ARTIST STATEMENT | BIO

Eli is a glass blower residing in Benton harbor MI, his love for glass started early in life. His first encounter with hot glass came at the age of 8 when his parents chose Venice Italy as one of the destinations on a family vacation abroad; it was love at first sight.

Eli started working with glass at the age of 11 making glass beads in the kitchen of his childhood home.  In 2005 Eli had the opportunity to join the “Fired Up” program at Waterstreet Glassworks in Benton Harbor Michigan. Fired Up is where he received his initial instruction learning from master glass blower Jerry Catania. Eli is a teacher at the school and now gives back by teaching and mentoring in the very program that he learned from.

After learning the basics, Eli’s thirst for knowledge and skill took him across the country and the world where he took classes, studied with, and worked for many different professional glass artists.

Eli is enamored by glass’ ability to bend, reflect and refract light.  In his most recent work he aims to create the illusion that the glass is giving off light when actually none is present. He also enjoys creating a “micro environment” by grouping together cane and murini to give the illusion of movement on an otherwise unchanging canvas. Eli has always wanted to run a hot shop and with the partnership between he, Dave, and Bryan at Hot Shop Valpo” he is doing just that.  Eli is very excited to have the freedom to continue to develop his works and master his craft at Hot Shop Valpo.