Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pieces That Touch The Heart

When asked to design a stained glass window for someone, it’s usually to fit the d├ęcor of their home, but recently I’ve been asked by two people to design pieces that mean something and will touch the heart.

The first request was by a lady who saw my new logo piece, Those In Glass Houses… and wrote to see if it was for sale. When I wrote her to tell her that it was not, she then wrote me again and told me why the piece was so important to her. Shirl has had a lot of struggles in her life, ones that to a weaker person would make them crumble. But not Shirl, she has persevered. She looks at her life like the stained glass window, a glass house that no stone can break. A glass house that still stands and is proof that she can move into the future knowing that she can survive anything.

When designing her version of the window, I asked if she wanted all clear glass instead of the few pieces of color glass that was in mine. She told me that she wanted it just as I had designed the original piece, with the blue, red, and golden yellow glass. She told me that they also gave the piece meaning to her. The red block of glass signifying Fire which is life (as she learned watching, Survivor), the blue block of glass signifying Water that keeps us hydrated, and the golden yellow glass signifying the light along her path. And adding the golden yellow full moon instead of a geode slice also gives that much more light to lead her along her life path.

When I heard her story and her thoughts on the piece, I felt it only right to allow her to name her piece. She was elated. It took her some time and a lot of thought. She wanted a name that would represent the struggles in life that she has had. To accept them, not let her forget them, and instead use them to move on and allow happiness into her life. She decided on Perseverance. The perfect name for her stained glass window.

Her story and how this piece would help her move on, truly touched my heart. How often can an artist's work mean so much to someone? If I could only did this once with my art, I would be satisfied. But I was lucky enough to have this happen twice and within a week of one another.

I received an email from Pat, a friend of mine from high school. Her mother’s 77th birthday is coming up and she wanted to give her a special gift. One that would give here a good feeling each time she saw it. She thought that a sun-catcher that could hang in her mom’s kitchen would be perfect. When I asked her my usual questions to come up with a design (subject, style, color, etc.) she told me her idea of wanting a full moon near mountains and the beach.

You see, Pat’s brother passed away a few years ago. The night he died there was a full moon. Now, every time her mother sees the full moon, she says, “There’s Bobby.” Pat told me that her mother loves the mountains and that her brother loved the beach. She asked if I could come up with a design that incorporated all of that. An 8” diameter, suncatcher with a huge full moon, sand dunes, water, and mountains in the distance was the first design I came up with. Pat said it was perfect and now I can’t wait to hear how her mom likes the piece. I hope it touches her heart as much as doing it did mine.

I hope that in the future I'm given the opportunity again to create a piece of stained glass art that will mean so much to someone. To know that my work has touched someone's heart is the best feeling there is.