Susan Higgins has been creating stained glass designs for almost 40 years and it still remains her biggest passion.
After studying drawing, painting and design at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, she decided to take courses on glass design to further her art repertoire.
“I started exploring glass as a hobby, but quickly got serious about it!” said Higgins.
Throughout her career in Toronto, Higgins also wholesaled fused glass across the country in many art galleries including the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She created over 100 commissioned pieces for homes and businesses.
When she decided it was time for “semi-retirement,” Higgins moved to Huntsville. She is a founding member of Artists of the Limberlost and established and co-managed the Made in Muskoka Christmas Craft Show, which ran for four years in Huntsville.
Late last year, Higgins was approached to create two memorial windows for the new addition to Huntsville’s oldest church—All Saints’ Anglican.
“Two families were interested in commissioning memorial windows,” said Higgins. “I met with the church corporation and the potential sponsors, showed pictures of previous windows I’ve made, and they were in agreement that I was qualified to do the job.”
Higgins says the process was complex creatively and was a spiritual challenge that lasted several months.
“I saw the task as multifaceted: the windows should be rooted in scripture, integrate Christian symbolism, sit in harmony with two existing windows in the same space, honour the families sponsoring the windows, and carry a message of and for our time,” said Higgins.
On Sunday, November 4, Higgins’ windows were blessed and celebrated in a special ceremony at All Saints’.
“The message of both windows serves to remind viewers to keep Christ’s message of love in our hearts as we go out into the world,” said Higgins.
Higgins says that this project is the highlight of her career and that she had been preparing for something like this for many years.
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