- Ed Edwards’ “Large Round Stepping Stone Bowl” is fused and slumped with a deep purple at its base and stacked multi-colored circles that “skip around the bowl like stepping stones.” Credit: Seth Laubinger.
Ed Edwards’ life can be described as a series of evolutions. He grew up surrounded by art—his father was a high school art teacher who introduced silk-screening and mosaic projects to the family—but there wasn’t a strong message to pursue it professionally.
That didn’t stop Edwards from enrolling in art classes while studying as an undergraduate or taking his first stained glass workshop in 1977.
Along the way, he worked as a bank loan officer and an accountant. He dreamt that when he retired, he’d leave New York City and move to California to work at a winery.
Luckily he didn’t have to wait. In 1986, Edwards went to work at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, Calif. There, he was also awarded a major commission—to complete a large stained glass window. At the urging of his wife Becky Jo Peterson, he’d taken up stained glass more seriously in 1996, and in 2002 he left the winery to launch his own stained glass studio.
When Peterson’s job forced the couple to move to Mobile, Ala., in 2005, Edwards didn’t want to compete with two existing stained glass studios in the area, so he dove headfirst into fused glass.
Edwards is largely self-taught. “I had taken workshops,” he explains. “But with everything I do, the most important thing is to get home and apply what I learn.”
Although he quickly conquered standard shapes with commercial molds, his interests led to more unconventional forms. He solved the problem by cutting his own soft fiberboard molds, creating any size or shape he can imagine.
His series have evolved from “Stepping Stone” pieces with legs to hold them off the table to food-inspired sculpture—skillets replete with bacon and eggs, plates full of tacos, and pizza on a cutting board. “I guess you could say I’m making low-cal versions of my favorite foods,” he laughs.
For Edwards, the possibilities are endless. “The great thing about glass is that as my interest in one form wanes, there are so many other ways to work with it,” he notes. “How can I not be passionate about it?”
Find more of his designs at http://edwardsartglass.com.