It’s starting to get a little colder and darker outside, but Terry Dunstan in on hand to teach you how to bring light and colour into the dreary days through the wonderful art of stained glass. There’s a secret, magical formula to the way Terry teaches her stained glass classes, and it is this intangible quality that makes her such a good instructor. Because of all her hard work and abilities as an art educator, it is with great pleasure that we honor Terry as our Instructor of the Month for November.
Terry has been teaching for the Vernon Community Arts Centre for a number of years, consistently holding classes and workshops in stained glass, and showing both new and experienced students how beautiful and versatile glass work can be, and how they, too can take different sections of glass and solder it together to create wonderful works of art. Part of the charm of Terry’s classes is her desire for her students to succeed and enjoy the process: “I enjoy passing on my knowledge and seeing the excitement on a student’s face when they successfully complete each step in the process, especially in the beginner classes. It can be a very relaxing and fulfilling hobby and I want everyone who takes up stained glass to experience as much enjoyment and satisfaction in it as I do. I believe anyone can make beautiful things in stained glass, even those who say they don’t have a creative bone in their body. Finding a way to connect with a student, encourage their creativity, and build their confidence in their abilities is the best part of teaching.” The end results of Terry’s classes include happy students, gorgeous stained glass pieces, and a deep respect for the craft and the instructor.
Terry keeps her classes fresh by continually expanding her knowledge of stained glass, and creating her own unique pieces, which inspires students to keep exploring. “I like to work with bevelled glass, crystals and semi-precious stones. By including one or more of these when I design a piece it makes it more uniquely my own and different from what people think of as traditional stained glass.” She has explored other avenues in glass included fused and jewellery; however “stained glass is still my first love.” Having been working in her medium for over twenty years, Terry still finds excitement in her work: “It is exciting to progress from that first idea, through designing the pattern, the challenge of cutting and fitting all the glass pieces, and then on to my favourite part, soldering it all together. There is no feeling like the one you get when you hold up your finished project for the first time.”
Terry herself learned stained glass from a beginner’s book. “In 1989 after I saw a program about stained glass on TV my husband bought me a beginner glass kit for my birthday. I started out making simple projects from a beginner book and soon enjoyed it so much I just couldn’t stop making things.” Terry passion definitely translates into the classroom, and it is this passion, along with her kind and patient nature that allows her to be such an outstanding instructor. Congratulations, Terry – you continue to astound us all, and we are very excited to see what you’ll do next!
Terry will be teaching the following in the next few months:
Suncatchers a la Carte – November 30
Stained Glass Angel – December 7
Bevelled Glass Snowflake – December 14
Intro to Stained Glass – January 24 & 26
Stained Glass Mirror – February 23, 28 & Mar 1
More Stained Glass – March 20, 22, 27 & 29
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