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Emily Cook fuses her love of the beach and the art of glassmaking to crystallize a sense of place

Emily Cook fuses her love of the beach and the art of glassmaking to crystallize a sense of place
April 2021

You can shop her website by the beach where the sand was collected

Artist Emily Cook creates housewares and jewelry, including bottle openers and necklaces, with glass accents in her Mount Pleasant studio. 

With the Lowcountry as her palette and glass as her canvas, artist Emily L. U. Cook creates artwork distinct in design and technique with a connection to the coastal shores outside her home studio in Mount Pleasant. Incorporating sand from local beaches into her work, Cook locks a specific piece of place and time into her creations, which include jewelry, fine art, home décor, and custom pieces ranging from large-scale cabinet inserts to glass tiles and backsplashes.

The entrepreneur formed eluCook Designs in 2004 to share her kiln-fused glass art through custom orders, wholesale vendors, and occasional arts and crafts festivals. Developing her business while working part time in galleries and design studios, the mom of two launched her website in 2010 and introduced e-commerce six years later.

(Left) A necklace created by Emily Cook; (Right) A barn door with fused glass panels was crafted by Timber Artisans.

While her love for art started during childhood, her passion narrowed to glass when she took a year off from college to apprentice for a glass studio in her hometown of Frederick, Maryland. “In that year, I fell in love with a material that’s both artistic and technical, appealing to both sides of my brain,” reflects Cook. “It didn’t hurt, either, that glass requires the use of some interesting and unique equipment; I’ve never shied away from a good power tool.”

“I fell in love with a material that’s both artistic and technical, appealing to both sides of my brain.” —Emily Cook

Each piece is crafted in fused glass using a kiln, undergoing multiple firings reaching up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, with “cold working,” such as sandblasting and grinding, between rounds. “I work with a medium that can sometimes be temperamental, and painful, if handled the wrong way,” explains the artisan. “I always have plenty of Band-Aids nearby in the studio.”

Custom projects and collaborations with other designers constitute a large part of Cook’s business, with past orders including bar backsplashes, wall art for housewarming gifts, jewelry for bridal parties, and a barn door with fused glass panels set in reclaimed wood from Encore Architectural Salvage Company.

By fusing her love of the beach with the art of glassmaking, Mount Pleasant entrepreneur Emily Cook creates one-of-a-kind housewares and accessories that crystallize a connection to the Lowcountry coast.

In the past year, the artist has introduced three new earring collections, including her “Wood+Glass” line, and is developing a line of custom jewelry for weddings. Thanks to loyal customers and an established online sales platform, Cook has been able to maneuver the challenges presented by the pandemic. “With an at-home studio, a spouse with a flexible work schedule, a lot of juggling, and night-owl tendencies, it’s been challenging but manageable,” she notes.

And Cook says she has a new appreciation for working with glass. “The ability to take raw materials and make something new and beautiful is something I’ll never take for granted.”

With Purpose

  • A portion of all sales by eluCook Designs go toward the Surf Rider Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving the world’s oceans and beaches. 
  • EluCook Designs can be found in local stores, including Sandpiper Gallery and Lowcountry Whimsy. 
  • On her website,, customers can shop by the beach where the sand was collected.