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Red Fern Glass ~ Ed Pennebaker


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Red Fern Glass is a small art glass studio. All the glass is made by Ed Pennebaker. Ed graduated from Emporia State University in 1978 with a Masters Degee in Art. His area of concentration was printmaking. After obtaining his teaching certificate and while working as an Artist-in-the-Schools in Liberal Kansas, he started working in glass with Charles Watson. Ed honed his skills at a historical village in Ohio demonstrating traditional glassmaking. Then he established Red Fern Glass in 1985.

One of Ed's recent works was installed in the Fred W. Smith Conference center on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences campus in Little Rock, Arkanas. Glass made by Ed has been shown at SOFA Chicago by Function Art Gallery. He was awarded the "Excellence in Lighting" award at the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show and had a chandelier chosen to exhibit in the 2001 Hsinchu International Glass Art Festival in Hsinchu, Taiwan. His work was chosen in 1993 for the White House Crafts Collection. He has been sold glass in major museum shops and galleries nationwide including The Smithsonian Institution, The Edison Institute, Greenfield Village and The Museum of American Folk Art.

At a time when many designers/artists leave the crafting of their designs to apprentices, fellow craftsmen, or even a factory style setting, it is rare for the designer to continue as the maker. I see my work belonging to a contemporary line of the "decorative arts" that developed from the arts and crafts movement where craftsmanship is of the utmost importance. Striving for the "perfect object" is the goal of the individual craftsman/designer and working directly with the materials at hand provides the greatest satisfaction for Ed.

The most important aspects of glassmaking are light, color and form. I want my work to take advantage of the luminous quality of light. Light coming through the glass reveals texture and pattern and casts colors and shadows so the glass work interacts with its environment and becomes a pure visual feast. The jewel like colors of glass, the individual forms of the pieces and the light from within work as a group and function as a chorus like a choir of voices. The fluidity of glass is expressed in the curvalinear forms. And the voluptuousness of glass is expressed in the globular melon shapes that are ready to burst with ripeness. I derive much on my inspiration from the garden my wife lovingly cares for and the woods surrounding our home. The many seeds, buds, pods and growing and developing plants and organisms continually amaze and inspire me.
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