Design of the Month · August 2016

  • Sunflowers at the Farm

    "Sunflowers at the Farm"

    Stained glass will always be my go-to when I need down time and inspiration. As the years have passed, and my life has changed, so has the depth and intensity of my work. When I teach new students or guide other fledgling artists, I often think back to when I was new and had little confidence in myself.

    Recently when I was being interviewed at a spectacular artisan show, I had to smile when a customer complimented my newest piece, and asked me how I managed to get the effects so "realistic looking." It was then that I realized how much my life has changed, and how much of that change has come to me from working with glass.

    When I look at a photo, watch my grand-daughter playing, sit still and listen to nature, I am absorbing the things around me. Later, when I am alone in my studio, I take those sights, sounds, feelings, blend of colors, and all the sights I have experienced and begin to draw. Glass Eye 2000 allows me to move pieces around, change the shapes, select as many or as few pieces as I need, resize and create dimension. With the ability to choose the glass samples to color my images, my clients get to see a cartoon rendering of the piece they are purchasing, and often marvel at how much the rendering looks like the finished project. There is always a giggle when a client tells me they thought the rendering was, in fact, the finished project!

    My newest passion is to work with overlay glass, and to create artworks that invite viewing from many angles. "Sunflowers at the Farm" is one such example. It can be completed as any normal panel, by cutting the individual pieces and using the Tiffany method (copper foil), or it can be done using overlay.

    If you have not attempted to work in overlay, I'm always up for a conversation and will gladly guide you. For now, just have a look at the photo, imagine the depth of the scene … sky is way back there, a mountain in the distance, a barn in the middle of the field, and a sunflower hanging over your head. Choose your colors so they can lie one on top of the other to create flow in the sky … a white wisp behind the blue streaky will create clouds that don't actually break up the sky. All that is needed is to create the white piece so that it can be soldered to lead lines at the back; how much cloud depends on if you want to join one, two or three pieces together. You get the idea, just keep building the layers, overlapping one section of the scene and joining it to the other. In doing so, you also eliminate cutting those tiny pieces … like the sky between the sunflowers!

    ~ Kim Banks

    About the artist

    Kim Banks

    Kim Banks, of Ontario, Canada, has worked with stained glass for more than a dozen years. She began in a small spare bedroom, upgraded to a basement, and eventually into a brick and mortar storefront. She comes alive when challenged by clients and enjoys working with them to create custom orders. She welcomes repair work, in both traditional lead and Tiffany methods. Predominantly using social media, she has delivered many custom orders worldwide, with frequent repeat customers and referrals. She often donates completed pieces to her favorite charity, K9 Crusaders, to help fundraise for rescued animals. She is in the process of developing a program, with the support of a community outreach organization, to assist community members with disabilities and low income to learn confidence, patience and pride. Please visit her website and Facebook page, and you can even send her an email message.

    This pattern may be used to make one or more artworks for sale or personal enjoyment. This pattern may be printed for personal use only and may not be sold or given away in printed or electronic form.

Each month we feature a project designed using Glass Eye 2000. Do you have a project to share with the world? Contact Dragonfly Software and your creation might be our next Design of the Month.