Ellen Bartfeld

Ellen Bartfeld describes her practice in simple terms: “Each of my bowls is made with love.” And inspiration often comes from the customers themselves. “They might have requests,” says the glass artist, who crafts her wares in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, adorning them with symbolic objects. “I might be asked to find charms that are part of a wedding or bridesmaid theme. Every suggestion is a creative opportunity.” Once, Ellen created pieces for four sisters, using jewelry pieces from their late mother. “They were reminded of their mother every time they used their bowls,” she says. Even when her pieces are not personalized, they are still personal. Says Ellen, “I envision them on a dresser or by the bed, holding objects that have a special meaning.”