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March 7, 2018

Several years ago I ran across the colorful facebook page of a very creative woman named Joy Cunny, aka The Glass Junkie. Her beautiful pieces created from old glassware have inspired me for almost a decade. I asked Joy to write some guest blog posts to explain a little about her creative process and show gardeners what can be done to enhance a garden using objects no one else wanted. At the bottom of this page I have included three of my many Glass Junkie favorites. Here’s Joy’s first post. – Claudia Johnson

March 7, 2018

By Joy Cunny, The Glass Junkie

I have enjoyed creating things since I was a child and have dabbled in many different forms of creativity through the years. Flash forward a bunch of years (to 2003), and I am newly relocated to my current home in Michigan. I discovered here my love and skill (or green thumb) for gardening. As I beautified my property with more and more garden space (either 2008 or 2009) I learned of the art of stacking glass to make garden art.

A sister of a friend had seen it in a magazine and made some pieces for herself. When I saw them I knew I needed to make a piece for myself. I had one small item of my mom’s that I never knew what to do with and I decided to use it for a topper for my garden art. After I finished the first piece I realized I had accumulated A LOT of glass in order to make one piece. So I set out to make a few more to use it up.

Before long I was obsessed with collecting more and more inexpensive items. I began selling pieces through a local garden center that expressed an interest in my work and gave me a spot to display it! I remember a piece I made with a paperweight on top with two butterflies dancing in it. I had to put a pretty high price tag on it due to the cost of the paperweight. I really thought there was no way anyone would spend that kind of money on one of my pieces but low and behold it sold! I think that was a turning point for me. I was in need of some additional income and this seemed to be the answer.

The Glass Junkie name came to me one day after I had made my daily lunch trip to the local Goodwill store. In those days I was leaving the store with cart fulls of glass pieces which they were practically giving away for .25 and .50. I told a co-worker friend I was much more interested in shopping for glass than eating on my lunch hours. I laughingly said something like I felt like a junkie with a need to feed my addiction….and then in the next breath said I think I am a glass junkie. A few weeks later I had a business card! Supplies have since gone up in cost for me, but I remember with gratitude the supply I was getting for so little when I had so little to spend. 

Unfortunately due to a computer crash several years ago, pictures were lost of the first several hundred pieces I made. The Butterfly Boogie piece told about earlier is just a memory for me, as there is no photo! 

My creative process usually begins by walking around my color organized shelves of glass and pottery. A particular piece of glass will catch my eye or a color section will draw me in. I am currently inspired by angels and winter beauty; also the words “steadfast” and “with conviction” are coming to my mind a lot! 

I am pleased to share my creative process and perhaps inspire readers of this gardening blog to begin their own creations.

Follow www.barkybeaver.com/luxsgarden to learn more about Joy’s garden art and how to make it or buy it.

This is a picture is of my very first endeavor. Why I chose to have a paving stone as a base I will never know! I learned after a few winters that silicone is not effective to keep metal and stone attached. I have since given this piece a little of a face lift and put it out proudly every spring. It is a reminder to me of the beautiful journey I have been on.

Here’s a glimpse into my current work space. The angel has already been names “In Training.” Her wings are a little wobbly. I had to give in to the challenge of attaching them to her body  and just let it be and accept them as they were. The assembly table is full of other pieces that will help to create a fairy garden type display. I am excited to complete the pieces and photograph them in my “secret garden” area which is like a life size fairy garden.

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