This is my Large Bee Garden Sculpture, made with a live edge piece of White Cedar timber. It is mounted on a polished concrete base measuring 19″ x 12″ and stands 44″ high by 22″ wide. It is currently available priced at €600.
The story behind the design
After having the idea of a garden sculpture featuring a Bee I developed a couple of patterns. The first one was with a bee surrounded by a honeycomb pattern which was my personal preference.
To do this my panel size would have to be 18″ diameter. My live edge piece of White Cedar though was only wide enough to frame a 16.5″ diameter panel so I had to rethink the design. I settled on enlarging the central bee element and losing the honeycomb surround.
Large Bee Pattern
So this is the design I settled on for my garden sculpture, and I have to say it worked out very well using lead came. After I completed this project I decided to make the honeycomb pattern as well. This time I used the copper foil method to construct the panel and edged it in 2 mm “U” came. Here is a photo of the completed panel below.
These two patterns are now available for purchase in the patterns store as PDF downloads. Both designs are included in the price.
This is my Peace Rainbow Suncatcher 206mm diameter and made using lead came. I had an idea of producing some leaded suncatchers for display in the garden. I wanted to use plenty of color, hence the rainbow and use a bevel of some sort in the centre to radiate the light.
Suncatcher with a small star bevel
My initial idea was for a round bevel which I was unable to source due to the covid situation. I did manage to get some star bevels though and in two sizes so I decided to proceed with my idea. This is my first attempt, using the small bevel in the centre.
I was quite pleased with the outcome as these can be quite tricky to make using lead came. I then had the idea of using the International Peace Symbol in the centre. This was due to war breaking out in The Ukraine, something which we all never wanted to see. Apart from Mr Putin of course, one man? somehow I just don’t get it so here is my message to him. P is for Peace Mr Putin.
Suncatcher with large star bevel
To incorporate the peace symbol I had to enlarge the centre circle, which improved the design. I then had the idea of using the large star bevel in the centre which fitted the larger space exactly. So I now have my finished design using the large star bevel surrounded by the colors of the rainbow. If you are a stained glass artist and would like to make the Peace Rainbow Suncatcher you can download the PDF pattern here for free.
Saint Brigid’s Cross is as much a symbol of Ireland as the Shamrock and the Harp. Celebrated every year on the 1st of February St Brigid’s Day is a major event in the Irish calendar. Over the years the cross has become a prominent feature of Irish art, design and culture. Born in Dundalk in 450AD St Brigid was the founder of the first monastery in County Kildare, Ireland. She died in 525AD aged 75 and was buried within the church she created. Her remains were exhumed years later and brought to Downpatrick to rest alongside Saints Patrick and Columcille. In the year 2023 Saint Brigid’s Day is set to become a national holiday in Ireland.
This is my own design of the cross, surrounded by Snowdrops to welcome the arrival of Spring. The panel is 17 inches in diameter, made using the copper foil method and edged in lead came.
A brief history
The presence of Brigid’s cross in Ireland is likely far older than Christianity. The Celtic Goddess Brigid was one of the Tuatha Dé Danann and her day was the feast of Imbolc. Imbolc is an ancient Celtic festival now also known as St Brigid’s Day, marking the beginning of spring. This was celebrated at the start of February, halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox.
There are many stories and legends surrounding the creation of the cross. The cross made of rushes today is very likely the descendant of the pagan sunwheel. This symbol invoked the great cosmic powers to bless the Earth with fertility, life, prosperity, and peace. The cross divides the circle into four parts, which represent the solar calendar. These symbolize the four annual seasons which have a very significant influence on the agricultural cycles.
Saint Brigid’s Crosses are made and displayed across Ireland today to ward off evil, fire and hunger.
This is my Tranquility Garden Sculpture which I created from a single piece of live edge Ash timber. Each of these timber pieces is a unique shape which from a creative point of view is perfect for stained glass.
Preparation and Inspiration
I had this standing upright in the corner of my studio for a few weeks before I started work on it. My initial idea was for four round panels with some sort of runic pattern in each one. After I had cleaned up and shaped my piece of timber I started to think more about which colours to use. The Reiki or chakra colours work very well in these sculptures so I chose to base my design on these. Starting at the base I drew four circles reducing each one until they fitted my piece of timber. This worked out quite well so I now had my timber shaped and finished and my cut-outs marked up. All I had to do now was come up with a design.
I wanted to use two colours for each circle so had to keep my designs simple. The only problem I had was seven colours and four circles so I needed to use another colour. I solved this by placing the lotus flower at the base in white glass using dark purple for the background. Next, I came up with a basic three petal Celtic spiral using indigo and blue. The yin and yang symbol followed, some intricate glass cutting here and finally the triangle in a circle. The three points that make up this symbol represent the” Arcane” the “Devine” and the “magical”.
These sculptures can be customised and made to order, prices range from €400 to €1200 plus any shipping costs. This particular piece sold within hours of completion.
This May Bush garden sculpture is a commission piece. Made for presentation to a retiring teacher in a local school who kept the tradition alive during his tenure.
A little about the piece
The upper section consists of a large piece of live edge ash timber, sourced from a local sawmill in New Ross. This acts as a frame for the five leaded stained glass panels and sits on a polished concrete base. It stands 1.6 metres high (5′ 3″) and 500 mm (20″) wide, with the base measuring 300 mm x 495 mm (12″ x 19″). The base has a 15 mm hole in each corner enabling the structure to be fixed into the ground. These garden sculptures are unique one-off pieces and are available to order, prices range between €400 to €1200.
The May Bush Custom
The custom of decorating a bush for May Day in Ireland goes right back to Pagan times. One of the many rituals celebrating fertility, rebirth and the start of summer taking place on ” Beltane“. This was the Celtic festival of fire held on 1st May between the Spring equinox and Summer solstice.
It is still widespread in County Wexford where it even has its own Facebook page. On May Day morning the children would get a small Hawthorn bush in blossom. Upon this, they would tie ribbons, tinsel and coloured paper. Old Christmas decorations and even painted eggshells from Easter.
They would then parade the festooned bush around the village, collecting pennies on the way. In the end, they would burn the bush and spend their pennies.
Cherry Blossom Transom pattern 33.5 x 18 inches. This size would fit above a doorway and could also hang at the top of a window frame. Instructions for adjusting the pattern size before printing are supplied in the PDF download. Custom sizes are available on request.
It’s April and everywhere across the northern hemisphere, Cherry Blossom trees are blooming. Here in Ireland Herbert Park in Dublin has the largest number of trees in the capital. They are also visible in St Stephens Green, Trinity College and the Botanic Gardens. The country most famous for these beautiful trees would have to be Japan. Here every spring “Hanami” is celebrated with outdoor festivals, picnics and parties. These take place during both day and night time under the blooming trees. This tradition dates back as far as the 8th century and is very much the highlight of the Japanese calendar.
Stained Glass PDF Pattern Information
Downloadable PDF pattern prints actual size 33.5 inches x 18 inches, ( 853 mm x 458 mm ) across nine pages. Instructions are included for enlarging the pattern to your required size when printing. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print this pattern.
This is my Queen Bee PDF Pattern. Bees are a fascinating subject so I am going to share a few facts I discovered whilst researching them with you.
Although there are 98 different species of bees in Ireland there is only one native honey bee. It is a subspecies called Apis mellifera mellifera or the Northern dark bee. There are three rare bumblebees in Ireland all threatened with extinction. The Great yellow bumblebee, the Shrill carder bee and the Red-shanked carder bee. Bumblebees would have between 50-200 workers in a nest whereas in honey bee hives it would be 50,000. In Spring a queen Bumblebee would visit up to 6,000 flowers a day to generate the heat and energy to hatch her first eggs. Bees can see primary colors blue, green and ultraviolet. They can identify orange, yellow, blue/green violet and purple but they can’t see red. To bees, the ultraviolet radiation patterns on flowers are as important as the colors. One last thing only female bees can sting. Click the link to view more Stained Glass Patterns
Stained glass PDF Pattern Information
Downloadable PDF pattern prints actual size 15 3/4 inches x 15 3/4 inches, ( 400 mm x 400 mm ) across six pages. Instructions are included for enlarging the pattern to your required size when printing. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print this pattern.
Saint Patrick’s Day will soon be upon us once again. Last year, marked the beginning of the pandemic and the cancellation of all the parades. While there will be some virtual celebrations this year we can still only hold out hope for the future. So to try and mark the day this year I have designed this Triquetra Claddagh Pattern. The hands of friendship are holding the heart, which shows love to form the central part of the design. The crown for loyalty sits above the heart and a circle intertwined with shamrock and Triquetra knots frames the picture. Click the link to view more Stained Glass Patterns
Claddagh A Brief History
The Claddagh is one of Ireland’s most recognized international symbols. Originating from the small County Galway fishing village of the same name in Ireland. Countless myths and legends surrounding the origins of the first ring dating as far back as 1700. Credit for the design generally goes to Richard Joyce, a local silversmith. Sometimes used for friendship, “Claddagh” rings are more popular as engagement and wedding rings. Generally, these are the modern meanings of how to wear the ring.
Right-handed with the point of the heart toward the fingertips shows the wearer is “single”. If the heart is pointing to the wrist of the right-hand the meaning is “in a relationship”.
Left-handed with the point of the heart toward the fingertips shows the wearer to be “engaged”. If the heart is pointing to the wrist of the left hand the meaning is “marriage”.
Stained glass Pattern Information
A 540 mm ( approx 21.25 inches) square pattern with a circular option and border pieces if required. Downloadable PDF pattern prints actual size 21.25 inches x 21.25 inches, ( 540 mm x 540 mm ) across six pages. Instructions supplied for enlarging the pattern to your required size when printing. You will need “Adobe Acrobat Reader” to print this pattern.
Finishing up this Slade Poppies panel now after adding more blooms on both sides the picture is starting to emerge, really feels like it is coming together now. I still have the seed pods and some flower centres to do but for now, I am concentrating on the remaining flowers.
Nearly there now, just have the last three flowers to do. Once every piece is cut I will then commence foiling, making any further adjustments as I proceed. The next process would be the first solder on the front of the panel. The panel is then very carefully turned over and the first solder is repeated on the rear. I would then add the 12 mm zinc framing before doing the final bead soldering of all the seams. The panel would then have to be thoroughly cleaned before the patina can be applied. Acetone can be very useful in preparing the Zinc prior to application.
Here is the completed panel, lit from behind by daylight. I am really pleased with the way this has turned out, it is so nice to be able to bring a project to fruition so long after the initial idea. Slade Poppies pattern prints full size 34.5″ x 23″ ( 880 mm x 590 mm ) on twelve sheets of A4 paper. Alternatively, you can take the PDF file to a print shop and have it printed on one sheet of paper. I can provide custom sizes and adjustments if required. Thank you for your time and interest in my work. David Kennedy
For those of you that are interested in the symbolism and meanings of poppies click here