I met her again after a couple of decades, yesterday. There in the open bay of her studio in Santa Fe on this gloriously warm and sunny morning in late October – the unseasonably lovely weather was providing an extended opportunity to enjoy being connected to the out-of-doors while working inside the cozy fire-pit. Yet, I imagine that there are many days when chilly outside that the crisp contrast is a welcome refresher to the intensity of the fire’s heat generated inside. But today was perfection.
Brilliant glass pumpkins of various colors of colorfully translucent glass were gathered in a welcoming autumnal display, catching the sunlight on the table out front. Piled beside them by surreal contrast were real, fresh-picked, enormously miss-shaped, world-class, organic deliciously edible pumpkins grown by a local champion.
Stepping through the large garage door opening revealed massive metal furnaces glowing and humming. The artist, her back to us was interacting with one of the units. As we watched, she thrust the rod into the intensely orange aperture twirling it gently with her fullest attention.
She then retracted the rod now displaying a wad of glowing goop and turned toward us to sit on her bench and continue to twirl the rod, grabbing the orb with clamps, pressing and twirling, to create before our very eyes, a perfect paperweight complete with inner swirls of orange and red. It’s like a being in a candy factory, molten glass like taffy is gooey and proves a most challenging medium.
Elodie Holmes has mastered the art of manipulating molten glass. After nearly 3 decades of owning her own studio, she has worked toward achieving perfection in her medium. Her work is sought by collectors as they wait anxiously for the completion of the firings that present her spectacular one-of-a-kind dimensional sculptures. As we spoke, I remarked that this reminded me of my first experience watching glass blowing in Williamsburg as a child. She looked up and said “me too!” And we discovered that we had both come from the Washington DC area and had transplanted to New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment decades ago pursuing art and an incredible interaction with the beauty of nature uniquely found here.
As an interior designer, seeing her work and watching the fascinating process, I appreciate the art of it all, the decorative sophistication of color and form and attention to detail required achieving the results – and the satisfaction of both the artist and her fans realizing those astonishing results!
I found Elodie in her studio today as a result of super sleuthing for a set of drinking glasses that I had enjoyed while visiting a friend. After a couple of phone calls, I traced her studio and spoke to her gallery manager, Marci. I stressed that I was looking for drinking vessels and she assured me that they offered some exquisite interpretations. Upon arrival, as I walked from the studio space into the small gallery/retail space, I saw what I was remembering…there they were – be speckled glasses tall and short, twisted and bulbous – their shapes are fun, comfortable to hold and colorful to delight.
Proudly, I bring these uniquely beautiful little glasses to our boutique gallery at PATRICIAN DESIGN to offer Elodie’s work among our other fine New Mexico artists. I love living with art. I love using art functionally. So always attracted to things that bring art to daily use, I am continually on the hunt for those special pieces of functional art – here now these beauties allow drinking by design.
See more at the studio tour: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151069695516619.421546.232272436618&type=1