One of the perks of my job working with stained glass is that I am asked to make new and different artworks by customers. One such request was for a garden artwork to fit on a narrow upright of a pergola.
Art in the garden
The customers had recently had their brand new garden landscaped, with the pergola as the main feature in the garden. They had opted for artificial grass as more easily manageable, but this meant that the foot of one of the uprights sat next to the artificial grass, so real climbing plants could not be planted and the bare wood looked a little stark. So they asked me to design a floral artwork in stained glass that would be a focal point year-round.
The challenge was to design something that would fit on the 8cm-wide post that would also be hardy enough to withstand winter wind and rain.
After some consideration, I decided that a series of small squares, set at angles, would make an attractive and practical base for the floral design. I drew up an idea of the design, which was duly approved, and set to work.
The customers wanted a dark blue glass for the squares and a mid-blue glass for the flowers. Each piece of glass was carefully hand-cut, with the flowers cut freestyle to give a sense of realism and movement in the petals and leaves. Every part was wrapped in copper foil so that it could be soldered together later.
Strong and beautiful
To provide the strength needed, steel strips were added between each square and top to bottom on the reverse. This gave a rigid structure on which to ‘grow’ the 3D glass flowers.
Small wire stamens were carefully added to each flower, giving more realism and interest to the design. Green leaves of glass provided contrast and movement, being supported on bendable wires.
Both I and the customers were delighted with the resulting unique garden sculpture. It has pride of place on the pergola and will provide a focal point throughout the year. Plus it doesn’t need watering!
Read about some other unusual stained glass art commissions here.