I used to claim myself as a Yankee from New York. But this year marks a turning point. I have now lived here in Texas longer than I lived in New York. So I guess I am officially a Texan! Even my friends in New York say I sound like a southerner now.
Well, you would think having lived in Texas for 25 years that I would have created a stained glass bluebonnet panel by now. I’ve only ever done one bluebonnet. It was in a custom transom panel that had four flowers – one representing each state the client lived in. The flowers in that panel were more interpretations of the flowers not totally realistic. I have never done a panel with a bluebonnet as the focus. I can’t say that I have an established “style” but I can say that I lean more towards abstract or geometric designs. But over the years, I have had several people ask me if I have any bluebonnet stained glass pieces. Recently I got another call asking so I finally decided to do one.
This last call was from someone who was looking for a smaller piece about 11 inches by 16 inches. That doesn’t sound small until you start drawing all those little bluebonnet petals. I looked at hundreds of bluebonnet photos on the internet before I began designing my pattern. It took me several days to refine the design to something that could be reasonably constructed in the lead came method and still look realistic.
I chose to do the piece in lead came, partly because I like working with lead came and partly because of the strong traditional look it gives a piece. The design had 52 pieces in it. Some of those were small, and many were round in shape. This definitely would have been easier to construct in copper foil, and about half way through constructing this piece, I was wishing I had used the copper foil method. It was at this point that I actually had to take it all apart and start assembling from the beginning. Using the came method of stained glass construction requires careful attention to cutting the came especially with small pieces. If cuts are off just a little or if the came isn’t formed properly around the glass, the problems grow and the glass pieces won’t fit right. The second time around things went much smoother. After it was soldered, puttied, and cleaned I hung it in a window to admire it. It turned out even better than I had anticipated.
I am happy to report that this bluebonnet panel is on its way to a new home in Denmark. It will be a thank you gift to a family that provided lodging to some Texans that were stranded when the Icelandic volcano erupted. I love knowing where my pieces go especially when there is a great story that goes with it.
It may be a while before I do another bluebonnet. Hmm… but I do kind of miss it hanging in my window.
If you are interested in purchasing the pattern you can find it in my Etsy shop here: Bluebonnet Patterns.