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Ellen Abbott & Marc Leva

I remember spending summer days wandering in the woods discovering hidden flowers. I remember finding turtles in my yard, scaring up jackrabbits, encountering possums and racoons. I remember exploring the bayou, walking on fallen trees. I remember picking dewberries and startling and being startled by snakes. I remember finding a cave made by the roots of a tree where the earth had been washed out. I remember paralyzing fear and finding my courage alone in the woods. I grew up in a world and with a freedom my grandchildren will never know. The woods have been cut down, the fields are sub-divisions full of restrictions, and the bayous are concrete.

Humans, in their drive to dominate and control their environment, have lost their connection to peace and sanity. Meaning cannot be found in invention and possesions. We have become disconnected from the natural world and we have forgotton that we are not separate from, or the epitome of, the beauties of the earth. Rather, we are only one part of an integrated whole. And as we destroy and lose the diversity, we diminish ourselves.

Our work is concerned with remembering our connection to the natural world, it's small creatures and plants, it's colors and patterns. Other pieces reflect our relationship with the natural world and the duality of life and how that is manifest in our psyche and symbol and forms of spiritual expression.

Biography

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 and international clientele for their residential and corporate architectural work.

They became interested in cast glass in the early 1980s and utilized custom cast crystal forms in some of their commission work. This interest in cast glass eventually provided another outlet for creative expression for this art team. In 1994, they started exploring and developing the pate de verre method of cast glass, in particular the bowl form. Pate de verre, the technique of pressing or melting crushed glass into a mold, was developed in ancient Egypt and revived in the early 20th century France. Ellen and Marc currently produce several series of numbered footed bowls and one of a kind sculptural vessels and paperweights in this technique. Ellen considers these her 'small works' in contrast to the 'large canvases' of her etched glass.

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