dynamic sculptural lighting by Ed Pennebaker. Inspired by
traditional Venetian masters, these Blownglass chandeliers
are all one-of-a-kind. Working from a palette of approximately
16 colors, Ed creates custom lighting which ranges from vivid
and vibrant to restrained elegance. The works also range in
size and complexity, from pendants and sconces to groupings
of fixtures as large as space and budget allow. Clusters,
which are unlighted, purely sculptural creations are an excellent
choice for tall, narrow spaces– like stairwells. Choose
from a half-dozen element styles in varying sizes... lightsources
from 35w (pendants), 50-60w for sconces, to one or more 100w
bulbs (chandeliers). Other light source choices possible.
Pennebaker lights are originals. His artistic expressions
are everywhere. A seemingly simple and quiet man, Pennebaker
is modest about his accomplishments.
works year round in his studio. "I stay home in the winter
to build up inventory. The furnace gets shut down in the summer
but I still have plenty of other work to do." Packing
orders, rebuilding equipment, organizing materials, an thousands
of other thankless tasks get accomplished during this time.
Pennebaker prefers to say he's a "glassmaker" instead
of a "glassblower". The term glassblower has been
used and misused so much that it carries very little specific
meaning. "Most people associate the term glassblower
with a person who melts rods of pre-made glass to form items
working at a torch," he explained. "The specific
title for that type of glassworker is 'lampworker'. Lampworking
is a glass technique that is very different from what I do.
It requires a different set of skills." Most of Pennebaker's
products are made by gathering molten glass out of a glass
furnace then blowing and shaping it with hand tools. "I
start with the raw materials that are melted to make a batch
of glass. The materials (a mixture of silica, soda ash, lime
and small amounts of other minerals) are melted inside a furnace
fired with natural gas. The furnace is similar to a ceramic
kiln except that the glass furnace runs constantly at about
1,900 to 2,000 degrees. The temperature is even hotter when
a batch of glass is being melted, up to 2,350 degrees."
he explained. Pennebaker uses a hollow pipe to blow into and
inflate the glass. "But it takes very little air,"
he said. Most of the work involved is using tools to shape
the glass. "I use a set of large tong-like tools called
'jacks' to squeeze and shape the glass and wooden paddles
to shape the sides and flatten the bottom." Although
the shaping of the glass is a quick process, the preparation
and finish time is lengthy. "It takes a full day to shovel
the batch ingredients into the furnace and melt them,"
Pennebaker explained. "Then, each finished piece has
to cool slowly in an oven from 1,000 degrees down to room
temperature." This cooling is called annealing and takes
twelve to fifteen hours.