Paul Elia

My career in glass began in the late 1980’s at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto. There I learned the fundamentals of glass blowing, slumping and sand-casting glass. In 1995, when OCAD closed the glass programme I joined a group of instructors and students to establish Geisterblitz Glass, a glassblowing studio.

In 1997, as my work expanded, I moved to a new studio next to Geisterblitz, purchased my own kiln and perfected my slumping techniques. My favorite pieces were abstract faces looking upward. While I enjoyed slumping, I wanted my pieces to stand up, to be sculptural and that evolution led me to glass casting. My slumped pieces were made using colourless glass. My cast pieces are dominated by colour – icy, cool greens to warm ambers and hot reds. Crystal comes alive when light shines on it and this is true for my art.

What are the elements of my style? I enjoy mixing glass and metal, particularly aluminum and bronze. I have fun fooling the eye. What you see from afar is not what you see as you get close to or walk past my work. A simple triangle slowly develops motion and life as you near it. I look to create curiosity. Ripples on glass and aluminum challenge you to seek out what is hiding there, until you suddenly discover two faces.

I’m inspired by architecture. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is my favourite. I enjoy mixing curves and hard edges in my art and each time I look at images of the museum, I am brought back to those elements of my style.Walking on a windy day after a snowfall is inspiring. Everywhere you look, all is smooth and flowing. I’m inspired when people want to reach out and touch my work. It’s the best compliment.

"I like to create a sense of motion; what appears to be a simple triangle begins to curve and move."