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  • Debbie Maier Jacknin

The Burgh Blog - The Creation of The View From the Tunnel

Does anyone truly appreciate where they grew up while they are young? I grew up in Pittsburgh and didn't realize what it a nice city it is until I left.

I was three when we moved to Monroeville, a suburb located east of Pittsburgh. Weekends were spent at the local Mall and we didn't cross bridges or go through tunnels unless we were going to the airport or had visitors in from out of town. We would show off Pittsburgh to our company, often taking them to Mount Washington and to the incline.

Sometimes unpredictable events happen that changes the course of our life. Other times, we know change is coming and we prepare for it. I knew change was coming when I was 18 and went off to Simmons College in Boston. I remember standing at my dorm and watching my parents getting smaller and smaller as they walked away and I thought, "the next chapter of my life is about to begin, I wonder what the future will bring?" I enjoyed my years in Boston. Simmons was the perfect school for me and I made friends that I treasure to this day.

My father lived in Southern California for a year and I joined him the summer before my senior year where I enjoyed the beach and the sunshine.

I was a management major with a minor in retailing and after the summer with my Dad, I moved to New York City where I did an internship as an assistant buyer in a department store, Abraham and Strauss. They offered me a job and after graduation, I moved to New York where I fell in love with the theater, the museums, and the excitement of the city. I enjoyed days off walking to the corner deli where I would buy bagels that had just been baked.

But, no matter where I lived I would come back to Pittsburgh. My family is here. Pittsburghers are friendly. In Pittsburgh we have a house in the woods for the same monthly payment as an apartment would cost in New York City. While we don't have Broadway, we do have theater, museums, and how about Dem Stillers, Pirates, and Penguins? And it is a pretty city with lots of woods, rivers, lakes, bridges, and trees.

People not from Pittsburgh are often surprised by the beauty of the city and the suburbs. And, there is nothing quite like the:

View From The Fort Pitt Tunnel

Josie bought this mosaic and asked me to write about the piece. This blog entry tells the story about The View From the Tunnel.

Our neighbors replaced their windows and we rescued this lovely one from the landfill. The process we use is a cross between mosaics and stained glass. We created the piece by gluing pieces of glass onto the old window and then we grouted to fill in the spaces. Because the base is glass, light will come through when put in a window or when back lit. The picture above shows the piece at twilight with just a little light coming through. I love how you can see the iridescence of the glass in the water. Below is the same mosaic in bright light.

My favorite part of the process is creating art with my husband, Larry. I love that we are able to create the art together. If you've read my other blogs, you know he has ALS which has affected his hands. I do the fine detail work such as the incline and the buildings. Larry is able to do the sky, the grass, and the water. We have a similar aesthetic. We like the same colors and we enjoy working together.

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