The largest work on view in “Artists of the Washington Glass School: The First 10 Years” is, for lack of a better word, a six-foot lamp. But it’s also a monument of sorts.
Titled “The Three” — a reference to its three-pronged, biomorphic light fixtures, which resemble exotic art nouveau flowers — the piece is a collaboration between Elizabeth Mears, who made the lattice-like glass shades, and William Forrest, who built the delicately curving “stems” and base from a fabric-wrapped wire armature. It’s a three-headed homage to the trio of co-directors who run the Washington Glass School: artists Michael Janis, Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers, each of whom also has work in the show.
Some have commented that the one-of-a-kind botanical lamp (which you can purchase for your own living room for a mere $25,000) looks like something out of the movie “Little Shop of Horrors.” But the vaguely anthropomorphic thing could just as easily be read as an allusion to another example of cinematic horticulture (not to mention a tribute to the strangely powerful influence of Janis, Tate and Timmers on the art-glass scene). To my eye, it looks like one of the pod plants from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
— Michael O’Sullivan