have a sensual connection with glass. As a child, its ethereal hues drew
me in. As an adult, its spirit and complexity work their alchemy in my
soul. When cold, design and structure challenge. When hot, the primitive
call of fire, heat, sound and smell beckon. I must know it well to follow
where it leads.
I live with the forces and creatures of the hardwoods which surround me.
My dreams bring water from the wellspring of the unconscious. Rocks and
stones tell me their tales of old. I love to laugh. All these inspire my
glass to tell the stories that are entrusted to me.
a successful career in flat glass, and teaching its techniques in such
places as the Smithsonian Institution, Elizabeth Mears began flameworking
in 1990 when she studied with Fred Birkhill at Penland Craft School in
Penland, North Carolina. In
the fall of 1992 she was further inspired to study flame-working in a
workshop with Susan Plum at the Renwick Alliance in Washington DC. Since then she has continued developing her flameworking
techniques and has studied with Fred Birkhill, Shane Fero, Susan Plum, Don
Niblack, James Minson, and Hubert Stern and Heike Polster at Penland, with
Robert Mickelsen at Pilchuck Glass School, and with Sally Prasch at
Corning Museum of Glass. She
received a scholarship to Pilchuck Glass School in 1999 to study with
Einar and Jamex DeLa Torre.
is a full time studio artist who creates primarily using the flameworking
technique; although she occationally accepts large scale flat glass
1999 and 2001 she received the NICHE Award for her flameworked glass which
is also included in private collections throughout the United States and
Canada. She has taught
flameworking at many craft schools, as well as, demonstrating for the 1999
G.A.S. Conference in Tampa, Florida.
In the summer of 2000 she was an instructor in flameworked glass at
Penland School of Crafts.
In her work, Elizabeth utilizes the contrast created by hard, shiny
surfaces juxtaposed next to soft matte ones.
She works in several different series:
the Dream Mask Series utilizes human faces sculpted from opened
glass tubing, Functional Goblets and Stoppered Bottles combine extensive
use of glass cane and sculpted objects, Judaica items include menorahs
with symbols based in the faith, and her flameworked Sculpture combines
glass with other materials and includes many of the concepts and
techniques utilized in the other series.
Glass Gallery, Bethesda, Maryland
Grohe Glass Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
Gallery, Wesley Seminary, Washington, DC
William Breman Jewish Heritage Mus., Atlanta, GA
Spiral Gallery, Asheville, NC
Plotkin Museum, Scottsdale, AZ
Gallery of Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
Gallery, Denver and Beaver Creek, CO
Gallery, Portland, Maine
glass leads me on a journey of creative meditation.
Nestled in the hardwoods of Virginia, my studio doors open to welcome each
rhythms of nature have become my rhythms. Deer feast on my plants; birds
are my constant companions. Redwing hawks from their guardian nest keep a
watchful eye and bless my endeavors.
creek below this adopted land is a place of solace and protection.
bed down while spirit children leap stones in the cool wetness.
Indians lived and hunted here; Lines of Confederate and Union soldiers
ebbed and flowed; Mammoth hunters stalked prey 11,000 years ago.
stones and trees have been witness.
The ground is hallowed by those souls
have lived on it and loved on itand been nurtured by it.
presence welcomes me.
spirit is channeled through me
in my creations.
Commissioned to design, fabricate, and install Sanctuary Windows
(388 sq ft), St. Christophers Episcopal Church, Springfield, VA
Chapel Windows (39.5 sq ft), St. Mary's School, Alexandria, VA
Corporate Award, National Restaurant Association, Washington, DC
White House Ornament Collection, The White House, Washington, DC
Chapel Windows (60 sq ft), Fourth Presbyterian, Bethesda, MD
Windows St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Burke, VA (381 sq ft),
Law and the Prophets (34 sq ft), Passion/Crucifixion (34 sq ft)
Exodus Window (26 sq ft)
Nativity (18 sq ft), Creation (18 sq ft), Sacrament (26 sq ft)
Resurrection Window (44 sq ft), Holy Spirit Window (44 sq ft)
Chapel Window (40 sq ft)
Window (70 sq ft)
NICHE AWARD in the category of Goblets for "Goblet with Frog and
NICHE AWARD Finalist in the categories:
Flameworked Glass and Judaica
Elected to the Board of Directors, Renwick Alliance, Renwick Gallery,
Scholarship, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
NICHE AWARD in the category of GOBLETS for "Goblet With Two Blown
One of three semi-finalists for "Art-in-Transit" to design,
fabricate, and install a work of art in the Springfield, VA, Metro
Station of the Washington Metropolitan Transportation
Authority, Approved June 1998.
Full Scholarship, The Studio The Corning Museum of Glass,
Finalist in MetroArt II Competition--KALEIDOSCOPE
Craft Alliance, "The Science of Craft", invitational, St. Louis,
Museum of Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion,
"Living in the Moment: Contemporary Artists Celebrate Jewish
Time", curated by Laura Kruger, New York, NY
Artisans Center of Virginia, Founding Artist, curated by Michael
former Director of the Renwick Gallery, Washington
Guilford Handcraft Center, "North American Glass 2000",
curated by William Carlson, Guilford, CT
Craft Alliance, "For Love of Glass", Featured Artist, St.
Florida Craftsmen Gallery, "The Tip of the Iceberg",
curated by Ginny Ruffner, St. Petersburg, FL
Joyce Scalzo Fine Arts Gallery, "L'Eau Claire De Cristal"
(Crystal Clear Water),curated by Robert Mickelsen, Bellaire
d'Art Center Gallery, "Southern Glass Now!", curated by Gary
Baker, Curator of Glass at The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
Grohe Glass Gallery, "One Woman and Glass", Boston, MA
Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, "Flameworking '98",
Gallery of Guilford Handcraft Center, "North American
Glass1998",Curated by Suanne Greening, Director, International Glass
Museum, Tacoma, WA, Guilford, CT
Sylvia Plotkin Museum of Phoenix, '98 International "Ceremony in
the Desert", Scottsdale, Arizona
William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, "Masters of
Ceremony: The Next Generation", Invitational, Atlanta, GA
The Hickory Museum of Art, "Spotlight 97", Juried by Kate
Carmel, Chief Curator, American Craft Museum of New York City, Hickory, NC
Alliance, "Glass and Gas: A
Survey of Contemporary
Flamework", Invitational, St. Louis, MO
Dadian Gallery,Wesley Theological Seminary, "Vessels and
Vestments",Invitational, Washington, DC
The Guilford Handcraft Center, Inc., "North American Glass 96",
Curated by Pike Powers,
Artistic Director of Pilchuck Glass School, Guilford, CT
Instructor, Flameworked Glass, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
Presentor, "Glass Music As Visual Art", Glass Music
International Conference, Philadelphia, PA
Alliance, St. Louis, MO, Sculptural Lampworking
Demonstration in flameworking for the Glass Art Society Conference '99,
Studio assistant, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC
The Hand Workshop, Richmond, VA, Sculptural Lampworking
Glass Workshop, Cape Cod, MA, Sculptural Lampworking
Guilford Handcraft Center, Guilford, CT, Sculptural Lampworking
Faculty Art League School, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA,
teaching stained glass and lampworking
On Faculty of Smithsonian Institution, Resident Associate Program,
Workshops: Stained Glass,
National Building Museum, Washington DC
Glass Blowing, Laura Donefer, at Workshop for the Renwick Alliance
Exploration of Plate Glass Working Techniques, Sidney
Hutter, at Workshop for the Renwick Alliance
Sculpture with Glass, Einar/James de la Torre, Pilchuck Glass School,
Painting on Glass, Cappy Thompson, Peninsula Glass Guild, Norfolk,VA
Flameworking, James Minson, Penland School of Crafts, studio assistant
Advanced Lampworking, Sally Prasch, The Studio Corning
Museum of Glass, full scholarship
Lampworking and Enameling, Hubert Stern and Heike Polster, Penland
Blowing Goblets at the Lamp/Don Niblack at Penland School of Crafts
Advanced Flameworking/Robert Mickelsen at Pilchuck Glass School
Sculpture in Glass/Therman Statom at Workshop for the Renwick Alliance
Flameworking/Susan Plum at Penland School of Crafts
Flameworking/Fred Birkhill, Shane Fero, University of Maryland,
College Park, MD
Flameworking/Fred Birkhill at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
Painting on Glass/Albinus Elskus
BS in Biology, Chemistry, Education/ Purdue University
COLLABORATIONS WITH MY DAUGHTER
my daughter was just a little girl,She occasionally spoke wordsthat
stopped me short.My head shook in absolute recognition; I might have
uttered the insight myself.Could this life journey have such a soulmate?
Was it the all knowing wisdom emanating from such a small personThat
created such wonderment? A greater bond grew at the root. We were Babas at
each end of the selfsame thread. Our brains and souls were joinedby that
woven link. Messages rippled to and fro. As she grew, she withdrew from
that connection, As she must, To experience the world and find her own
voice. She is now a mature young woman, With all the wisdom She possessed
as a child.
thread of understanding has been renewed.
of INSPIRATION for JUDAIC ART
the beginning... absent were knowledge of the faith and experience in the
I desired to honor a holiday that was not my own. From the written Word,
vivid stories and powerful portrayals inspired my designs.
lively collaboration, believers shared themselves,their knowledge, and
Reading and research,
Spiritual nourishment of Scripture,
The Journey continues!