Today we’d like to introduce you to Elyse Bertani.
Elyse, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been an artsy, imaginative person. I constantly seek out new artistic endeavors to use as creative outlets. As a kid, I made crafts with anything I could get my hands on- sewing scraps, popsicle sticks, leaves from the backyard- you name it, I’ve probably done some sort of art project with it. My mom ran a jewelry business when I was in school and I loved watching her mix around options and see how the sparkling beads came together into a beautiful piece of wearable art. I have a degree in Theatre Arts from Stephens College and have worked in performance, music, voice-overs, photography, and stained glass design.
With regard specifically to my stained glass journey, in 2019 I was recovering from knee surgery and spending a lot of time scrolling Instagram exploring different accounts. I discovered a handful of stained glass artists and became obsessed with the individual pieces and the different ways glass artists left their mark in their designs. I was immediately hooked by the medium- the different shades and textures of glass and the versatility of watching them change in different lights and color combinations. I fell in love and quickly sought out a class at a local glass shop, Stained Glass Supplies in Pasadena.
From there, I built up the supplies and tools to have my own home studio space and began making commissioned pieces, as well as my own collections of designs that speak specifically to my creative voice. There are few benefits to losing my day-job during the COVID-19 pandemic, but if I had to find a silver lining, it would be that I have the time and energy to see my creative work and business flourish.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Overall, I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to create artwork that people seem to enjoy as much as I enjoy making it. The biggest struggle would probably be that I am a highly social creature and glasswork often leaves me alone for hours in my studio. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, my ongoing glass workshop that I attended has been paused indefinitely, which was as much a working environment as a social atmosphere for me to interact with other creatives who shared my love of glasswork.
Additionally, running a one-woman show of a small business means sometimes I get overwhelmed by wearing so many hats- designer and artist, but also photographer, editor, social media manager, shipping department, and much more. I thrive on a busy, full schedule though. Running a small business is a balancing act, but I love every minute of it.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Elyse Marie Glassworks story. Tell us more about the business.
When most people think of stained glass, churches or their grandmother’s house tends to come to mind. I love that through my design, I can show people that this beautiful medium can be just as modern and elegant in today’s world. I’ve designed large panels as well as small, meaningful suncatchers.
I am especially drawn to working with pressed florals, whether they are from stunning wedding bouquets or found on my walks in nature. It brings an element of connection to a specific moment in time or to our place in the world and the outdoors.
Often the commissions I get tell a story of the person receiving it. One piece I made included a pressed four-leaf clover from someone’s recently passed grandmother who used to collect them. It was a lovely way to preserve her memory and have the clover on display rather than tucked away in a book. I recreated a Star of David with pressed flowers in the center for someone who had a similar one from their mother that passed on. They wanted to keep the original in a safe-keeping box while still being able to have the memory of it out on display.
Probably my favorite piece to date was a glass rose commissioned by my grandpa. The 54th wedding anniversary gift is the year of glass. He had gotten my grandmother a glass rose for this anniversary a few years before I started glasswork, but unfortunately it had been dropped and shattered at some point. He commissioned me to create a replacement and put their initials and the number 54 on the petals of the rose. I was thrilled to get to make it for them and be a part of that memory and love.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is certainly a part of any business or creative endeavor, but personally, I think I would lean more towards saying it is a combination of putting in consistent work, a passion for what I create, and focusing on adding positive artistic energy into the world. You get what you give, so I try to keep things positive and moving forward.
- Website: www.elysemarieglassworks.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @elysemarieglassworks
Elyse Marie Glassworks