Holmes has spent the last twenty years of her career perfecting her heat-sensitive Aurora color. This variation of Italian Calcedonia glass transforms the earthy tones of the original formula into a rainbow of vivid shades. The beautiful streaks of magenta, red, green and blue inspired her to name her color after the Aurora Borealis, which form beautiful arcs of color across the northern sky. The vibrant colors that the artist brings out in her Aurora sculptures are based on matching the precise chemical formula with a careful method of heating and cooling the glass. Holmes uses this technique to form striations in the glass that fan out across the surface as each piece is spun out, elongated and stretched on the blowpipe. There is a finite window of time for Holmes to sculpt each piece before the hues of color peak and diminish. Once the glass cools it reflects a perpetual sense of movement in the flowing curvature of each edge and in the sweeping strokes of the color.
Every aurora sculpture sits on a hand forged metal stand that is customized to fit the individual contours of each piece.
As an avid bee keeper and gardener, Holmes based this series on the life of bees and their role in sustaining the environment. The bees work together drawing nectar from flowers to produce what they need to survive. In the process they pollinate plants and promote the survival of crops and wild flowers. Anthropomorphizing the bees and capturing them at work in the hive is meant to encourage viewers to consider three things. One, the human impact on bees through getting inside the workings of the hive. Two, the essential role bees play in the environment. Three, to show that like the delicate flowers the bees tend, their own survival rests on a fragile balance. Holmes wants the viewer to assess their role in maintaining this balance.
Holmes encourages her viewers to step outside reality and imagine a world of dinosaurs and dragons. Anything could exist within the opaque exterior of each shell. It is up to each viewer to imagine the types of creatures inside these whimsical glass eggs.
Signature Figure Line
One of Holmes’s most established bodies of work was originally inspired by the movements of Taiko drummers as they leveraged their whole bodies into beating wooden mallets against their large drums. The sketches Holmes made of these drummers inspired her to create flame-worked dancers. She pairs these figures with colorful disks of murine, an Italian style of glass cane handmade by the artist. These intricate pieces are arranged on a hotplate and then gathered onto the molten glass, which Holmes shapes into vessels, paperweights, and platters.
This abstract sculptural series hearkens back to the sea and the triton shells Holmes used to collect on the sandy shores of Maryland. A spiral twist wraps around the outside of each vessel like a tentacle. Each piece is completely unique in shape and color, like a shell no two are the same.
These vessels feature the artist’s unique Aurora color in a variety of shapes and patterns.
In this body of work Holmes looks at the nature of consciousness. The Timelines are a depiction of the human mind as it develops over the course of an individual’s lifetime. Holmes is inspired by the way people return back to familiar patterns and are constantly moving through the events of their lives in order to move forward. Much like a spiral this constant mental rotation is what informs every individual’s sense of self.
Holmes enjoys melding her style with that of other glass masters and sculptors. The creativity that it takes to piece together the distinct approaches of two creative minds often leads Holmes to craft new techniques that expand the boundaries of her medium.
Images of the artist throughout her 35 year career.
Holmes has appeared on shows like PBS, New Mexico True, and HGTV. These clips feature Holmes at work in her studio, and interviews with the artist.
Liquid Light Glass Art Class on NM True TV
Santa Fe's renowned art scene isn't just about wandering the countless galleries and enjoying the work of the artists. There are also ample opportunities to participate and learn. In this case Michael makes some molten glass with artist Elodie Holmes. And yes, you too can take part.
¡Colores! on PBS
Using an ancient Italian color recipe, Santa Fe glass artist Elodie Holmes creates vivid, colorful sculpture. “I often refer to it as not only the making of glass, but to see the final product as the art of astonishment - because it’s like, wow, did I really make that happen?!”