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Archive for December, 2012

One of the best parts about working at a bead store is meeting local beaders, every day introducing us to new artists and projects. Ed and Elena of Glass Mountain Studios have become regular faces at the Bead Bazaar, so naturally we grew curious about their work. We were delighted to learn that this couple works collaboratively to create beautiful blown glass beads and designs, and we knew we had to share their work with you. Glass Beads by Glass Mountain Studios will be available for sale at the Bead Bazaar through the end of December, so make sure to come by and marvel at the home-grown creative work that Bellingham has to offer! Below is an interview conducted with Elena.

What kind of glass do you make?
A: We do a little bit of everything! Blown glass, lampwork glass, beads, marbles, functional glassware as well as sculpture and gifts.

What techniques do you use?
A: We us a mix of traditional an contemporary techniques, some of which we have invented- sometimes it’s reinventing the wheel. We use some Italian colors and some home-made colors.

Q: How long have you been making?
A: I have been working with glass since about 1989, Ed from about 1985 or so. Together we have over 50 years of combined experience.

Q: How did your business get started?
A: Ed an I met at Pilcheck glass school in Stanwood and worked together for several years before moving to Bellingham around 1994. We’ve been at this location since then. We built all of our equipment and the studio from scratch out of refurbished and recycled materials. It’s kind of a mechanical wonder!

Q: How did you come up with the name for your business?
A: We both are pretty prolific artists, so we almost literally have a mountain of glass. We also generally love mountains an skiing and snow.

Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Whimsical. I have a more abstract aesthetic, so I make more of the swirly spotty beads. Ed is more representational, so he does the figurines and animals. He’s more specialized in penguins.

Q: What inspires you?
A: History, our children, family. The outdoors and nature. Other art is also something that really inspires us, going to museums and aquariums or looking at children’s art.

Q: Has anyone been an influence to your work?
A:  While we work collaboratively, we also have some local artist friends such as Brian Kerkvliet. We’re inspired by impressionists, post-impressionists and contemporary artists as well.

Q: What other hobbies or activities do you have in your life?
A: We love to go climbing and crabbing an skiing, going to the beach. Nature walks.

Q: Do you have any hopes or ambitions for your business in the future?
A: We just want to keep growing in the community. We help and interact with the community by hosting demonstrations and field trips. We do teach lessons in glass blowing and we have self-published books about glass blowing. We would like to make glass blowing accessible and affordable. We want people to be able to see it an try it because it’s such a rewarding medium to work with. The process is very magical.

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