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ABOUT THE ARTIST


frank elder stained glass artist arkansas oklahoma

ABOUT THE ARTIST

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My name is Frank Elder II and my voyage into stained glass began back in 1988 while I was still in high school in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I always liked to take art and you could find me doodling on a piece of scrap paper at any given moment in time.

Our shop trades teacher Louie knew this and asked me if I would like to help with a project he wanted to do for V.I.C.A. (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America), which turned out to be a set of three stained glass panels. I thought this would be a lot of fun and said yes.

From there I helped with the drawing of the design then the full sized pattern and then contributed my time to help actually produce the panels. A wonderful lady by the name of Beatrice Stebbing who owned a stained glass studio in town donated her expertise, time and materials to help accomplish this project. She was one of the kindest and most inspiring people I had met. She was the first artist to be honored as an Arkansas Living Treasure in 2002 for her work as a stained glass artist. More can be read about her here: http://www.arkansasarts.org/living-treasure-award/beatrice-stebbing

beatrice stebbing siloam springs arkansas stained glass artist

(Beatrice Stebbing)

I guess she must have seen something in me because she called me up out of the clear blue one day and asked me to come to work for her. So while still in high school I started on my path to learning this wonderful art. In the years since I have worked for other studios as well as operating my own studio.

I consider myself an average, ordinary guy that is just trying to follow his dream and provide for his family by doing something that he loves. Somehow I have been given this gift and ability to "visualize" and create. As most other artist's will tell you, I am my own worst critic. My goal is to move past that "starving artist" phase that so many of us have to go through as we chase our dreams.

In the past decade to decade and a half I have seen stained glass fall from popularity, there are many contributing factors. But what I can say is that over the past year or so I have seen a revitalization in the interest in stained glass work as well as the interest by people to learn the craft. So I hope to be able to be part of this resurgence of interest.

I am known for my unique approach to stained / art glass work. I tend to push the preconceived "boundaries" of the medium while utilizing advanced techniques that many "studios" do not have knowledge of or wish to utilize due to the intense overhead of labor involved. I enjoy creating interactive pieces of art which really prompts the viewer of the art to become "part of the experience", not just a casual observer.

I utilize age old techniques and combine those techniques with modern materials. Adding to that my decades of experience my goal is to create works of art that will stand the test of time, allowing them to be handed down from one generation to the next.

My areas of knowledge include;

- Leading (Traditional leaded glass work using lead cames.)

- Hard Cames (Utilizing hard cames such as brass, copper and zinc.)

- Copper Foil (aka Tiffany style.)

- Dalle de verre (Epoxied slab glass construct aka faceted slab glass.)

- English Weaving (A solderless technique of construction where all but the border is "woven".)

- Beveled Glass (Utilizing stock bevels as well as creating custom beveled pieces.)

- Etched Glass (Sandblast etching, single stage as well as multi-layered etching. Acid etching.)

- Carving (Carving deeply into very thick glass utilizing sandblast technique.)

- Cold Working (Polishing and engraving of glass.)

- Lamp Working (aka torch work, such as beadmaking.)

- Kiln Work (Fusing and slumping.)

- Painting and Firing (Traditional painters / stainers techniques such as you find in religious windows. Utilized for detail work, shading, tracery etc... Permanent.)

- Sculptural & Three Dimensional Work (Kaleidoscopes, boxes, lampshades, free form, small and large scale.)

- Restorations (Complete restorative services and documention for turn of the century pieces.)

- Repairs (Generally speaking, if it is broken, I can fix it.)

Many times I can give you an idea of cost for a project, be it custom work or a repair, via a conversation over the phone or through email.

I have one of the largest stocks of glass in the region with over 400 large sheets of art glass and hundreds of smaller sheets of glass which include some very rare out of circulation glass. I also carry a large stock of hundreds of pieces of stock bevels as well as numerous bevel clusters on hand. In addition, I have many faceted glass jewels, vintage pressed glass gems and other sundries. With thousands of patterns and hundreds of pattern books at my disposal I can sit down with you and help you hone in on a design that will fit your needs. I make the experience easy and painless.

My studio is located in my home which is located in Kansas, Oklahoma. As I like to say it is just a "stones throw" from Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Being a native of the Northwest Arkansas region I call this area home.

My art is in the hands of clients as far away as the Netherlands.

MY BUCKET LIST

To open a large scale studio. I envision this studio as not only a retail studio where finished items will be presented for the public to purchase and custom orders to be taken, but also to be a "teaching studio" as well. This art needs to continue to be passed down and we have lost a lot of knowledge from attrition. I see it as my duty to pass on what knowledge I have to those who wish to learn to help keep this art vibrant and healthy, after all, in the next one hundred years where will the artisans come from that will be able to repair these treasures we have now? There are too many studios out there right now that do not teach certain techniques because either a) they do not know those techniques themselves or b)they are afraid of creating competition or c)they do not find it important enough to do so. I would like to keep this studio in the Northwest Arkansas region and create something that draws people in not only nationally but internationally.

To create two foundations. First, one that introduces art and the ability to pursue art as a viable source of income to young children. There are far too many outside influences out there stopping many wonderfully talented young artists from following their dreams early on, I have seen this first hand. Second, I would like to offer an Art for Vets program. I envision this as being able to be offered as a totally free program to a select number of local veterans per year, so that they can take some specialty classes with no out of pocket cost to them for the class or materials during the class. I fully believe in the therapeutic value of art and feel that art can be a "vehicle" for many veterans to help relieve such things as PTSD and give them an opportunity to tap into a creative side of themselves that they did not know existed.

To create a large scale interactive art glass sculpture. I have several ideas running through my head, it is just a matter of finding the time and funding to accomplish a project such as this. I envision a sculpture that resides in a museum or gallery that actually allows the viewers to walk through, around and maybe over the piece. With this sculpture being interactive it will take the viewer from just being a passive bystander enjoying the art to being an active participant in the art itself. I firmly believe that interactive pieces of art like this are what will help capture the imagination of future artists and if my work can help inspire just one young artist to fulfill their dream which in turn does the same for another budding artist, then my efforts will not have been in vain.

CONTACT ME

You can email me at frank@creationsbyelder.com

or call me at 479-595-6110


 

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