|When I was a kid, we lived in a wooded
neighborhood where lots were measured in acres. Neighbors close but
with intervening spaces filled with woods bordered on one side by a
bayou. This is where I spent a lot of time, roaming around in the
to nature during these years, I think had a formative effect on the
imagery my art would take much later in life. As I've grown and lived
I've come to understand how connected all life is, how interdependent,
how dependent we are on the other life forms for our own survival. And
yet, we indulge in activity every day that does harm to the very things
that sustain us.
What I try to
do with my work, with these pieces, is to address that connection, that
interconnection of even the least form of life to the greatest, that
even the least not only deserves to exist but must exist.
|Ellen Abbott and Marc Leva have been working in
glass as a team since 1976 after a serendipitous afternoon propelled
them into the burgeoning studio glass movement and the establishment of
their studio, Custom Etched Glass. Ellen's life long series of art
classes and Marc's craftsmanship and problem solving skills have
enabled them to design and create architectural glass in a range of
styles using sandblasting, laminating, and related techniques for
residential and corporate interiors. The quality of their work and
their attention to detail has attracted a national clientele.
interested in cast glass in the early 1980s and began their journey in
the technique by using custom cast crystal forms in some of their
commission work. This interest in cast glass eventually provided
another outlet for creative expression and in 1994, they started
exploring and developing the pate de verre method of cast glass by
testing out ceramic, jewelry, and bronze casting techniques. Ellen and
Marc consider these their 'small works' in contrast to the 'large
canvases' of their etched glass. They currently reside and maintain
their studio in Houston TX.
The Carved and Etched Glass
|The architectural work was by commission only but
after over 40 years we have decided to retire. We are no longer
accepting etched glass commissions.
|The Bowls: This is the form we started
with, learned the craft on and are the first sculptural pieces we did.
Beginning with plain simple forms; the flower, sky, and mineral series;
these pieces were explorations in color and pattern. Gaining
confidence, we started the sculptural limited editions of 10 or 25 and
although each piece in a series is the same form, the color
|The Small Sculptures: These are simple
glorifications of the small life of the natural world. I am endlessly
awed by the beauty and diversity of nature.
|The Large Bowls: The large bowls were
about getting bigger. I explored several themes; the solar system,
flowers, but some of these were the first pieces in which I used more
than one element.
|The Cups: I started doing the cups
thinking that it would be something I could enter into goblet
exhibitions and therefore get more exposure. They are one of my
excursions into containers and contents, insides and outsides as none
of the cups is empty, being all of a piece to show the interdependence
of one to the other. They are meant to be fun. I did about 15 of these
and then moved on to another form but I never did enter a single goblet
|The Vessels: We started out with vessels,
small bowls and then taller vase forms. These pieces are sculptures in
the round. They are stories. I've been interested in the art of
storytelling for a long time. It is the precurser of our history books.
It is the knowledge and wealth of a people. These pieces are small
stories but worthy of hearing.
|The Boxes: The boxes are either Odes or
Laments and sometimetimes they have contents, items that may be
removed. Whether Ode or Lament, the boxes all have stories that go with
|The Botanica Erotica: These pieces focus
on the reproductive parts of flowers or the suggestive way that petals
unfold or the fullness of completion. They are about how plants, and
animals too, unabashedly go about the process of procreation, the most
powerful biological imperative, unlike us humans who cloak it in shame.