Ernest Porcelli has been a stained-glass artist for more than 30 years, creating original designs and restoring historic pieces in homes, churches, businesses, and landmark buildings throughout the tri-state area. His line of unique, colorful fused-glass platters, plates, and bowls have been featured at the American Craft Museum, the Whitney Museum's Store Next Door, and Gumps in San Francisco, as well as other galleries across the country. He has also received distinguished attention in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Historic Preservation Magazine and Home Magazine, and his work has appeared in several major motion pictures, including Sabrina, Big and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Porcelli got his start in stained glass after returning from the Vietnam War, where he served in the U.S. Army as a combat photographer. He attended the School of Visual Arts and the New School and worked as a fashion photographer in Manhattan. He happened to take a stained-glass workshop and met acclaimed designer Jean Jacques DeValle, whose design of the Vatican Pavilion had been prominently featured at the 1963 World's Fair. Porcelli's enthusiasm for glass led him to a new career and, by 1974, he set up shop in Brooklyn.
Porcelli enjoys the astonishing fluidity and versatility of the medium. The enduring qualities of glass and the excitement of developing new techniques keep him hooked. "Eighty years from now my work will still be around," he says. "People will still be enjoying it."