What a beautiful door… solid oak and I do mean solid! It belongs to Rod St. Coeur, great guy and owner of Dominion Plumbing on the West Side of Saint John. More specifically, it belongs to Rod and his wife, Sandra. Afterall, the door is in her beautiful oak kitchen.
I first met Rod in my basement. He came to the rescue more than once because of old leaky pipes. On one visit, he noticed my work in the studio… and the rest is history (read: great project full of wonderful memories and life-long learning 😁). The collaboration with Rod and Sandra was terrific. We kept in touch via email, meeting in person when necessary, throughout the various stages of the project (door prep, subject matter, pattern creation, glass selection, construction, door return and installation).
The artistic challenge was in seeking balance of color and lines of focus in the design and in trying to make oak leaves look as though they’re swept in the wind. The technical challenges were; 1) trying to maintain both pattern line and glass texture flow to allow for gaps between the panels. 2) deep curve cutting and grinding. I broke a couple of pieces of the background glass by mistake but was able to get more thanks to Brenda Downey at Downey Stained Glass and Gifts. 3) Keeping everything numbered and orderly (15 similar panels = easy to get things mixed up).
Joy of joys, I learned to use a new tool 😁 … the Taurus ring saw! (thanks to Kim Killiam-Brown at Stained Glass Creations by Kim). It is a delicate and temperamental tool but so slick and fast. I estimate 1 hour of sawing saved me 6-8 hours of grinding.
Including pattern creation, this project took about 130 hours over 5 weeks. I was totally immersed in the artistic process and loved every minute of it. In the end, it turned out just as lovely as I had imagined and I was delighted to help Rod install the glass in his door 3 full days before Christmas.
Here is a photo gallery of the project journey.