“CANADA 150” grew out of three ideas coming together in 2017: first, a call for entries for an art show, second, as Canada’s 150 anniversary was coming up, doing a stained-glass map of Canada seemed like a good idea to me, and, third, I saw and liked the way mosaics made of hundreds of pieces of glass sparkled.
My mosaic didn’t qualify for the glass show—it had to be transparent! To get the effect of different shades of red glass, I asked glass-art friends to donate bits of red glass. Fernie artists as well as friends from Victoria to St. John’s, Dawson City and more who mailed me envelopes of lovely glass were generous. Now it was even more Canadian: it was a collaborative project!
While I drew the Canadian map, ideas evolved: I began by setting glass bits that were donated into locations from which they came: a red dot for Dawson City, a red bit for St. John's and another for southern Vancouver Island. A friend sent a beautiful melted-glass, red heart which went on the geographic centre of Canada. The fun was just beginning. Putting glass across the North, I made tiny inukshuks: if you search you’ll see three of them of four or five bits each: one in the Yukon and one on each side of Hudson Bay. The oceans and the U.S. bordering Canada was dealt with by going all blue; but I didn’t like solid blue. I thought of members of my immediate family who live in the U.S so liberally sprinkled red through the blue to represent Canadians who live around the world who will celebrate the sesquicentennial on July 1, 2017.
The mosaic is still for sale. Proceeds will be donated to the B.C. Children's Hospital.
I had a great time producing this stained-glass mosaic and thankful to those who shared glass and for all the encouragement along the way.