In 2012, I visited Yellowstone National Park for the first time. I spent a week hiking, observing and feeling the magic of the park. I took photos as I explored the various landscapes.

I hand picked all the glass for this project, searching out for the right patterns and colors that would evoke the feeling of looking at the details of the canyon walls blending together in the distance.

I hiked along the canyon rim and looked down at the rushing river in the distance. I hiked through the rolling hills, watching the white water flowing through and shaping the landscape around me.

I wanted to show both that lovely turquoise hue that I was fascinated by as well as the strength of the white water.

In the sky I wanted to express light, wispy clouds weaving in and out between a lovely colored blue sky. The canyon walls that shoot down and meet the river are mighty and steep. The water mists them as it runs its course. As it passes, it gives life and creates a unique ecosystem along the canyon walls where moss, shrubs and trees grow.

Looking further toward the waterfall, the details start blending in, the colors are blended creating abstract compositions in this natural landscape. Further above the waterfall, is a forest filled with big trees. Of course from a distance they are tiny, coming together to be a large patch of dark green. But in my mosaic, I chose to highlight them just as the trees that are in the foreground, giving each one just as much value.

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Inspiration photo I took next to my completed mosaic which is 5ft x 3ft

Each piece of stained glass is hand cut and shaped by me

I enlarged the photo and used it as a rough map for my more abstract composition

All of the glass in the mosaic is hand cut by me with the basic hand tools seen below

Each pine tree was shaped and fitted in one by one

The mosaic ready for gluing!

After the glue dried, It was exciting to finally see it right side up!

Grouting – my favorite part of the process

The mosaic is larger than it might look without me next to it to show scale

Polishing up the finished mosaic prior to framing

I was very happy to see it grouted as the final part of the process really unifies the hundreds of pieces of glass.