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  • Debbie Maier Jacknin

Fate or Coincidence? My Past Reached Out to Touch My Present.

Updated: Oct 14, 2023


I first visited Colorado Springs, Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods with my late husband, Larry. His daughter, Gabrielle lived in Colorado Springs and we fell in love with the beauty of the area. We imagined a future where he retired and we would spend time near his daughters creating stained-glass mosaics. We took many photos including this one of Pikes Peak taken from the Garden of the Gods with thoughts of turning the photo into a mosaic.

Larry was diagnosed with ALS and our plans changed. Larry had spent his adult life working as an engineer and project manager and he was no longer physically able to continue. Larry was not one to sit around doing nothing so built a booth inside the now defunct Pittsburgh Public Market under the name Jenn's Jems. The precursor to Songbird Artistry, we sold merchandise created by Jenn and other local artisans as well as making stained-glass mosaics to sell.

Bruce and Ruth, a couple from Colorado, have a son who lives in Pittsburgh and they stopped by our booth. They liked our work and we discussed creating a mosaic for a door in their home. After Larry passed away they contacted me ready for their special custom piece. They sent me a bunch of photos of Pikes Peak and a creek near their home.

The image they envisioned for their mosaic, was the same image Larry and I had talked about creating - even the season! I thought they might want a winter, after all, Colorado is known for skiing and snow and their home is located in the heart of ski country. I was thrilled when they wanted summer, which was the season for the mosaic that Larry and I had planned to create. There was something very therapeutic and meaningful about creating a piece of art that Larry and I envisioned and I felt his presence as I worked.

I had the incredible opportunity to return to the breathtaking Garden of the Gods, where I had the privilege of staying at Ruth and Bruce's charming Airbnb. During my stay, I was thrilled to see the stained-glass mosaic that I had the honor of creating. Located in the kitchen on a door that leads to a pantry. There is a light inside the pantry, creating a mesmerizing backlit effect that showcased the mosaic's beauty around the clock. Witnessing my own creation in person was a truly touching experience, leaving an indelible memory. Here's a photo of me standing in front of the stained-glass mosaic.

Once again, I enjoyed spending time at Garden of Gods. This time I spent it with Madeline who I met in 1978, my roommate at Simmons College in Boston.



I really enjoyed creating this custom stained-glass mosaic for Bruce and Ruth.

Contact Debbie Debo1960@aol.com or 412-427-5500 if you would like a custom mosaic created for you.

This is what the mosaic looked like before it was installed.

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