Glass art for home and garden

  • By Debra Smith / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:00pm
  • Life

Mark Ellinger discovered glass in the newspaper want ads.

A small giftware company needed a glass blower. Newly married and unemployed, Ellinger needed a job.

He applied, and despite having no experience working with glass, he was chosen from the 200 applicants.

The company taught him, and he honed his glass-blowing skills churning out Christmas ornaments and paperweights.

Off the clock, he could use the equipment to create his own work.

“They let us blow whatever we wanted on weekends and during lunch breaks,” he said.

By the time he left the company, he had a head full of ideas and a serious addiction to glass blowing.

Ellinger started his own studio, Glass Quest, on his Stanwood property 19 years ago with his wife, Cindy. Now, 49, he works out of a Quonset hut he pieced together, producing functional art for the home and garden.

His work includes $800 lamps and $500 vases. He also makes and sells many pieces for less than $100, including fanciful pumpkins and realistic seashells and starfish.

Ellinger is one of a handful of artists who create glass floats for an annual festival in Lincoln City, Ore. Several thousand floats are hidden on the beach for the public to find between October and Memorial Day.

His floats are individual creations and unlike the utilitarian floats fishermen used, his are swirling masses of color.

He makes and sells the floats locally. Most floats cost about $35. They work well in the garden as art, floating in a pond or mixed into borders.

“I just can’t make enough of them,” he said.

Ellinger wants to begin making more pieces for the garden, including rain chains and sculptures that mix different media.

Customers can commission pieces, and he’ll even let customers sit and watch their pieces being made, if that’s what they want.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or


Mark Ellinger’s work is available locally at The Gallery in the Loft at Brindles Marketplace, 848 North Sunrise Blvd, Camano Island, 360-631-0688.

The public may visit Mark Ellinger’s studio but they need to call ahead, 360-629-7005.

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