We spoke with stained glass artist Eloise McCullough of Fools Glass about revitalising the traditional art form one contemporary piece at a time.
Your background is primarily in graphic design. How did you make the transition into glass art?
I’ve always been interested in glass in general. In the Covid lockdown in Melbourne, I started doing a short course in glass art down the road from me. That was part time over a couple of years. I learned all about leadlighting, copper foiling, fusing glass and all the different types of practices. I also learned that you can put your own spin on it, and make it more creative or contemporary. I think I saw the opportunity in that and developed my own style. I thought I’d just be doing it as a hobby, but then I began getting some work opportunities and it just got bigger and bigger.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Eclectic, abstract or art deco inspired. Usually, it’s usually quite colourful, and I like mixing in different textures and bold colours to give it that contemporary look.
Can you talk about why re-inciting the love for quality craftsmanship is important to you?
I believe consumers have grown to appreciate the quality of craftsmanship and the work that goes behind it. Personally, I would rather save and invest my money on a beautiful and unique piece for my house, over a mass produced product. It’s so easy to get something the next day with services like Amazon, but I think people are more accepting of the slow pace of things now, maybe because we did go through Covid and things slowed down a lot then, especially in Melbourne where we endured the longest lockdown in the world.
Can you walk us through your creative process?
In my process, I’m very collaborative and I like to work with the client to make sure the colour palette, design and size is what they envisioned. There’s so many different processes that a piece can take a couple of months from design to completion.
Is there any piece that stands out as a favourite?
I’m working on three large scale leadlight windows for Sporting Club Hotel in Brunswick, which has been my biggest project to date. So that’s been a really exciting one, and the fact that it’s going to be in a permanent fixture in the venue is pretty cool.
What’s next for Fools Glass?
I love collaborating with architects and interior designers on commercial and residential projects so I’ll continue to seek opportunities in that space. I’m also working on art pieces that I’ll make available on my online store, and I’ll expand my fused glass range beyond the coasters that I currently offer.
Where is your favourite place to travel in Australia?
Tasmania is really beautiful for a winter escape. I really like the slow pace and the pubs down there. MONA art gallery is always a fun spot.
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