Working as a professional ceramist in 1993, Ellen stopped one day to pick up the glass from a shattered bus shelter in her San Francisco neighborhood. Vandals had shot out the glass with BB guns; it lay in glittering heaps on the asphalt. Already versed in the art of mosaic, Ellen started experimenting with the tempered glass, soon realizing that the transparent surface would lend itself to endless design opportunities. Her discovery led her into the reflective world of glass mosaic, utilizing her fine art sensibility to illuminate the transparent glass with color, rhythm and texture.
Her artistic expression gave full rein to the possibilities of the tempered glass medium, letting the grouted arteries function as nuanced maps to reveal the jewels beneath the surface. With the desire to create functional art, Ellen developed her bespoke line of tile, melding the durable characteristics of glass with saturated pigments and a glimmering subtly.
Receiving her MFA from Mills College under the tutelage of renowned artist Ron Nagle, Ellen has taken the innovative teacher’s mantra, “break the rules” to heart. Her curiosity and devotion to ignoring boundaries has led to the development of an industrial femme aesthetic-romancing the urban glass. For more information and to see examples of Ellen’s work go to: www.ellenblakeley.com