The art of stained glass

"I came to love this ancient art form and began producing my own designs."

This stained glass door is functional art and entitled Sun Slide.

Interviewer: Hello, Debbie Enns. What a pleasure to talk with you on behalf of Art Palette. I am bowled over by the examples of your beautiful stained glass – the range of subjects, amazing colours, lovely designs – a very unique form of art.  How did you begin to work in this medium?

Debbie: My professional relationship with stained glass began in l990 while working with Fusion Glassworks in Kelowna, B.C.

During those years, I came to love this ancient art form and began producing my own designs. I have created several unique stained glass treatments for a variety of decorative situations and in the process, I have come to appreciate just how versatile a medium stained glass can be.

Interviewer: I see from your photographs that you can create all manner of shapes and sizes and produce traditional designs, as well as custom designs where people can see their own inspirations become form.

Debbie: Yes, stained glass can really enhance the places where we live, work and play. The pure colours of stained glass pouring into your favourite living space can transform and uplift your environment. The effect of sunlight throwing out masses of colour through, for example, a stained glass skylight, is an elegant use of the medium. A subtle mood can be created by a backlit panel.

Interviewer: I guess I have associated stained glass with churches and religious institutions.  Can you tell me something about the history of stained glass?

Debbie: Yes. The precise origins of stained glass are lost.  The form initially appeared as representations of Christ and biblical events in the l0th century, in France and Germany.  By the Middle Ages, stained glass was used prominently in the great cathedrals of Europe – in a time when artificial illumination was very limited, stained glass diffused, transformed and brought brightness to dark interiors.

By the Renaissance, stained glass had expanded from the dominion of churches to residences and public buildings. Then there was Louis Comfort Tiffany, who began producing marvellous Art Nouveau lamps for the New Age of Electricity. He created lamp shades of incredible intricacies with thin copper strips, rather than the traditional bulkier lead cane.

Interviewer: What do you use, Debbie?

Debbie: I use a wide range of coloured glass. Each piece is cut, ground, foiled and soldered on both sides. I also use brass, non-lead cane and silicone.

The different treatments allow me to create and build glass projects according to budget. Because of its colour and beauty, stained glass is arguably one of the most expressive architectural materials.  It shapes the light and mood.

Interviewer: Debbie, these are beautiful pieces you create. Thank you so much for this.  Your lovely designs are amazing. I wish we could show more of them. If people wanted to contact you for more information, how would they reach you?

Debbie: Well, actually I am planning several workshops here in Grand Forks in the fall – beginner, intermediate and advanced.  For more information I can be reached at 250-442-5828.

Just Posted

BM&TS show ‘a tale as old as time’

The theatre group produced Beauty and the Beast.

Video: MP hears pot, pipeline and politics concerns

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP hosts town hall forum in Penticton

Needles killer frightened many in our town: BC author

Roy Bugera disrupted life in a quiet Vancouver Island village before moving to Arrow Lakes

RCMP investigate stabbing incident

Injuries were non-life threatening, RCMP report

Health Minister says coming changes will make difference in rural communities.

“As a government, Premier Horgan is committed to improving the ambulance service.”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Most Read