Our stained glass window into the sea

Dedicated to the
Children of Southwest Harbor

Ignorance and fear are the most
Destructive forces of violence.

Consume and absorb all you can
from this place so that you learn to love yourselves,
each other, the earth and sea.

Make the world a better place for the next generations.

Given with love to all who enter
Susa Wuorinen & Ann Seavey
Hot Flash Anny’s 2000 AD

The beautiful stained glass over the main desk in the Library was a gift to the children of Southwest Harbor from Ann Seavey with the help of Susa Wuorinen.

When the year 2000 addition to the Library was conceived, the panel first appeared on the architect’s drawings, not as a work of art, but as a fire baffle at the bottom of the stairs to the new second floor. The Library was fortunate that, when asked to donate to the building fund, Ann said she would donate an original piece of stained glass. Ann’s gift became the solution to providing a baffle for the stairwell.

Boots & FlowersAnn Seavey has been designing, making and restoring stained glass all over the country for twenty-five years. Her studio, Hot Flash Anny’s, was just a short walk from the Library across Main Street and a few doors down Clark Point Road. Children and adults often stopped to admire the stained glass in her windows and look at the garden on the sidewalk – carefully planted in old boots and shoes!

Ann and Susa began to plan how the panel would look - all 22 feet of it! Ann conceived a glowing view of Mt. Desert Island, as it would be seen from under the water that surrounds the island. She decided to draw the pieces from a child’s point of view – nothing in proportion to anything else. The glass makes each bird, fish, or plant seem as though it is viewed through water.

Ann’s gift took three months to make. Ann and Susa consulted books, took pictures, and made lists of ideas. They made a long paper pattern of the design, noting on it the seabirds and tide marsh plants they were going to include. They used several books for their research. The Underwater Naturalist is in the Library collection:

The Tidemarsh Guide To Fishes
by Mervin F. Roberts
Illustrated by Mark S. McNair, H.L. Todd and others.

Coastal birds: A Guide To Birds Of Maine’s Beautiful Coastline
Text by Al Kidwell - Illustrations by Jon Luoma.

The Underwater Naturalist
by David Bulloch

They painted and fired the glass on both sides so that it is as interesting coming down the stairs as when viewed from the main floor. The panel is seated in a steel frame painted a dark marine blue/green.

Margaret Martin kindly donated the lighting that makes the panel sparkle.

 The stained glass tells a story which starts, at the foot of the stairs, in Bar Harbor and ends, over by the Donor Wall, near Bass Harbor Head.

There are four boats in the panel, three of them represent the three boat builders whose yards were around Southwest Harbor’s rim at the time: Tom & Tina Morris’ Morris Yachts, Hinckley Yachts and Ralph Stanley’s boat yard. The fourth boat is Ann’s husband, Wendell Seavey’s lobster boat, "Gramps", originally the "Wolfhound", built by Ralph Stanley.

 There are cormorants, sea gulls, and a Great Black Billed Gull. There are crabs and seals

and, over near Northeast Harbor, a Pout Fish. The Sea Bass is pictured coming straight toward the viewer. There are loons, Canada Geese, and an assortment of ducks.

There is a shark, a whale, and schools of fish and plankton of several kinds – all swimming past the island on their way out to sea.

 Not all the creatures are sea birds or fish. If one looks carefully one can see Ann’s dog, Boomer, a Bouvier, paddling in the water.

Looking carefully and caring – about looking, about learning and, as the Dedication says, about each other, the earth and the sea, is the story told by the glass. Perhaps, if we look and care enough, we can make the world a better place for the next generations.

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