Sunday, June 14, 2009

redfern glass

Ed Pennebaker is what someone had called a renaissance man, meaning he can do nearly anything. Having mastered glass work, he has now turned his attention to casting bronze, adding one more layer of skill. I had a nice visit with Ed in his studio this afternoon. To find his studio requires extensive instruction as it is miles off the paved highway. The photos above show two of Ed's glass chandeliers, one in an outdoor setting under a canopy of wisteria. The photo below shows Ed with the furnace and glory hole, presently cooled and taking a rest from production. There are many ways through which the wisdom of the hands is expressed and many crafts to choose from. Ed does gardening, built his own home, does the photography of his work, produces it, and runs a very complicated business with one assistant. I asked Ed about the complexity of his business, and the challenging nature of his craft, and he assured me that you don't have to learn everything at once.

Ed says the following about his work:
My attempts in making artwork have been to work with the glass to show its fluid qualities and its interaction with light. I derive much on my inspiration from the garden and the woods surrounding my home and studio. The many seeds, buds, blooms, pods, and growing and developing plants and organisms continually amaze and inspire me. My latest sculptures like "Gone to Seed in the Crepuscular Landscape" and "Summer Blossom" deal with seeds/germination, flowers/seedpods, death/rebirth.

I see my work belonging to a contemporary line of the "decorative arts" that developed from the arts and crafts movement where craftsmanship is of the utmost importance. Striving for the "perfect object" is the goal of the craftsman/designer and working directly with the materials at hand provides the greatest satisfaction for me.


  1. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Bravo! Nice work by Ed.


  2. I like the idea of srtiving for the "perfect object." Puts me in mind of Chef Thomas Keller, who told an interviewer that he constantly chases perfection in his food, noting that it is impossible to achieve. Because once we acheive perfection, the definition of perfection changes, giving us a new goal.

    I find this to be true in many facets of my life and work.