Saturday, 10 November 2018

Highlight of my Career

All Saints', Huntsville Ontario

The past year has been a combination of returning to my roots and venturing into new territory.
My relationship with glass began as a hobby in the 1970’s, but quickly became a passion that has lasted almost 40 years.  I built over 100 stained glass windows for clients, primarily in Toronto, but after I started fusing glass, my stained glass projects became fewer.  Then in Autumn 2017, I was given the opportunity to design and build 2 memorial windows for a new addition to All Saints’ Anglican Church, Huntsville.

19th century Eucharist window
I regarded my first ecclesiastic commission to be both an honour and a great responsibility.  My job was to create windows for Huntsville’s oldest church, a beautiful stone building in the heart of town and an important part of Huntsville’s cultural heritage.  
I would be making a 21st century contribution to a church that was built in the 19th century and contained windows from the 19th and 20th centuries.  I saw the task as multifaceted: the windows should be rooted in scripture, integrate Christian symbolism, sit in harmony with 2 existing windows in the same space, honour the families sponsoring the windows, and carry a message of, and for, our time.  Every element of the designs must be there for a reason.  All this in addition to practical considerations of light and orientation, which are always present when designing glass.

It was a complex creative and spiritual challenge that lasted several months.  Once designed, I took my time with the physical process of building the windows.  I enjoyed the focused process of decision making, cutting, leading, soldering and finishing the windows, using those centuries-old processes learned decades earlier.  It felt like this was what I had been preparing for four decades.
As glass is cut, it is "waxed up" on a glass easel to see the colours in natural light.

Strips of channeled lead are cut and fitted to hold glass
The rainbows were made from fused glass

Lead joints are soldered and putty forced into the gaps
On All Saints’ Day, Sunday November 4, 2018, the windows were finally blessed and dedicated in a special ceremony.  I am humbled by the appreciation of the sponsoring families, rector, congregation, and of my family and friends.  I am especially grateful for having experienced God’s grace, working through me.
Me, Ven. Dawn Henderson, Peggy Hern and Brian Hern

Let Your Light Shine, in memory of the Hern family

He is the Vine, in memory of the Nickalls family