Monday, March 24, 2008

The Resurrection

The resurrection, was created for an Easter Swap with some online artist friends.
This is my first ever attempt to use a torch at home and it was intimidating! I've got a bit of a phobia about gas explosions so to hold this soldering torch with tank attached and light it was somewhat therapeutic in helping me to overcome my fear and move to the next skill level in my work.

I couldn't have chosen a more challenging way to start, soldering these two old silver spoons together just at the edges. Nothing like trying to juggle the torch, the solder, and keeping the piece balanced in just the right position to really break me in! But I was inspired to give it a try after reading Jane Wynn's soldering technique in her new book Altered Curiosities. Jane made it seem so achievable for a DIYer like me.

Side view where I soldered the two old silver spoons together.

I love this picture of it in Kelly's hand. (Kelly I lifted some photos from your blog, I hope that's okay.) Kelly Snelling was my swap partner and so encouraged me to let go of my intimidation and give this swap a try.

The piece was created with a lot of symbolic meaning. The spoons, in the shape of an egg, represent new birth or new beginnings. I sawed the front spoon in a jagged manner, which reminds me of the tearing of the curtain in the temple the moment Jesus died on the cross, removing all barriers between us and God.

Using the torch to anneal the metal many times over, I managed to fashion the handles of the spoons to look like a vine, a reminder of Jesus' words from John 15:4 -

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

It is hard to see, but an antique etching of the mouth of a cave is mounted inside the piece, with the cross soldered to the edges of the front spoon, the intent is to give the impression of the tomb after Jesus has risen, hence the title of the piece, The Resurrection.

And my favorite element, the coral branches, traditionally represent protection, as well as the blood of Christ.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

Here is the necklace in the little box I made to send it away to Kelly in. I didn't have time to do everything to the box that I wanted to, didn't even have time to take pictures of it before I sent it. These two are from Kelly's blog.

The little red cross is a tiny glass stopper that somebody painted red.

Now the best thing about this swap is that I was Kelly's partner, which meant that I got a piece of her work!

More beautiful then I could have imagined, Kelly has used Peruvian opal nuggets, green chalcedony, aventurine rondelles and green freshwater pearls, along with sterling Hill Tribe beads, religious medallions, and a crucifix hanging from a centerpiece that she handcrafted.
It is gorgeous! Thank-you Kelly!!

Be sure to read Kelly's Easter post about her little boy learning the resurrection story in school. It really warmed my heart.

I hope your Easter was filled with peace and your Spring is a true season of renewal. May God bless you richly.

The Graduate

Call me one proud son went off and joined the Army National Guard and just graduated from basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
That's Jason right in the middle.

Jason on the left. He'll be 26 this week!

Before he enlisted.
And Graduation day.
We drove all the way down to see him for two very short days. Graduation day, 3-20-08, was 5 years to the day that our country went to war in Iraq. He signed on the dotted line knowing the chances are high that he could be deployed, but he is determined to make a difference in his life and in the world around him.

He left Fort Benning for Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday. With one of the highest scores on an entrance exam his recruiter had ever seen, Jason qualified for just about any of the training programs available. He chose Ground Radar Surveilance Repair. He'll spend the next 48 weeks at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and Fort Sill, Oklahoma in one of the longest AIT programs there was to choose from. The average program is around 6 weeks. After that he'd like to pursue an engineering degree.

Do I sound like I'm bragging? I am.
I had Jason when I was only 16. Being the son of a teenaged mom isn't the easiest thing in the world. Life has been tough for him, for us both. We did some growing up together, or maybe just at the same time.
I lifted these words of Jason's from his My Space profile: " I've been on one hell of a journey for the past 25 years, I've made my fair share of bad decisions, but I have no regrets. Sometimes I struggle to reconcile the person I was with the person I am today; though I am constantly reminded by people much wiser than myself that the most important thing is becoming the person I was meant to be."
Still have some growing to do, him and I, but God is in the growing business and I'm keeping my eyes on Him.
God bless you Jason, Happy Birthday and Congratulations!