Sometimes we get really lucky and a fabulous Farmers Market Finds finds us. This was the case with Ed Martin and his business Martin Art Lighting. Self-taught, this Springfield, IL glass artist has been honing his craft for nearly 40 years. Turning his passion into a full-time career 18 years ago, Ed has been perfecting the fusing, beveling and three-dimensional etching techniques used to create his unique glass sculpture and designs. These custom pieces have been sold all over the US and in 8 countries. A true success story, Martin Art Lighting can be found in many private collections, with one patron owning 50 pieces!
Although Ed’s larger sculptures sold well at the shows he quickly realized he needed some smaller pieces that would appeal to patrons with a lower price point. He has created and sold spoon rests, card holders and most recently nightlights. The night lights quickly gained popularity and Ed began looking for ways to not only perfect the process to replicate it for online ordering, but also to increase the function and luminosity. With some trial, error, and ingenuity, he settled on a LED base with a custom manufactured clip that he designed that allows full light immersion behind the glass. These high efficiency bulbs last 100,000+ hours, so you will never have to worry about replacing the bulb. They are low heat and safe for children. Each light includes an automatic dimmer switch that adjusts to the light in the room. You will never have to remember to turn it on or off. Although his glass work is typically one of a kind, he has created a regimented system that allows him to replicate all of the 22 color options available for purchase at the shows and on his website. With a very large kiln, over 200 of these gorgeous nightlights can be created in one batch. Each one comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Unlike a lot of our traditional vendors that exhibit at their local farmers markets and art shows, Ed has traveled extensively, exhibiting at nearly 40 shows a year from New York to Los Angeles to Florida. As any vendor will tell you this is an incredible schedule when you consider the planning, traveling, and exhibition time required. Never mind, making it back to Illinois to make more product! Typically a one man operation, Ed was assisted last summer by his daughter Alex who brought the nightlights to local residents at the Old Capital Farmers Market in Springfield, IL.
As Ed prepares to slow down this year in anticipation of shoulder surgery, I asked him to recall a favorite memory from the shows. You know, the moment when you think, “Wow, this is great!” He graciously shared a story of a man who purchased one of his custom designs at an art show in Florida. The man, an art collector was so impressed with his work he shared that he was taking down a Picasso to put a Martin in its place! Now that’s an impressive compliment!
Martin Art Lighting nightlights retail for $25, offering an affordable way to add some great art to your home. They also make great hostess and house-warming gifts. Start your collection today by entering our giveaway. One lucky winner will receive this stunning blue nightlight! Enter now, our drawing will be held on March 5th! See you next time at the Market!