Mark Eckstrand | Glass for life

Mark Eckstrand


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In Mark’s mural projects, each child creates one glass tile. The child draws an image and then transposes the drawing to glass, with the help of an attentive adult.

Thanks to Skype technology and his capable business partners, Sara and Gina, American glass artist Mark Eckstrand is able to run his Seattle-based business (Mark’s Fish Inc.) from his new home in Lithuania. Mark teaches glassblowing workshops at the art academy in Kaunas, designs for a local mold-blowing factory, and does his own work in a newly fashioned fusing and coldworking shop. He also volunteers his time, as he has done for years, creating glass murals with underserved kids. Mark completed the first such mural in 1987 in Austin, Texas. Since then he’s worked with over 1000 children in North America, Latvia, Turkey, Russia, and now Lithuania. “These kids are in difficult situations,” Mark says. “They enjoy making something that’s permanent, that they can come back to and visit.” Because the kids work one-on-one with adults to make their kilnformed tiles, each mural project can bring together as many as 150 people.