Maxine Bourke

South Slave
Hay River

Artist Story

I do stained glass artwork. I started working with stained glass during the Winter of 1979, while living in Calgary where I took a class and learned how to do a Tiffany style lamp which included choosing, cutting and assembling the glass pieces. I absolutely loved it!

Shortly after learning the basics, I moved to Fort Chipewyan. Since it’s an isolated community, it was too expensive to fly in the glass that I needed to continue my art practice, so I ended up staying away from it for about 15 years. Eventually, a winter road opened and I was able to bring materials in which enabled me to create again.

Making stained glass was my hobby for many years, but now it’s become my part time job and it will be an integral essence of my retirement plan. I do the Tiffany-style stained glass using copper foil and have developed some of my own patterns, with some popular items being the teepee tea lights, and dreamcatchers, as well feathers and snowflake designs have been big hits.

My Dad’s family has Aboriginal ancestry, and I have been connected somewhat with this part of our heritage through my work. I’ve also been getting requests for commissioned items, where I create something meaningful for my customers, which sometimes it’s having people asking for specific colors, to represent things to them, such as including the Medicine Wheel colors.

Everybody’s artwork is inspiring to me. I love to see what other stained glass artists are doing, especially in the Northwest Territories. I feel accepted as an artist in the Territories and I appreciate the diversity of people sharing their art. Everyone who does stained glass does it in their own unique way and I really love to see that.

Besides seeing a customer’s joy in a piece of glasswork, what I like the most about my art practice is the process of choosing the glass. I love to pick which shades and colors I will use within the limited supply that I have access to. I love to be in my little studio. Making Stained Glass art is my happy place. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but it’s a wonderful one!

Artist Bio: 

Maxine Buschert Bourke was born in Alberta, grew up in High Level, and spent 33 years in Fort Chipewyan.  She currently resides in Hay River. In the future, she hopes to create bigger pieces that incorporate elements of the North, such as driftwood, geodes, rocks and antlers. Maxine works with her own unique patterns, as well as other free or purchased patterns she finds interesting. She started selling her artwork in the late eighties. Maxine currently sells her work at the Fisherman’s Wharf and she accepts commissioned orders. She is grateful to be a part of a welcoming community of artists that expands throughout the Territories and beyond.

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

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