Pops of color and precise lines define eluCook Designs
The designs are bold, the colors intense and the lines sharp.
Artist Emily L. U. Cook, who lives and works in the Belle Hall Plantation community, creates décor, jewelry, art and custom pieces with fused glass as her medium. She says she loves the preciseness and variety that glass offers.
“It’s beautiful, yet challenging.”
It all started with a year-long apprenticeship after high school with a glass artist and family friend in Maryland where Cook grew up. Cook majored in printmaking, earning a fine arts degree at the University of Delaware in 2003. But, her love of working with glass never left her.
Cook and her husband, Dave, then an undersea medical officer, were living in Mount Pleasant in 2004 and she started her design business, eluCook Designs. Her husband was assigned to Delaware in 2008, but the two knew they’d return to the Lowcountry. They did so in 2011 with their newborn son, Graham. Two years later, their daughter Gracie was born. As a mother of two, blending motherhood with a successful business can be challenging.
“It is definitely tough juggling being a mom,” she says. “But I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Cook exhibits her work in four local shows a year, one of them being the Mount Pleasant Holiday Farmers’ Market and Craft Show in December.
“That one is my favorite,” she says. “I love that it kicks off the holidays.”
Her designs are on display at the Sandpiper Gallery on Sullivan’s Island, downtown at the Gibbes Museum and Art Gift Shop and Simply J Boutique on King Street.
Cook creates custom gifts and jewelry year-round for clients. Many commission her to create unique pieces for their homes. Having recently moved into a new home, she’s tried out her designs there to get a sense of how each piece works within a particular space.
“My new home was kind of my guinea pig,” she admits, laughing. “The problem is I get attached to the pieces and I don’t want to sell them.”
She finds that jewelry gives her a kind of practice before creating them into a larger scale pieces for the home.
“It’s nice [creating jewelry] because there’s not as much risk if I make a mistake,” she says.
Often her favorite jewelry stems from failed larger pieces. Customizing jewelry and artwork for clients is her specialty and creating one-of-a-kind pieces satisfies her clientele as well as her artistic vision.
“I once worked in wholesale and just made the same piece over and over. I will never do that again,” she says.
Cook works with designers and architects and most of her customers come from word-of-mouth and social media. Several local races have commissioned Cook to create keepsakes for the finishers, including She Tris and the Kiawah Marathon and triathlon.
“Creating race pieces kind of fell into place, but I enjoy it,” she says.
Angela Tick, Director of She Tris was thrilled with Cook’s designs.
“I love the colors and uniqueness Emily creates with each piece. Emily’s work was exactly what I wanted to represent our event.”
Cook recalls telling her elementary school teacher that she wanted to be an artist and feels as if she’s made that childhood dream a reality.
“I truly love what I do and I enjoy making others happy,” she says.