Each of the nearly 2,000 extraordinary pieces in the Artful Home Studio Sale has a story. Whether they were experimental designs, first editions, or simply found during a cleaning of the studio, these pieces aren’t typically found on Artful Home‘s site. Artist Eric Bladholm offers a number of interesting new shapes, colors, and styles.
His background and experiences give him a wide range of artistic media, designs, and inspiration. While he began in glass, he also works in photography and sculpture. Spending time in Door County, WI as a child and traveling extensively in Europe has influenced his work.
I asked Eric about his work, and to highlight some of the stories behind the pieces:
“My personal favorite is probably the Grana Crven i Zut (Branch Vessel Red and Yellow) Lidded Art Glass Sculpture. This particular one was a demo for a studio tour and on the spur of the moment I decided to try etching one. Because the colors and shape were sort of experimental, plus the different finishing technique, I decided it was a good piece from that series to try in the sale. The series was inspired by my travels in Bosnia right after the war, and by the family I sponsored (who remain a very important part of my life). The studio tour during which I made this piece included a lady who knows the Bosnian family I sponsored 18 years ago, and she really wanted to see me make one of those pieces. It’s a very personal piece overall. I will be experimenting with more pieces in that series with the acid-etched matte finish, it really looks neat — especially in natural light of with back lighting.”
“My next favorite is probably the Pale Persimmon Art Glass Table Lamp Torchiere with the bronze base. This piece has strong connections to the designer and hospitality trade. Over the years, I have had a lot of commissions (huge ones like entire hotels, major restaurants, etc) for unique lighting. Well, like any person reading purchase orders and remembering details, I sometimes mess up royally. In addition to my scatterbrained attention deficit with purchase orders, I load my glass color before early morning production in the studio, usually at 4:30am. Somehow this piece was supposed to be an off-white ivory, but I misread something and did this peachy-persimmon instead. A whole batch of them. They were meant to be used as pendant lights in a commercial space, and the customer was horrified. I had to remake them in the ivory that was requested, and these have been sitting in my basement for several years because they are pretty thick and too heavy to put on my glass lamp bases. However, I realized that an orphaned, leftover bronze base from my glass sculptures matched the requirements of a substantial base for this very large piece.”
“I also really like the Topaz Twirl Large Torchiere Art Glass Table Lamp. The mottled topaz color has been incredibly popular with commercial lighting customers — this piece was created as part of a large order for a major chain restaurant for over 500 6″ diameter by 18″ cylinders. Of course, given the hand-created nature, I had some after cutting and finishing that ended up slightly shorter than the required 18″ height. When I get some free time in the studio, I like to come up with cool ways to use the extra topaz cylinders. This is one of the results — a truly one-of-a-kind piece.”
“My big, wavy bowls have been huge sellers, but many buyers have noted to me that they need huge spaces to display the wide, flared-out shape. The flat-sided vessels were my idea for a similarly scaled piece in a more vertical and space-saving form. With the flat sides and narrow profile, these vessels can slip into a pretty tight niche in a Manhattan (or Chicago, San Francisco, etc) apartment yet still provide a big art glass presence. This is a new shape for me on Artful Home, and a shape I haven’t made in years. If there is a good response to them in the sale, I’ll probably make the form more often, but right now these are the first ones and are exclusive to this sale.”