Monday, June 15, 2020

It's Just the Love of the Craft: Stained Glass With Michael Laduke. #MakerMonday

For #MakerMonday we'll be profiling some of the people practicing traditional skills on the Baccalieu Trail.

Michael Laduke remembers seeing his first stained glass piece, a gift given to one of his friends, and the love of glass was instantaneous. Originally from Quebec, he and his wife have been operating the SeaGlass Bed and Breakfast in New Perlican for the past 6 years. After moving to Newfoundland and Labrador permanently last year, Michael brought with him all the glass he needed to continue making stained glass and selling it out of his studio.

Jellyfish stained glass sun catchers by Michael Laduke. Photo from Sea Glass BnB.
Influenced by nautical themes and the scenery of Newfoundland, Michael likes to play with colours and textures in glass to catch the light in different ways and bring dimension to his work. He uses his wife's photography as layouts to design unique Newfoundland inspired pieces.

I really like the way the light plays on the glass in different intensities. In the sunlight sometimes it looks completely different than if you're in the shade. So, that's kind of cool. I really like that aspect of it. I try my best to think about that. I mean, sometimes I finish a piece and hold it up to the light and go, "Oh my God, what was I thinking?" But probably most of the time, I hang it up anyway because, a piece that's completed, it'll sell right away. So, I have my tastes, but that's probably not the same as anybody else. I mean, everybody's taste is individual, so what I think doesn't go well together, somebody else might really love.
According to Michael, stained glass has one speed: slow. It is a solitary process, and you need to be comfortable to sit down for hours and do the work. He says that for self-isolation during this pandemic, it has been the perfect refuge.
Michael Laduke working on a piece. Photo from Sea Glass BnB.
Michael says that the way this tradition will continue is for other people to fall in love with the craft as he as. His best advice for new practitioners is patience. It will take time to learn how to put thin, smooth lines of solder on and to grind the glass to the appropriate shape. Even though he has been practicing this craft for over 40 years, he says he is still getting better at it and there are always new things to learn.

Puffin stained glass sun catcher by Michael Laduke. Photo from Sea Glass BnB


Do you live on the Baccalieu Trail and practice a traditional skill or know someone who does? Fill out our survey!


Unknown said...

Love his work,,,I have several pieces,can't wait to get more.

Eileen said...

Michael's work is amazing, his use of color, with hightlights and shading in the exact place makes each piece an amazing piece of art. I have several pieces and have purchased several for gifts over the years. He also teaches small groups of 2 or 3 lessons in stained glass, very patient in his teaching.