Meet Eloise of Fools Glass, a glass designer and maker based in Melbourne/Naarm. We’ve been a fan of Eloise’s work for a while now, and after exchanging a few DM’s on Instagram on how we could work together, six months on, we’re pretty damn pleased with the result.

Eloise designed and made our very own custom Coffee Supreme leadlight, that’s proudly on display at our Abbotsford Cafe and Roastery. After wrapping up last week's install, we managed to nab 15 minutes of Eloise’s time to talk shop, what she gets up to outside of Fools Glass, and her favourite Supreme cuppa, of course.

Q: Hey Eloise, tell us a bit about Fools Glass. Is it something you always wanted to do? How long have you been a glass designer and maker? Give us the full rundown.
A: While working from home during Melbourne’s relentless lockdowns, I was restless (as many creatives can relate to, I’m sure) and became curious about courses that could feed my creativity.

Through this curiosity, I discovered a glass course, and it was a video on the course page of a young female artist that reeled me in and resonated with me. The video showed Nadine working in her studio in Melbourne, working with stained glass in a way I’d never seen before. I could relate to her, and I could see there was a huge opportunity in the field. It broke down my preconceived ideas of stained glass being reserved for churches.

I enrolled on a whim, got in, and it all went from there. I did the course part-time over roughly two years while balancing other work commitments. My background in design has certainly been useful, however, I had no experience in glass – it all happened quite organically, and I haven’t looked back.

Q: And, what do you get up to when you’re not running Fools Glass?
A: I split my time between Fools Glass and my other business FIGR which I run with my business partner Eloise O (yep Eloise & Eloise!). We formulate and produce lubricants and sex products locally in Naarm/Melbourne. More recently, we have launched Speed Dating events at Melbourne's lasagne institution, 1800 Lasagne – the events have really taken off, and we’re now hosting them monthly.

Glass and lube may seem like a bizarre combination, but I really enjoy the variety in my life, and surprisingly, there can be a lot of crossovers between the two businesses.

Q: Who and what do you look to for inspiration?
A: For me, inspiration for me can come from the most unusual sources – more recently, the colours and typography on the signage of a local takeaway shop have inspired a new artwork series I’d like to create. It’s very hard to switch off as a creative person, which is a blessing and a curse, ha.

Q: Since starting Fools Glass, what’s been the biggest challenge? And how’re you overcoming it?
A: Leadlighting requires a lot of space, and when I first started, I was working off of my garage floor and in other various uncomfortable places. I’m lucky to now call Nabe Studios my creative home, in Kensington. Now the biggest challenge is finding balance between Fools Glass, my other business FIGR, and all while maintaining a social and healthy lifestyle. I’m a couple of months into my self-employed life, so setting a better, balanced routine for myself is at the top of my priority list.

Q: What’s been your favourite piece that you’ve created to date?
A: It’s difficult to say, it’s not so much influenced by the end result but rather the experience I have with the people I work with. The Coffee Supreme team was great for example as they gave me creative reign but also contributed to the creative process.

I’m also grateful for the opportunity Zane provided me to design and make a window for his shop/air bnb, ‘Ours’ in Fitzroy about a year ago (pictured in the carousel below). This job gave me exposure and confidence and was the beginning of my glass journey.

Working with nice people who trust me and the process makes my job a dream.

Q: If you could make a custom piece for anyone — person, brand or business — who would it be and why?
A: I’d love to work with a hotel, like Paramount House Hotel in Sydney. Or a distillery like Four Pillars Gin Distillery. I’m also keen to collaborate with furniture designers, interior designers (massive fan of David Flack) and artists who work with other mediums.

Q: What’s your coffee setup at home?
A: I’m often zipping around in my car, so although it’s embarrassing to admit, I have a tendency of whacking together an instant coffee and drinking it on the go. Otherwise, I brew up using the lo-fi coffee plunger at my studio – perhaps that’s a bit more acceptable.

Q: Got a favourite Supreme coffee?
A: I was lucky to sample the limited edition Holiday Blend. It packed a punch.

Q: We’re in love with our custom leadlight, thank you again. Have you got any other exciting projects on the horizon this year?
A: Thank you! Yes, I’m currently working on three large leadlight window installations for a Brunswick pub that is being refurbished and set to reopen in early July. Working alongside the fabulous interior design team and being privy to the building process has been really inspiring. The owners have a string of great pubs in my area, such as The Royal Oak & Marquis of Lorne (my usual go-to's), so I have a feeling it’s going to be the next spot in town.

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