“In the late 1980s I discovered that whimsy is an artistic viewpoint with integrity, and the whole world opened for my skills to explore.”—Ellie Burke
Ellie Burke began her own studio demanding that she create pieces expressing her own viewpoint and not repeat the work of others. Perfume bottles became the vehicle of choice because glassblowers were only putting emphasis on the bottle and repeating the same stopper for all of them. Flamework allows the artist to build elaborate pieces to tell the rest of the story of the bottle. She began learning how to melt glass tubing and cane in the flame of a gas/oxygen torch in 1972. By 1978 she knew that this technique was called flameworking and sought employment in a scientific glass shop to increase her skills. A feminist growing up in the midst of an era of social change, she was often the only woman working in the glass shop.
Primarily self-taught as an artist, Burke has attended workshops taught by Frederick Birkhill and Shane Fero, and the Art of the Murrini class, taught by Richard Ritter, Jan Williams, and Dinah Hulet, both at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina.—artfulhome.com