-Elijah Kell, the Featured Artist for October.
ELIJAH KELL – OCTOBER 2022
Elijah Kell is a glass artist from Mint Hill, North Carolina. His artistic journey began at the age of ten when he was first introduced to the medium and discovered an instant connection. Since then, he has immersed himself in the art of glass developing his craft through self-study and experimentation. As a dyslexic imagery plays a huge role in his life, and he loves to bring a wide range of design ideas into color, texture and form.
Elijah’s work has been featured in gallery exhibitions and events throughout the greater Charlotte area, as well as the GreenHill Center for North Carolina Art in Greensboro and the Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh. In addition to permanent installations at two premier hotels in uptown Charlotte, Elijah has private and corporate commissions across the Carolinas and nationwide. He is also dedicated to giving back and regularly donates his work to support causes making a difference in Charlotte and beyond.
A current high school senior and artist-entrepreneur at heart, Elijah launched his permanent gallery space, Kell Glass Gallery, at The Galleries 811 last year and remains grateful for the success this venture continues to bring. After high school he plans to focus on furthering his artistic development and career path as a fulltime professional artist, while pursuing a degree in art history.
Working with glass is like painting a canvas that I bring into three-dimensional form. Each composition emerges through a tedious design process involving multiple layers of shards and a variety of components like my handmade glass stones, threads of pulled glass, sifted powders, and elements cut from cane and rods of glass. My sculptural works embody my love for building something from scratch, piece-by-piece, with individually cut, crushed and shaped shards that are carefully arranged and layered to create their organic forms. This technique requires a delicate balance of space and weight through the layers in order to achieve stability of the composition that can withstand the firing process while fusing to its intended shape and texture. As a result of my free-formed sculptural method, each finished glass work is a unique creation that can never be duplicated.
For all of my works, forecasting how the glass will pull, expand, and meld during the heating and cooling cycles is essential from the start. It’s like working backwards. Ultimately, my process is a creative fusion of both prediction and precision. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t, but the risk of failure never outweighs my love for the challenge.