Inspiration can come from the strangest of places. Ellen Blakeley discovered her passion for mosaic glass tile after passing a shattered bus stop in her San Francisco neighborhood. The senseless act of destruction left piles of glass on the sidewalk which, instead of seeing as garbage, Blakeley saw a potential for art. At the time she was working as a professional ceramist, an art that easily translated into the world of mosaic glass. Blakeley's mosaic tiles are colorful and vivacious, leaving their past lives in the dust to become glass pieces of art.
Amazon, from the Elements Collection. Designed by Ellen Blakeley.
Ellen Blakeley Studio offers three collections, totaling 45 designs as well as custom work. The Elements collection is comprised of smaller shards of glass in natural tones. Natural in this case does not mean browns and tans, but colors such as Fire, After Dark, Moss and Amazon; Amazon is reminiscent of something out of the jungle or a brilliant peacock. The Spotlight collection is more artful, with added elements that make the tiles less versatile, but more creative. The Core collection looks the most like the mosaic tiles I've seen in the past, with a variety of glass shapes and unexpected flicks of color, The grout is used as a design element in the Core collection; it has been colored to contrast the surrounding glass instead of just blend in.
EBS sources their tiles from recycled commercial glass companies in Northern California. They use a sanded water based grout and low VOC paints to limit toxins. All tiles and panels are made to order, and can be personalized from any inspiration imaginable, such as wallpapers, textiles, photographs, foliage and text. EBS offers translucent panels can also be designed as windows, bringing back the concept of stained glass.