Ed and Eddie glass fusion exhibit funds area non-profits
The light reflects off the brightly colored glass sculptures, some swirling with fluid forms, others giving off a cool mid-century modern vibe. There is a unique piece to suit every taste.
Ed and Eddie’s exhibition, “Kaleidoscope of Glass,” on display at The Art Studio, Inc., is a passion project — a passion for the craft and a passion for a pair of local non-profits. The pair do not sell their work normally, but 100% of the proceeds from this show, and the works on display in the lobby of Beaumont Community Players, will be split between the two arts organizations.
This is a rare chance for the public to buy their beautifully-crafted, colorful creations. They are both retired so it is a hobby, and they give their work away. When relatives, kids and grandkids come over and say they like a piece, they say, “Oh, take it with you when you leave.”
Ed Esclovon and Eddie Markey live in Nederland where they create their pieces. Markey had worked in stained glass before, but a friend introduced them to glass fusion about four years ago.
“The process is actually called kiln-formed glass,” Esclovon said. “Basically, after you design it and cut the glass, you put it in the kiln. And then the kiln gets to fusion temperature and the glass (pieces) becomes one piece of glass. So, you can have 50 pieces, or two pieces, or three pieces or 100 pieces, and at the end, it’s all one piece of glass.
Glass fuses at around 1,450 to 1,500 degrees, but the pair set their kiln around 1,490 degrees, depending upon the piece.
Although they work together, they mostly work on individual pieces, Markey said. “We’ve done a couple of joint projects and just kind of divide them up as we go,” he said.
Esclovon said they have different styles.
“Eddie is much more creative and has the ability to look at something and be able to copy it, or design something and use that as an inspiration,” he said. “My projects tend to be more geometrically designed or straight lines, and his is more flowing.”
Unlike Esclovon, Markey has a background in graphic arts and the printing world, so he is familiar with putting elements together, he said.
“I’ve done oil and also acrylic painting, but I never knew when I was done, it was always go back, touch it again. And with glass, you’ve either got a piece that fits and works or not. So, move on. I like that it’s a little bit more black and white.”
They have a workshop next to their house where they work almost every day.
“We will do beach days, we will take a break, but (glassmaking) a draw, it’s fun,” Markey said. “It’s what we do. We don’t watch TV, so this is our this is our entertainment.”
Esclovon and Markey were both working when they discovered glass fusion. One of Esclovon’s co-workers saw Markey’s stained glass and thought they might be interested in another process.
“We went over her house, and she showed us some of the stuff that she’d been doing, I was just like, ‘That looks like a really great thing to do once we retire,’” Esclovon said. “We started buying glass and started buying a kiln and started doing some practice around it. And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can really see where it can keep me busy for a very, very, very long time, post retirement.”
The pair joked that one of the spare rooms in their house has a closet stacked with plates and bowls.
“When we take something out of the kiln, we’ll say that’s closet worthy,” Markey laughed.
“Kaleidoscope of Glass” is on display in TASI’s Maudee Carron Gallery, located at 720 Franklin St. in Beaumont, through Oct. 22. Other works will be on display in BCP’s lobby through Nov. 5.
This story first ran in the Oct. 14, 2022 Art of Living section of the Beaumont Enterprise.