When those things we feel passionate about energize us, energy flows out and then returns to us, altered in some form by its journey. This energy creates a positive dynamic in all directions, reaching and influencing an ever enlarging circle”.

Through making her glass objects and meeting other makers and lovers of glass and sculpture, poetry and photography, the circle of energy continues to grow, and, as Campbell says, “doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be”.

Elizabeth Mears and Robert Kinchloe review glass projects at Washington Glass School.

Elizabeth will be one of the featured artists at Longview Gallery ‘s exhibition in honor of Washington Glass School’s 10 year anniversary. Click HERE to jump to Elizabeth Mears website.

New Lampwork Class Schedule

>The New Winter Schedule for the Lampwork Concentrations is now online! – Have a squiz!

Class 1048 – Borosilicate CastingLearn to cast components for use in Flameworked Sculpture

Learn the process of borosilicate glass casting for component assembly in Flameworked sculpture. Students will review the process of casting as it relates to borosilicate glass. Once cast the component elements will then be flameworked into sculptural works of art. Come learn the process and develop your skills in this one of a kind class!

In this 4 day class students will make rubber molds of various items, review “lost wax casting” process, discuss firing schedules for casting borosilicate glass, practice coldworking processes to clean up the cast elements, and learn how to assemble numerous components at the bench torch for creating flameworked sculpture.

Day 1 – Class overview, Project Discussion, Rubber Mold Creation

Day 2 – Rubber mold prep, Wax and plaster investment, casting schedule and color discussion

Day 3 – Divestment and coldworking of components

Day 4 – Flameworking components into final sculpture

Instructor: Rob Kincheloe

Dates: Sat/Sun, Jan 22 & 23 and 29 & 30

Time: 10am to 1pm (the 1:30pm to 5pm open studio session directly following this class is free to any class member)

Tuition : $500 plus $100 material fee. (Pay material fees to instructor in class)


Class 1049 – Beginning Sculptural Flameworking

Learn the basics of making objects in the flame from borosilicate (Pyrex) glass. This 2-day class will focus on skills that are the basis of working with glass on the torch. You will come away with knowledge and some fine objects too! Rob is an energetic, knowledgeable instructor and artist who is ready and willing to help anyone learn this fascinating art form. The materials fee provides student with initial pack of glass, fuel for the torches and the loan of a full set of hand tools. Additional glass and supplies are available for purchase as the class progresses. Take this class more than once to reinforce your skills! Class Limit: 6 students

Dates: This class will be offered 2 times this semester

Session 1049A – Sat/Sun Feb 5 & 6

Session 1049B – Sat/Sun Feb 26 & 27

Time: 10am to 1pm (the 1:30pm to 5pm open studio session directly following this class is free to any class member)

Tuition : $250 plus $50 material fee (Pay material fees to instructor in class)


Class 1050 – Glass BeadmakingDeveloping Your Style

Glass beads have been objects of adornment for thousands of years, and are experiencing a popular revival. We will begin the class with a technical exploration of various foundation techniques essential to the success of all beadmakers and then progress to color, types of glass and ways of utilizing the properties of the medium. Whether as a component of a necklace or alone as a pendant, glass beads can also be an element of creative expression. Together we will begin a conversation about forms of jewelry, finding your palette and individual style.Class Limit: 6 students

Instructor : Clare J. Nykolyszyn

Dates : Sat/Sun March 19 & 20

Time : 10am to 1pm

Tuition : $250 plus $50 for materials (Pay material fees to instructor in class)


Class 1051 – Flamework ClubOpen Studio For Flameworkers

Already know the basics of flameworking? Want to join others in a social atmosphere while you work? Our Flamework Club gives each student the opportunity to work independently in a world class studio while meeting some great new friends! Materials extra.Class Limit: 6 students

Instructor : Robert Kincheloe

Dates : Sat / Sun afternoons (call to confirm appointment)

Time : 1:30pm to 5pm

Tuition : $300 for 4 sessions or included with Instructor Classes

Elizabeth Ryland Mears


Elizabeth Mears is an award winning artist who creates objects in glass and mixed media primarily through the glass blowing technique of Flamework. She studied at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, receiving scholarships and eventually teaching at those same venues, as well as others. Her book, FLAMEWORKING, was published in 2003 by Lark Books, and she is a contributing author to PENLAND BOOK OF GLASS published in 2008 by Lark Books. In 2009 Mears was named a Master Artist for the state of Virginia, and she was one of four artists chosen to install work in the Capitol Hill office of Senator Mark Warner to represent the arts in Virginia
Living in northern Virginia, she is inspired by nature in all seasons and forms.

Liz utilizes the forms of nature to create works of glass, which reflect her relationship to both her inner and her outer worlds. The glass is first worked in the mesmerizing flame of a bench torch then often is combined with other materials to become the exquisitely crafted and nationally exhibited objects for which she is known. Liz’s creations are represented by galleries throughout the nation and are included in numerous private, corporate (Mellon Bank Headquarters), and museum collections (Racine Art Museum, LOWE Museum) and have also been included in numerous magazine articles focused on contemporary glass art and books including: Women Working in Glass, Formed of Fire, 500 Glass Objects, Contemporary Lampworking, and Etched Glass.

Liz will be teaching two spectacular lampworking classes here at the Washington Glass School, where her love of nature and glass come together!

Class 1036 – Lets Make Leaves! with Elizabeth Ryland Mears
Why leaves you may ask. We will pay homage to Nature’s small factory (Bio 101…CO2 + chlorophyll, + sunshine = sugar and O2) while we learn to control the bench torch, manipulate hot glass, direct the heat, use tools to create shape and texture, and work with different sizes of clear rod and tube. The focus of our endeavors will be to make “parts” which can be incorporated into larger sculpture at a later time.
Dates: October 23/24, 10am til 1 pm, $350

Class 1037 – Building Flowers With Bridges! with Elizabeth Ryland Mears
“Bridges” are to Flameworking what exoskeletons are to beetles…they hold everything together. We will use the technique of “bridging” to make a daisy-like flower. We will make the flower then add the bridging to hold all the parts in place while we thoroughly fuse the glass together in the flame of the bench torch. This technique is invaluable when larger sculpture is created, so we will practice on a smaller object. The instructor will guide you step by step through the process. The bridging is temporary so will be removed to reveal a small object ready for further creative use.
Dates: November 06/07, 10am til 1 pm, $350

Click HERE to get more information about her classes at the Washington Glass School.

Liz will be teaching for a week next spring at Penland and a week at the Pittsburgh Glass Center in June 2011, and had just completed a Professional Artist in Residence (PAiR) at Pilchuck.

Inspired By Nature – Glass BUGS!


Glass Insects by Michael Mangiafico

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 and has exhibited and taught across the US. Fug is member of the Glass Art Society, The International Society of Glass Beadmakers, and The Pittsburgh Craftmen’s Guild. His work is available in galleries nationwide and has been featured in numerous art magazines and publications – his glass insects are some of the finest examples of lampwork worldwide.

Fig will be one of the superstar lampworkers that will be teaching in the new lampworking program this fall at the Washington Glass School. The weekend class will be held October 9 & 10.

Inspired by nature, Fig will cover covers techniques for sculpting various insects from torchworked glass – both literal renderings of insects and more abstract interpretations.

Students will learn to work with soft glass while observing nature. Students will explore heat control, cane pulling and the basics of soft glass sculpting.

Michael Mangiafico working a demo during the recent ISGB conference in Rochester, NY.

For more information on the upcoming lampworking class click HERE.

Click HERE to jump to Fig’s website.

Sculptural Flameworking Class


The Sculptural Flamework class and the Flamework Club got a great start to the fall semester here at the Washington Glass School.
Above photo shows the weekend class completely engrossed in their works in the new lampworking stations.
Instructor Robert Kincheloe
has advised that there is still space available in the next beginner class coming up in October and the Club is going strong on Saturdays.

Some killer flamework classes with superstars Liz Mears and Michael “Fig” Mangiafico are coming up real soon!