Friends of ours from Quispamsis, Reid and Cheryl Middleton, have a beautiful home on a hill overlooking the Kennebecasis River. The double doors leading out onto their back deck are crowned with a 6-foot transom window that called for something artistic.

The Middletons contacted me in late winter to discuss the possibilities. With no firm ideas in mind, they gave me the creative license to produce several concept drawings for their consideration. I enjoyed the artistic freedom immensely. In the end, they chose my very first design, titled “River”. Rather appropriate, given their spectacular view. The Kennebecasis here is wide and gentle but always dynamic with a tidal rhythm caused by the Bay of Fundy.

Influenced by the stained glass work of early 1900s American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, the design incorporates narrow strips of glass to represent flowing water, high and low peaks representing the tide, clusters of beveled triangles representing the turbulence of mid-tide and large areas of clear textured glass representing the slow-moving vastness of the river.

Cheryl was engaged in selecting the colors. We visited Stained Glass Creations by Kim in Saint John and chose a brown-red streaky opalescent plus a blue-grey wispy both from Spectrum Glass. No longer available, these selections were old stock at the glass store and we were lucky to find them. Beautiful veins of color. Finally, a Wismach clear ripple for all the clear parts. Lovely glass… it really looks like water and sparkles in the afternoon sun just like the river.

The artistic challenge was whether to place the narrow strips of clear and color randomly or symmetrically. I went with symmetry but threw in a few replacement colors of green, yellow and purple just for that random shot of nature. The technical challenge was in cutting long narrow strips of glass and overall in maintaining straight and parallel edges. I also learned (the hard way 😭) a valuable lesson in handling and cutting large sheets of glass. (Thanks Kim for ordering more)

Monica went with me on installation day for moral support and to take photos. Reid was a trooper to help with the installation, a job I could not have done alone, and ended up doing most of the sealing work himself. Thanks Reid! In the end, it turned out great. It really catches the eye on entering the front door and draws attention to the view of the river out the back.