We are very excited to have Ellie B Glass join our members. These fantastic upcycled glass creations are a huge hit here at EcoCreate HQ!
We asked Ellie to tell us more about herself and her work, here’s what she had to tell us …
Please tell us about yourself
This is me!
I love this picture – it makes me smile every time I see it – life is too short not to be silly now & again. This is the picture I use in my logo
Where are you based?
I am really lucky to live in a lovely little village near Winchester in Hampshire & I still have to pinch myself every time I drive in even after 10 years!
Do you run your business full time?
Yes – I took the really bold step of taking a year out from ‘real’ work to see if I could make a go of it – it’s been an interesting 6 months so far!
Did you attend college/university or are you self-taught?
After spending the last 25 years as a Buyer in Construction with a yearning for a more artistic life I took the plunge this year to see if I could! Glass came into my life about 20 years ago & has never gone away – I have done small courses whenever the opportunity arose from the traditional leaded stained glass windows, copper foiling, kiln work, cold work & even managed to try my hand at glass blowing & made my own unique pint glass!
Please tell us about your work
What do you create?
‘Ellie’-gant & FUNctional stuff in glass – hopefully! I like the idea that art can be practical, beautiful & fun. Glass is a lovely medium to work with although once in the kiln it doesn’t always do what you expect every time which does lead to some interesting results!
For my Ecocreate shop I am exploring what can be done with recycled glass so currently I have squished bottles, smashed dishes & sun catchers plus some of my window glass plaques with motivational words & heart details on.
I also have an Etsy shop where I have fused glass wine racks, dishes, sun catchers, cufflinks, buttons & my most favourite the fused glass door numbers
Do you use eco-friendly methods?
I do used both new glass & recycled. The new glass for kiln work is generally Bullseye glass which is unfortunately manufactured in America but I do make sure that I buy this from a local shop in Reading called Reading Stained Glass – they are just so helpful & it’s a shop you can never quickly pop in or just buy one thing!!
However, I love to recycle and it’s this side that I have decided to open my little EcoCreate shop for – I collect old shed, green house & window glass plus glass bottles. Our local pub The Northbrook Arms are a great help I even have my own shelf for empties & I quite often get home to find some empty wine or gin bottles on the doorstep!!
My little workshop & kiln are on a separate electric supply & this is supplied via Good Energy who produce 100% renewable energy
Packaging – I do like to recycle & re-use & if I am unable to, I like to use recycled recyclable packaging but I do need to be mindful that glass is fragile and needs to be well protected
Which is your most popular creation?
Probably the recycled bottles at the moment whether it is just flat or as sun catcher – I had a little stall at our local Pub’s Beer Festival. The Pub also have a collection of flat gin bottles as table centre pieces!
Can you tell us about the first piece you created?
This is the very 1st piece & responsible for my obsession – it is not the best of pictures as it lives at Mums & she has leaded (fake) windows. A couple of friends of mine did a 12-week night school course in making stained glass windows & they raved about it so me & another friend joined up for the next session. I borrowed the glass cutter from Mark who had previously done it & I still use the same cutter!!
Do you have a favourite piece?
Yes & I must confess it is one I made for myself! – I had a new kitchen about 2 years ago & promised myself a bespoke splashback. However, it’s only been this year when I have had the time to complete this – I think it looks stunning – but I am biased! I have also done 2 large matching dishes as well. I would love to do more of these for other people.
Are you working on any new lines?
I am hoping to make some small mirrors with recycled window glass surrounds – a bit like this but smaller – I tend to make the prototypes for me 1st so I can see how it works out. This one is for my downstairs loo I have a Banksy sticker of the little girl with a heart shaped balloon -she stands on the right & her fly away balloon is up to the left (or it will be when I get the mirror on the wall!)
Do you undertake commissions?
Yes – I already have done a number this year generally they have been with new glass – I love doing commissions my customers have all been so lovely to work with.
I love doing the numbers as this uses up my smaller off cuts of glass – I can’t bear to throw any bits away.
Which artists inspire you?
Samantha Donaldson – she creates the most beautiful shapes & colours with glass it is so unique & special.
This week I have just discovered Cynthia Morgan Blog (Morganica.com) it is just full of interesting articles about working with glass especially using glass we have, in light of the current issues with glass production in America.
Do you have any advice/tips for aspiring artists?
I made a new little saying for my smashed bottle range inspired by Alice in Wonderland
‘Drink Me, Smash Me, Turn Me into a Dish & send me on a new adventure’
This could apply to life as well it’s all about getting involved, getting good, creating & having an adventure !
I also do some local craft fairs & events – my next one is at
The Gratton Festival, Bullington Lane, Sutton Scotney, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 3LA
Saturday, 25 June 2016 – 13:30 till 17:00 “Craft Fair and Demonstration of Rural Pursuits”