Early exploration of flameworking and its applications play out in Elliott Todd’s diverse body of work that ranges from functional glass pipes to glass drawings to breakthrough video presentations on Instagram, such as the 2019 demonstration of musical instruments made at his torch. For his BFA show at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Todd aka et_glass, drew Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map using glass rods and his torch.
Todd says: “I make work based off of repeated geometric patterns. These patterns are often made up of many little parts. Eventually I can assemble it all to make a much larger piece than the individual components could ever be. When you put the earth on a 2D scale, it distorts the sizes and the relationship of the continents. What I like so much about the Dymaxion Map is it uses geometry to make a more fair map of the world. And it creates this really interesting perspective where we’re all connected instead of all being separated by our different continents.”
A native of Boone, North Carolina, Todd visited Penland School of Crafts as a boy with his father and attended community open house events. As a teenager, he started making flameworked beads at home with a simple gas torch and rods of glass. Upon graduation from high school and unsure of his direction, the young artist attended Penland classes beginning with a hot glass intensive taught by Ed Schmid and followed by further glass studies taught by Dave Naito and Scott Benefield. More recently, he attended a workshop with one of his favorite torch artists, Micah Evans, and served as teaching assistant for Carmen Lozar.
After earning his BFA from Tyler in 2016, Todd returned to his hometown and established a studio where he designs and creates a line of functional glass combining reticello in contemporary forms, networked and framed pieces that are sold through Gallery 42 and direct to galleries. In 2020, he was looking forward to serving as teaching assistant at Penland and having his first solo exhibition in four years in Asheville, both events cancelled because of Covid. However, thanks to his presence on Instagram, et_glass is coordinating on a project with a glassblower from Kuwait who is the lead artist at the first school for glass in the Gulf region, Yadawi. He’s also recently donated proceeds from the sale of some beautiful Sherlocks and bubble sculptures to Crafting the Future.
Through constant experimentation, et_glass blends non- functional forms with the objects he loves to use and turns mistakes into great pieces just by being open to the idea.