Eleanor Brownridge is a glass artist from Ontario, Canada. She creates many wonderful glass art pieces in her studio at Turtle Creek Glass.
Eleanor’s work includes stained and fusion glass, glass sculptural art, pot melt glass, wall hangings, and much more.
The way the light radiates through her glass art is a spectacular sight to behold. Come take a look at some of her art, and hear her story and words of encouragement for our readers.
Fusion and Stained Glass Art by Eleanor Brownridge
Please give a brief introduction of yourself to our blog readers
I consider myself a very lucky artist. About 5 years ago my husband and I traded a house in Toronto for 15 acres of farm and orchard property in an area south of Collingwood, Ontario known as the Pretty River Valley.
Here I built my dream studio for creating stained and fusion glass.
We are on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment and from my studio windows I can see miles of fields, trees and the big sky.
Downhill skiing, hiking, golfing, boating and swimming are at our doorstep.
In winter I snowshoe from my house to my studio!
What first inspired you to create glass art?
I started making stained glass as a hobby and to cover the windows in my own home. But once I took a couple of fusion glass classes I was hooked! With a kiln in my garage I was fusing 24/7. That's when I gave myself five years to see if glass art could be my new career.
Since I was already owner of a PR business I was able to use the profits from my writing to finance those challenging first years. At the end of that time I had made some gallery connections and knew the space and equipment I'd need in a full studio.
Why did you choose glass as an artistic medium?
I chose glass as my medium because it is so dynamic. The finished art is always changing. Daylight through a window transforms translucent red into gold; intensifies blues and reveals the complexity of browns. Clear bevels fracture a sunbeam into a rainbow. At night, room light bounces off an opaque sculpture; the patterns on transparent bowls are mirrored on the table.
In my designs, by choosing glass of varying intensity, colour and texture; and by manipulating the glass at molten temperatures, I try to replicate the movement and chameleon nature of the world around me -- particularly trees and sky.
What other artists have influenced and inspired you?
As a member of an artist coop -- The Mad & Noisy Gallery -- I'm learning a lot from the other artists and curators, many of whom studied art in school. Although they are most painters, their knowledge of colour, proportion, balance and presentation can be easily applied to my work.
My customers are also strong influencers. At art shows I discover their likes and dislikes, and when they commission a custom piece I listen carefully to their needs and tastes.
Do you have a distinct style for your stained glass and fusion glass art pieces?
Although my style is still experimental, I tend to use bold colours and fluid lines in all my work.
I particularly enjoy my molten magic pieces -- where colours mix at red-hot temperatures in the kiln and the final outcome is a surprise.
Please tell us the primary themes of your glass artworks
I see nature in all my work, whether it is abstract or an attempt to be realistic.
How do you market your art in the offline world?
There is a Bed and Breakfast just up the road from my studio. I've lent them several of my pieces and in return they send their guests down to visit my studio, especially on Monday's when other galleries are closed or rainy days when hiking and skiing are out of the question.
I also use all my PR training to get my own work and that of my fellow local artists mentioned in the media. Recently I rented space on a highway billboard to showcase my work and my studio. I'm evaluating that expenditure now.
Please share with our readers how you market your glass art on the internet?
I have tried Google Adwords and liked the ability to limit ads to communities within a 100-mile radius. But then I discovered Google was placing my ad on all sorts of inappropriate sites. I don't believe my customer is the person who is trolling Kijiji classified ads.
Mostly I communicate with my customers through e-mail blasts. So far responses from Facebook and Linked In have been from other artists.
3 words that summarize YOU
Energetic, Excited, Focused
What advice can you give to emerging, upcoming artists who are reading this?
Share your time, expertise and enthusiasm with other artists and you will be repaid a thousand times.
Don't worry too much about others copying your ideas because if you are any good you have a thousand more where those came from ... and besides, your original will always be better than their copy!
A big thank-you to Eleanor Brownridge for letting us know of her beautiful fusion glass art, stained glass, and more. Please visit her website at Turtle Creek Glass to view her impressive collection. See her recent glass art pieces at her blog Turtle Creek Art Glass and Turtle Creek Glass on Facebook.
Please visit her there and leave a friendly comment.
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