Former work aquaintance from St. Andrews, Terralynn Lander commissioned a lamp as a Christmas gift for her mother. Originally from Newfoundland, Terralynn wanted to capture some iconic landscape scenes from both coasts in addition to certain birds and flowers that symbolize her family. She sent me several photos from which I developed the pattern into a continuous scene that wraps around the shade. These are the incorporated elements:
- Forget me nots
- Pitcher plant
- Western Brook Pond
- Fox Island (Champney’s West)
- Bennett’s Point (Champney’s West)
What fascinated me about this project was the online research from an artist’s perspective of places that I have been before as a tourist, like Western Brook Pond on the west side of Nfld., as well as places I have not been like Champney’s West on the east coast.
What did I learn? … they fondly call Newfoundland “The Rock” for very good reason! I would need to find some dramatic and moody “rock” glass for this project.
In total, there are 842 pieces of glass in the pattern. I knew it would be a lengthy project in the studio and starting it just six weeks before Christmas motivated me to not waste any time. Pattern work alone took a week (a wonderful week) and then I pulled out all the stops as I started cutting glass. Scratch…snap! (a satisfying sound).
Progress was steady but this kind of work is typically slow. Ever conscious of the Christmas deadline, I put in some longer days in the studio to stay on target. Terralynn, a research biologist, knows too well the push behind meeting deadlines. In those wee hours, my mind flipped through favorite memories of Newfoundland (Monica and I have been there a couple of times), like getting my hair cut in St. Anthony. The barber and his side bench of local men were very friendly and chatty with me. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. 😀
I worked steadily for five weeks (a wonderful five weeks). Very fulfilling artistically, I especially enjoyed selecting different colors for each of the thirteen pansies. I found it just as challenging technically… I spent lots of time crawling around the studio floor looking for little pieces of dropped glass. 😑 The final soldering marathon took 20 hours (over 2 days), and then it was finished with a few days to spare before Christmas. 😁signed on the backside of Old Man’s Pond
I had the pleasure of meeting Terralynn and her mother, Linda, at the house of mutual St. Andrews friends, Carla and Rod Carney (owners of Rock & Roll Lamp and Heirloom Blooms Lamp). Carla and Terralynn staged a surprise viewing for Linda as a pre-Christmas gift presentation. Well, let me just say, the glass shone brightly and a good old fashioned kitchen party was enjoyed by all.
What a special and thoughtful gift for Terralynn to give her mother. May it bring them both great joy for many many years. Such a unique lamp, so very personal and yet SO provincially patriotic for anyone from Newfoundland. It makes me want to visit again… next time to the east coast!
Here are some photos of the various elements in Spotlight on Newfoundland