Joanne Glass stands beside some of her stained glass panels

Joanne Glass stands beside some of her stained glass panels

Exhibit turns Donalda Art Gallery into sparkling wonderland

Light from the windows and overhead fixtures turned the Donalda Gallery into a sparkling wonderland of artistry on June 24...

Light from the windows and overhead fixtures turned the Donalda Gallery into a sparkling wonderland of artistry on Friday, June 24, as the newest exhibit got underway with its opening reception.

Joanne and Bill Green, who work out of their studio in Forestburg, had a wide array of stained glass and woodwork on display, with some pieces combining the two artistries.

From stained glass panels depicting fantastical mermaids and glorious peacocks, to gleaming cribbage and euchre boards lovingly created from unique pieces of dead fall, there was something to catch everyone’s eye.

While the debut of the exhibit drew in a small crowd, it runs until July 17 and the Greens hope more people will come in to look at the wide variety of glass and woodwork. Almost all pieces are available for purchase, from the smallest nightlight and lamp to the largest lighted-panels.

Joanne Green has been working with glass since, as a college graduate, she took a stained glass class. She fell in love with it, and said that she “turned it into a business and have been at it since.”

For the past three decades, she’s been turning out pieces of stained glass art work, sometimes working on commission and other times letting the glass tell her what to do. In addition to her work, exhibits and showings, she also teaches the craft to others who are curious — some going on to pursue it with similar passion, others as hobbies.

Her husband, Bill, also teaches, primarily in working with Diamond Willow. Diamond Willows are actually Bebe Willows that have been infected by a fungus from the cottonwood tree. The fungus, as it kills the willow, scars the wood in a diamond pattern.

“We only work from dead fall,” Joanne Green said. “We don’t cut down live trees. Some of the wood we use has been in pastures for decades, and it’s the most beautiful under that yucky black bark.”

In the past five years or so, Joanne Green has also branched out into making jewelry, as she wanted something new to do with glass. She makes her earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other pieces out of glass, stone, and other semi-precious stones. No two pieces are alike, she said.

“I put a bunch of beads on my desk and go, ‘So, what do you want to be?'” she said. “There’s no two pieces alike.”