Long-time friend, Carla Carney, commissioned a lamp to showcase her favorite flowers and insects, each one representing a connection to important people and places from the past; Carla’s parents, husband Rod’s parents, Carla’s sister and dear childhood friends; all memories of growing up in Minto, NB, near beautiful Grand Lake.
Carla and I collaborated on the pattern to include these ten elements;
Designed as an 18″ diameter floor lamp, the approved pattern covers one half of the styrofoam mold and is repeated on the backside. In total there are 1300 pieces of glass making this the most complex pattern attempted to date and, consequently, the most anticipated challenge. I engaged Carla early on in selecting the colors. I could sense the emotion as she recalled scenes from the past and relived special moments in time. What a wonderful collaboration, so meaningful and motivating for me as the artist.
Once I started cutting glass, the work was mesmeric. The main technical challenge was managing all those little pieces of glass held in place with a thousand straight pins. The artistic challenge was trying to select a unique glass for each flower and its leaves while maintaining color harmony. Even though the pattern is repeated, there are color variations from one side to the other. Some are at Carla’s request and some are purely for artistic license.
The hours turned into days and the days into weeks. Although my studio is in the basement, these flowers conveyed me outdoors to shady woods, sunny fields and cool lake breezes. I did go outside occasionally to do yard chores but would hurry through them so I could get back to my studio, lured by the sparkle of glass and the urgency of unfinished work.
Finally, after much patience on Carla’s part, it was finished. Monica and I delivered it in mid-September and enjoyed a wonderful evening reminiscing with the Carney’s. As Carla went around the lamp, she channelled the spirit of each flower and insect … she didn’t (couldn’t) hold back her tears.
What a fascinating project! I learned some new things about working with large complex patterns and I’m grateful for the experience. What a fascinating lamp! Each little turn of the shade totally changes the view and color scheme. It certainly has a “what’s next” quality even though no matter where the shade is resting, all ten elements are within sight. I could stare at it for hours and let my mind drift out across the lake… I imagine Carla doing the same.
It am very pleased to present the Heirloom Blooms Lamp. Here are some “spin-the-shade” shots.