Ellen Abbott and Marc Leva have been working in glass as a team since 1976 after a serendipitous afternoon propelled them into the burgeoning studio glass movement and the establishment of their studio, Custom Etched Glass. Ellen’s life long series of art classes and Marc’s craftsmanship and problem solving skills have enabled them to design and create architectural glass in a range of styles using sandblasting, laminating, and related techniques for residential and corporate interiors. The quality of their work and their attention to detail has attracted a national clientele.
They became interested in cast glass in the early 1980’s and began their journey in the technique by using custom cast crystal forms in some of their commission work. This interest in cast glass eventually provided another outlet for creative expression and in 1994, they started exploring and developing the pate de verre method of cast glass by testing out ceramic, jewelry, and bronze casting techniques. Ellen and Marc consider these their ‘small works’ in contrast to the ‘large canvases’ of their etched glass. They also teach their techniques as visiting artists in various studios and glass centers.
When I was growing up, we lived in a wooded neighborhood where lots were measured in acres. Neighbors close but with intervening spaces filled with woods bordered on one side by a bayou. This is where I spent a lot of time, roaming around in the woods. This exposure to nature during these years, I think had a formative effect on the imagery my art would take much later in life. As I’ve grown and lived I’ve come to understand how connected all life is, how interdependent, how dependent we are on the other life forms for our own survival. And yet, we indulge in activity every day that does harm to the very things that sustain us. What I try to do with my work, with these pieces, is to address that connection, that interconnection of even the least form of life to the greatest, that even the least not only deserves to exist but must exist.