Ed Pennebaker has turned his property into a glass artist’s wonderland. In addition to a hot shop, his complex includes a timber-frame home (which he built) outfitted with handmade glass-front kitchen cabinets, his signature light fixtures, and a back porch featuring one of the artist’s enormous chandeliers, reflecting the natural surroundings. “I do a lot of walking around the woods,” says Pennebaker, who is particularly taken by the geology of the area. Changing seasons always bring new
inspiration. “When it’s wet in the winter, the ice formations are really interesting, almost like glass.”
Eureka Springs, in the heart of the Ozarks, has a thriving art scene, with many galleries, and art and music festivals throughout the year. In the historic downtown district, Victorian buildings house boutiques and artist studios where enthusiasts can buy directly from makers. Potters Patrick Lujan and Lee Kroll moved to the city in 2007 and opened Out on Main, where they sell their work alongside work by friends. Just outside the city, Thorncrown Chapel, another Fay Jones-designed building, incorporates more than 6,000 square feet of glass, which blends into the surrounding bluffs and forest.
Higher up in the mountains, near Mulberry Creek, potter Steve Driver, recently retired from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, and his wife, Louise Halsey, a weaver, are returning to the land. They’ve opened a showroom on the plot they bought with three of his brothers in 1976. After moving to other cities for graduate school and teaching jobs, raising children, and most recently living in Little Rock, the couple are going back to their roots.
“At 62, I still have a lot of art I want to make and a lot of things I want to do,” Driver says. “With the back-to-the-land movement, a lot of stuff is coming full circle, and this is what I want to do with my time and my energy.”