Award winning juried art show piece in stained glass by Joanne Green
by Jamie Geddes
Joanne Green began her art career three decades ago after taking a stained glass course right after she graduated college.
She had difficulty finding work in her chosen profession upon graduation and decided to create a job from a simple stained art course that captured her attention and passion.
“With my type ‘A’ personality I found a way to turn my passion for stained glass into a job and later a career, Green said, “Within six months of taking my initial course, I was asked to teach stained glass courses for Adult Learning in St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara-on-the- Lake.”
“I did craft shows in Toronto and Edmonton and later across Canada,” Green continued, “I then had an opportunity to sell to wholesalers. It gave me an exposure I had not expected.”
Her stained glass passion became a business that later challenged her to enter juried art shows across Canada which defined her as an award winning artist.
One of her favourite pieces entitled “Snowy Owl in Winter” has won three awards alone in Lloydminster’s Arts Without Borders Fine Arts and Fine Crafts Juried Show including 1st place in Juried Show 3D/Stained Glass classification.
She makes stained glass: panels, lamps, night lights, sun catchers and sculpture in various art styles.
She fires her stained glass work in a kiln and does her own slump and fused work.
Slumping heats the glass and allows it to fall into a form using a pattern or mold while fusing allows similar calibre glass to be heated and fused together creating a unique piece that will be cut, shaved and set into its formation.
She also makes her own glass beads for her one-of-a-kind beaded, wired and gemstone jewelry.
The glass beads are made from the scraps of other art pieces and fused with a torch over a steel rod.
“When working with the stained glass,” Green explained, “I prefer the Tiffany method to finish the art piece. I also found an eclectic style range has served me well. Some artists specialize in one style like: Victorian, art nouveau, abstract or nature while I strive to do a broad range of styles. Fads and a customer’s styles change, so flexibility for me is the key.”
While Green handles all things glass; her husband, Bill Green works with diamond willow wood creating his works of art.
He has been working with wood since his early childhood years.
His woodworking went from hobby to a means to put food on the table after he was in an accident that left him unable to carry on in his career.
It is his years of dedication and work with the wood that has drawn out the artist in him.
Bill Green makes: cribbage boards and pegs, walking staffs and canes, lamp stands, tic tac toe and euchre score boards.
His cribbage boards and pegs, walking staffs and unique flat handle canes are in 30 countries around the world.
Bill Green begins his projects seated at his bodgers bench with a variety of wood working tools.
The branch is secured in the press on the bench and bark is planed off the branch.
A mallet and a chisel are used to remove any unsightly bumps and then a small hand held lathe smooths out the surface.
It is then ready to be carved to bring out the grain in the wood and accentuate all of its diverse color.
The piece is sanded lightly, oiled and then given a coat of Briwax and polished up before it is sold or used.
Diamond willow is not a particular type of willow but rather one of six or seven species of willow that is susceptible to a certain type of fungus that infects the tree and produces a diamond shape canker in the wood.
The most common specie affected by the fungus is Salix Bebbiana known as Bebb’s willow.
The fungus scars the wood creating patterns and shapes in the wood that become visible once the bark is peeled away.
The fungus is also believed to alter the tannin in the wood thereby sustaining pale color sapwood and a darker color heartwood creating a two toned effect.
Many wood working artists seem to enjoy this wood as their chosen medium but some disagree on whether to obtain the wood from deadfall or from the attached tree.
“We don’t cut any live trees,” said Bill Green, “We use deadfall. Some of the wood has been taken from pastures and the wood can be over 100 years old. I get permission to take the wood and I always favour the landowner with a gift made from the wood from their property.”