RIVER JOHN – For more than 40 years, Brian Morris has had a love of stained glass.
It began when he was unemployed and bored. Morris had been to the unemployment office and saw an advertisement of someone looking to hire an assembly worker for window making.
“I have a very strong engineering and architecture background, so it was like I found my dream job,” said Morris, who moved to River John and will have his work displayed during River John Days in July. He will also be featured in a four-artist show Aug. 3-4 at Jost Vineyards.
When he first got into the business, Morris says he had never cut glass in his life.
“I still laugh at it sometimes. I jumped in the deep end of the pool and away I went. I was just fascinated with the art form and pushing my limits.”
Morris has done everything over the years, from church windows to a Chinese dragon. All the work he does these days, however, is windows, with no retirement in sight.
“There is no retirement for artists,” he laughed. “We can’t shut our mind down.”
Morris also dabbles in photography, which he will often use when creating his stained glass pieces.
Needing a change, Morris moved to the River John area about five years ago. He’s working on a new style of glasswork, but isn’t ready to share too much information.
“I’ve more than 30 years invested in them,” he said, not revealing anything more.
From the beginning to the end of the process, Morris says everything is important to him, even including choosing the glass.
Once glass is chosen (after a pattern is chosen or designed), colour is next.
“Getting the right balance is a pretty lengthy process,” he said, adding the Chinese dragon he created was an entire day of choosing enough with the right shading and colour balances.
Each piece is then cut, “paying particular attention to detail, as every piece is different.”
“And then I use lead of varying thickness to put it all together,” he said.
During River John Days, July 20-27, Morris will be set up in the Lions Club building beside the park, with photographs, wood, and glass pieces on display, such as an old lampshade.
At Jost Vineyards, Morris will join Sara Bonnyman (Tatamagouche potter), Sean Kerrigan (Cape Breton glass blower), and Alexa Jaffurs (blacksmith from Middleton). All four artists will be collaborating with one another to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
“It’s a unique thing to see at that kind of a show,” said Morris.
For more information on Morris and his work, follow West Wind Studios on Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.