Drew Ebelhare graduated from Florida State University in 1977 with a Bachelor’s Degree in technical theatre and scene design. He was supposed to be a painter. After a few years in the theatre, he began to see that it was going to be a long road to get to where he wanted to be and began to look for something that he felt would be a bit of a shorter road. He ended up in the stained glass business. He was quite successful in a short time and excelled in the field for several years, becoming one of the founding members of The Houston Glass Art Society. They were instrumental in the promotion of glass as an art form in the growing cow town of Houston, Texas, at the time. All had a good time, and some nice art came to the attention of Houston residents as a result of their youthful efforts.
In 1979 some of my glass art associates invited him to accompany them to a glass symposium in Colorado. They were going to see hot glass worked for the first time in their lives, and he thought that the prospect of taking a road trip to a place that he had never seen to observe an art form never before experienced sounded pretty good, so he decided to go along for the ride.
He loved Colorado and was intrigued by glassblowing. He talked one of the teaching assistants into letting him give it a try, and with a little help, he got a piece off the pipe on the first try. He became hooked and wanted to be a glassblower. He wanted to move to Colorado. It took 20 years for him to get to Colorado, and he has been working in a hot shop since 1981. If nothing else, he is persistent.
Sue Fox grew up with a love of glass art, especially paperweights and scent bottles, which she first encountered on strolls through antique shops during family vacations. She also recalls her mother’s treasured collection of old Heisey glass, but would never have imagined that one day she would be creating glass treasures of her own. In the late 1970s, Sue pursued an academic career but discovered that her true passion and talent lay in handwork. A sense of adventure during a summer break from the College of Charleston led her on a sailing trip to the Chesapeake Bay, where she lived aboard a sailboat in Annapolis harbor and worked ashore, learning the craft of nautical canvas work. Returning to Charleston the following year, Sue decided to start her own canvas business.
This was a time of hard work, growing confidence, and sun-filled days sailing with friends. During a transitional period of her life in the early 1990s, she was introduced to flameworking during a trip to Sante Fe, New Mexico. Thoroughly entranced by this new medium, and not one to shy away from new and exciting possibilities, Sue returned home to South Carolina and set up a glass studio. Here she worked to perfect her art, reveling in the opportunity to create beautiful glass objects like those she had loved as a child. Sue began making miniature glass paperweights and buttons in the mid-1990s, loving the intricate work of crafting tiny flowers, birds, and insects over a small torch, and then encasing them in clear glass. A few years later, she stumbled upon the world of dollhouse miniatures when building a dollhouse for her niece. She found the glasswork she was doing fit very nicely into this new magical world.
In 2009, Sue moved out west, where she began a partnership, in work and life, with paperweight artist Drew Ebelhare. Together they have made some beautiful paperweights, with Sue’s delicate lampwork surrounded by Drew’s millefiori canes. Sue has won several national awards at Bead and Button Shows for her paperweight buttons. She is a juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and has attained Artisan status in the International Guild of Miniature Artists. Her work can be found in the permanent collection of the Bergstrom-Mahler Paperweight Museum, as well as in private collections.