Custom Panel by Barney Harris
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Barney Higgins Harris

attended the Corcoran School of Art and worked in various other media including pastel and charcoal portraiture, pottery and weaving, before finding her niche in leaded art glass in the early 1980s. For many years, glass was a hobby and outlet for her creativity, while she held a variety of management positions.

Fortunately, just when she had finally settled down to a fulfilling corporate position for a kitchen store chain based in Washington DC , the company declared bankruptcy and she found herself unemployed.

Bob and Barney had officially opened Zekiah Glass in 1989 , as a part-time business mainly for Bob’s glassblowing services. Barney had had a few stained glass residential commissions, but hadn’t previously had the time to focus on that aspect of the glass business.

 

In late 1997 she took the plunge and went into the glass business full time, and she began teaching classes in her small studio in LaPlata MD. Her husband, Bob, gave his full support and assistance, and very quickly, the studio expanded into larger spaces to accommodate the popular classes and her growing commission work.

 
A local church job turned into a three year project. Zekiah Glass won the bid to do a large triangular window behind the altar – over 400 square feet of stained glass. In several stages, the doors, perimeter windows, and front windows were also done. By the time the infamous tornado hit LaPlata in April of 2002, all the windows had been completed and protected with lexan panels on the exterior, thus saving them from any storm damage- although several windows were blown out of the adjacent rectory.
 

Although the glass business was growing quickly, Bob and Barney decided to leave the area and move to the relative quiet of the Northern Neck of VA to a beautiful waterfront location where they would build a home that included a glass studio and guest quarters for visiting students. Thus began Chestnut Cove Bed & Breakfast, a totally unique concept.

 

Chestnut Cove is not your typical B&B… you come here for a getaway, but you leave with a beautiful original work of art that you have created while here. You relax, enjoy delicious home-baked delicacies, soak up the ambiance of a secluded waterfront setting, and you experience an entertaining glass workshop like no other!

 

Barney can also indulge her love of baking and entertaining by offering B&B accommodations to guests who come from all over the country to relax and enjoy a stained glass workshop. Between class sessions, she pampers student/guests with delicious home-made goodies – cookies, scones, muffins, and fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers. Word of mouth and several enthusiastic magazine and newspaper articles have kept the class/B&B growing steadily since its beginning in August 2000.

 

In between visitors, Barney specializes in custom architectural commissions for residential, commercial and religious applications. With Bob’s assistance, she designs, fabricates and installs each original creation as a unique complement to its surrounding décor.

 

She also showcases her work in several local gift shops and restaurants:River Cottage in Irvington, Art of Coffee in Montross, Mosaics in White Stone, and Creative DeSigns of VA in White Stone.

 

The combination of being able to do her own thing artistically and sharing her knowledge with others in a workshop setting is a perfect fit for her temperament - she can spend some days in solitary creativity and others with stimulating company. She enjoys both equally.


 

Bob Harris

was Master Glassblower and NASA’s Official Glass Artisan for 30 years. His work is currently on exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, and his space art has been presented to many dignitaries here and abroad.

 

After his retirement from NASA, he was commissioned by the Aero Club of Washington(founded by the Wright Brothers) to design and create their Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence of blown glass art, now on permanent display at the Air and Space Museum.

 

Another commission was for the Washington Airports Task Force to create the Carrington Williams Trophy, on display at the satellite location of the Air & Space Museum , the Udvar-Hazy Museum in Dulles VA. This trophy is awarded annually in a smaller version to individuals whose achievements benefit aviation. When Senator John Glenn was chosen as the annual recipient, Bob was honored to be invited to his office for a personal chat.

 

Bob began building and flying free flight models in his childhood, and has continued throughout his adult life, progressing through control line, R/C airplanes (sport, pattern, fan jets and scale) and into model helicopters.

 

In 1973, he formed the Goddard Model Aircraft Club while employed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The club field was designated Harris Field in honor of his efforts to build up the club and help other hobbyists enjoy the sport.

 

In 1976, in the infancy of model helicopters, he began flying model helicopters. He helped form NCRCHA, one of the first model helicopter clubs in the nation. Over the years, he has been an active member of various other clubs including Prince Georges R/C, DC R/C, Charles County R/C, Chesapeake Bay R/C, Wind Drifters, Miniature Rotor Wing of VA, MHA and NNRC.

 

He competed in local and national contests, and went on to judge regional contests such as the Tangerine, Schluter and Kyosho, then to AMA Nationals and US Team Trial competitions. He was an international judge for FAI F3C category, serving as judge in the 1989 contest in VA, and was chief judge in the 1991 contest in Australia .

 

He was team manager for the 2 nd FAI F3C World Championship competition held in Bern , Switzerland in 1987 (US Team: Curtis Youngblood, Mike Mas and Robert Gorham). Curtis became the World Champion for the first time at this contest. He has been a District IV helicopter contest board and US Team Selection Committee member. He is a leader member in the AMA and received the AMA Superior Service Award and FAI Distinguished Performance Award. He is currently an AMA Contest Director and is a JR Team Member.

 

In the US Army, he completed helicopter training school at Ft. Rucker AL in 1962, and served as a heli crew chief in the 501 st Aviation Battalion.

 

Since his retirement in 1994, Bob has been building and flying ultralite and experimental aircraft. He currently competes with scale helicopters in national and regional competition.

 

Bob’s R/C Helicopter Flight School arose from his desire to share his modeling expertise with pilots seeking to improve their flying skills. He also works with various UAV programs, training their pilots.


 

Bob and Barney enjoy sharing their comfortable waterfront home with guests who share their love of glass and modeling. Since opening for business in August 2000, they have welcomed hundreds of the nicest, most interesting folks from all over the world.

 
As they say in the movie, “If you build it, they will come”. It’s a great getaway, where you can truly get away from it all, enjoy a lovely location with fascinating wildlife, and accomplish something to be proud of – either a beautiful glass panel of your own creation, or a new mastery of your flying skills.
 
Many of their guests return for more advanced instruction and to come back and visit with the hospitable hosts… and of course to see Kiah the wonder dog again!
 
Class B&B
   
Phone: 804-394-3142 Email: zekiahglass@wildblue.net