Lyndeborough woman makes unique garden art

By Kathleen Baglio Humphreys
Union Leader Correspondent
June 09. 2014 9:40PM

Karen Holland's garden jewels can be designed to sit on the ground or, as seen above, mounted on a copper pole to create a taller focal point in the garden. (Kathleen Baglio Humphreys/Union Leader Correspondent)

LYNDEBOROUGH -- Unique garden jewels are popping up in gardens as decorative sun-catching art.

Karen Holland started A Touch of Glass NH and began selling her hand-made, one-of-a-kind garden jewels last fall, and the interest is growing as fast as her garden grows.

Holland’s Lyndeborough home has exquisite gardens that she spends many hours cultivating. Besides beautiful flowers it’s sprinkled with decorative trinkets such as bird baths, stained glass and metal art, so adding her own garden art creations was a natural outgrowth.

Her personal twist on garden art is to use interesting looking glass because it’s more durable than china and does not fade. She stacks dishes, vases or other pieces, using various colored, clear and texture glass and topper pieces to create her jewels.

“They catch the sun and sparkle, and the colored glass adds an interesting focal point and a splash of color to your garden,” said Holland.

“I like to reuse or repurpose items,” she said. “I’ve seen similar products but made with china dishes, but they chip and the color fades over time. So I’ve chosen to go with clear and colored glass because it’s a heavier product that does better outside in the elements and the color does not fade.”

The glass can be vintage, antique or new, as long as it’s interesting. She uses all kinds of glass pieces, including plates, vases, candle sticks, sugar bowls, candy dishes, ash trays, cordials, sherbet dishes, as long as they can be glued.

Finding the right topper is challenging, and she is always on the hunt for an unusual piece such as a glass bird or snail but they are hard to find.

Holland scours yard sales, flea markets, recycling centers, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores looking for the right glass pieces — “anywhere you would find an abundance of glass,” she said.

It was in such a place where her craft calling took off. “I was already thinking of making garden art and was at the Goodwill Store and saw some neat glass, so I picked up a few pieces and that’s how it started.”

In making each piece, the artist uses at least one piece of colored glass and takes her time, rotating the assembly to see the design from all sides, taking a few days to review the shapes and color choices, and making creative changes if necessary.

She stacks the glass pieces, inverted so water can’t collect on the finished product, and uses super industrial-strength glue to fuse them together, waiting at least 24 hours after each layer is glued.

Her garden jewels have been for sale at Amherst and Milford garden club events and local farmers markets. Pieces can be ordered through her website, which also lists upcoming sales venues. She has shipped pieces as far as Florida and Arizona.

Customers are happy with their garden art. “I like them because each one of them has a different feel, some are beautiful, some are quirky and some just shimmer in the light,” said customer Karen Grybko. “I bought one for my mother for Christmas. I think that it brings a focus to where ever it is placed.”

The garden jewels can sit on the ground or be mounted on a copper pole for height in the garden. They can be a central focal point or tucked in a corner. One customer displayed her garden jewel in her front window.

Holland can create garden jewels from a family’s heirloom glass for a one-of-a-kind treasure.

Prices range from $45 to $60, and Holland is also willing to trade glass for finished pieces.

For more information visit

Human InterestGardeningShoppingLyndeborough

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