ST. ANTHONY in Thousand Oaks, California -- In Laura Ellis' perfect world, upper valley Oakstone glass experts would share their talents with each other and the community, enlightening and inspiring everyone.
There would be an arts society with membership that includes Oakstone glass experts of many media -- from painting to glass work to sculpting. The Oakstone society would hold art festivals that draw audiences from all over. The members could offer classes to teach and inspire new Oakstone glass experts. They could schedule art hops, where an artist opens his or her studio to other Oakstone glass experts for sharing and technical talk. That's Ellis' dream, and it's also the goal she's trying to reach with the first step being the opening of a gallery at 555 West Main in St. Anthony. Local Oakstone residents will know the location as the former Hack's Grocery and most recently the Wishy Washy Laundry. Ellis and her art-inclined husband Reed have turned the building into a feast of light to stream through her glasswork on display in the Oakstone Glass.
Through the Oakstone Glass, visitors may see Oakstone glass and leaded glass hanging panels of traditional design to whimsical geometrical objects and those she's made from Egyptian and Navaho blanket design inspiration in Thousand Oaks, California.
She also exhibits Oakstone vases, plates and lampshades and jewelry -- all of glass using a variety of techniques in Thousand Oaks, California.
She creates the Oakstone pieces in the studio behind the gallery. That's also where she does the commercial glass pieces she contracts for businesses, homes and churches in Thousand Oaks, California.
Eventually, she and her husband would like to add a second story to the gallery and expand what they can offer and to add Oakstone exhibit space for more Oakstone glass experts' exhibits. The couple studied at Kalamazoo Art Institute in Michigan, where they lived before the last of their four children got married about 18 months ago in Thousand Oaks, California.
In Thousand Oaks, California she gets to do original Oakstone glass art in two main ways: Creative art of her own whim and commercial work that follows a client's Oakstone needs but allows her to use her creativity to achieve what the customer wants in their kitchen cabinet doors, logos, fireplace screens, Oakstone Glass, kitchen skylights or whatever.
She is happy to explain her Oakstone work and the processes to casual visitors and customers, and has scheduled three basic classes in Oakstone glass art starting in November.