Judy and Dan Deboer let their artistic talents flourish through creations of glass and metal. (Leah Blain/Salmon Arm Observer)

Couple express creative talent through metal and glass

Friends and Neighbours/Leah Blain

Judy Deboer is known around the Shuswap and in the artists’ circles for her beautiful stained glass creations. Her style is abstract; she didn’t want to do typical stained glass pictures.

“I don’t like tradition. I like outside the box.”

But her relationship with stained glass didn’t have an auspicious beginning.

“I hated it,” she says laughing and looking at her husband, Dan. “You bought me tools and a course and I started doing it. In the beginning I cut myself and I burned myself.”

She got into her new hobby and then came along the twins, Ryan and Dawson. Pretty soon she was taking the boys on road trips to farmers’ markets and art shows as her hobby turned into a business.

“We went everywhere – the Harrison Art Festival, the White Rock Art Festival – that was beautiful – the New Denver Garlic Festival, and Art in the Park in Kamloops.”

Judy’s family moved to the Shuswap when she was a teenager. She grew up working in her parents plastics factory in Calgary. When they moved to Salmon Arm they started Lakeside Plastics.

“I think it gave me a good work ethic,” she says.

Related: Friends and Neighbours: A passion for rocks and clocks

Related: Exhibiting at the fair adds to excitement, says ongoing champ

Dan also worked for his parents growing up. His parents, Pete and Helen Deboer, had a dairy farm in Grandview Bench.

“I ended up owning it with my dad and about 20 years ago we sold it,” he says. By that time he and Judy were married. Being a farmer’s wife was just something Judy had never envisioned being a city girl through and through.

They met at Sidetrax bar. Judy went over to talk to Dan.

“I knew of Dan and that he drove a red Trans Am. I was ordering my own – a white one. I just went up to him and said, ‘How do you like your car?’ and, I’ll never forget this, he gave me the keys.”

She and her friend were excited to take it by themselves for a test drive but it had a distinct farm odour.

“It reeked of manure and we went ‘eeeewwww,’” she says laughing at the memory. “After that Dan wouldn’t leave me alone.”

This year they’re celebrating 33 years of marriage. In these past few years Dan has found his own creative talent by accident, or rather, by necessity.

“I wanted a dog gate,” he says. The dog gate was not only efficient but also a work of art. Soon he was getting orders for gates, privacy screens and metal art. He does his work free-hand. Animals and nature are popular themes, everything from crows, herons and owls to salmon, elephants and sunflowers. (He did the gate for the Falling Coconut in Enderby and metal art for the Gourmet Burgary in Salmon Arm).

Judy doesn’t spend the hours doing her stained glass anymore because her years of being a florist has taken its toll.

“I live in chronic pain. I basically have to limit myself; I can’t sit for more than two hours. I do it part time and I still do a few festivals and shows.”

It’s something they enjoy doing together as Dan takes his art on the road as well. They make it affordable because it shouldn’t be a luxury when it’s really a necessity, just like food is for the body.

“We make attainable art,” says Judy. “Art feeds your soul.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alternative approval process to proceed for Centennial Field purchase

Fate of loan to purchase land for future park in hands of South Shuswap residents

Valdy gives volunteers a hand after Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Celebrated Canadian singer pitched in alongside starstruck clean-up crew

Robbery tactic used on Salmon Arm senior not uncommon

RCMP advice comes after credit cards stolen at Walmart parking lot

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Founder of Salmon Arm’s sister city exchange helps welcome Inashiki visitors

Twenty three Japanese guests visit city for a week, Salmon Arm to return in March

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

North Shuswap Lions, Celista winery host benefit concert

Sept. 7 event at Celista Estate Winery to support North Shuswap Youth Program

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Shuswap history in pictures

Shuswap history in pictures: mechanics class

Most Read