The following are examples of artwork by the artist Ed Pennebaker. Some pieces displayed may be examples of commissioned works that have already been sold. All artwork availability is subject to prior sale. Please allow a few minutes for this gallery to load as there are a lot of pieces displayed here.
To inquire about availability or inquire about a custom piece, please contact us.
About the Artist
I work with glass to show its fluid qualities and its interaction with light. I derive much on my inspiration from the environment, especially the garden and the woods surrounding my home and studio.
I see my chandeliers and lighting belonging to a contemporary line of the “decorative arts” that developed from the arts and crafts movement where craftsmanship is of the utmost importance. Striving for the “perfect object” is the goal of the craftsman/designer and working directly with the materials at hand provides the greatest satisfaction for me.
If you ask Ed about himself you may not hear his answer. He is a soft-spoken humble person. He would rather “do” than talk about doing, he hates meetings. Maybe it was natural that he found something to do that didn’t involve spoken words.
He loved mechanical drawing in his early teens and found visual art was a good fit for him when he was in high school. In college, he could be found in the art department after hours and even on weekends. He started riding a motorcycle during college and took many trips into the southwestern states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. His work was accepted to quite a few juried shows during his college years. A few weeks after getting is M.A. he loaded up his silkscreen prints in a homemade waterproof portfolio strapped to the back of the cycle and traveled through the midwestern states surrounding Kansas with the idea to peddle his work to some galleries. The first attempt at the first gallery was disappointing with the dealer suggesting he do more “commercial” work, i.e. windmills and landscapes (this was the midwest after all). So the trip became more of a museum tour than a sales tour.
Back home, he found a job with the phone company and taught a few night classes at the local community college. Then decided to get his teaching certificate. Teaching children and teenagers was a lot different than the adults who came to night-class and wasn’t Ed’s forte. But he landed a job as an Artist-in-the-Schools in Liberal, Kansas where he only had to teach 20 hours a week and spend the other 20 hours (or more) a week in a studio that was open to the public provided by the community.
The high school art instructor in Liberal had access to a glass studio so Ed found himself there and found it a fascinating medium to work with. A few workshops in Colorado (ridden to on the motorcycle) and cycle trip to Ohio ended up with him getting a job as a glassblower at Hale Farm and Village. Another motorcycle trip with his parents down the Blue Ridge Parkway ended with discussions of starting his own glass studio and finding a place in Arkansas where his mother’s side of the family was from.
The studio in Arkansas was meant to sell to the tourists but Ed found a more lucrative business in continuing with the historical reproductions of early American glassware he had been making in Ohio. Coming up with his own designs he eventually progressed from functional and decorative glass to sculptural lighting and finally to pure sculpture. As his work progressed he added more media and now uses cast, fused, hot-worked, and blown glass along with forged and fabricated steel, found objects, and stone.
Ed has had works installed in many private residences. That is where most of his total of 624 chandeliers (as of November 2016) are. Some of the larger chandeliers have gone to corporate offices, and public buildings including the Fred W. Smith Conference center on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences campus in Little Rock, Arkansas. His work has been shown at SOFA (Sculptural Objects Functional Art) Chicago by Function Art Gallery. Chandeliers by Ed were awarded the “Excellence in Lighting” award at the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show and chosen to exhibit in the 2001 Hsinchu International Glass Art Festival in Hsinchu, Taiwan. His work was chosen in 1993 for the White House Crafts Collection. His work has sold in major museum shops and galleries nationwide and is in private collections all over the U.S and China, Brazil, Portugal, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.