Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What do I have to blog about? And why Anglican rosaries?

Here I am, finally, my first blog post. I've been a member of the online community since the Echo NYC days, and I read plenty of blogs, but I never thought of having a blog of my own. Then I heard somewhere that people actually like to read about what goes through an artist's mind as they create something. And especially interested are the people who seek to purchase said art.

Huh. People really are interested in that? Okay, then, here goes.

So I guess I'll start off this Poesies blog with my latest "artistic stage" -- Anglican rosaries.

I was raised by lazy Catholics, but my grandmother was very religious and taught me the Catholic rosary when I was a child. Well, I was very young then, and it was way too complicated for me.

And then a bunch of not-so-nice things happened in my life and Catholicism was all tied up in that, and so I ran -- not walked -- away from the church and Christianity. May I say that it was nothing specific that the Catholic Church did, this was a result of my toxic parents.

In any case, it took me, oh... 46 years to come back to God and Christianity. And at this time I realize that I really just don't agree with the Catholic Church on many important subjects. I went to the National Cathedral because I was living near Washington, DC at the time, mostly because I was curious about the Darth Vader gargoyle (http://www.nationalcathedral.org/about/darthVader.shtml -- how cool is that?) And the more I read about the Episcopalian tradition, and the more services I attended, the more I wanted to be a part of it.

My love of gemstone jewelry got me curious agai n about rosaries, and I discovered that "this particular way of using prayer beads was developed in the mid-1980's by Episcopalians in the United States participating in a study group dealing with methods of prayer". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_prayer_beads)
I've found that praying in this particular way is much easier and speaks more deeply to my heart than the traditional Catholic rosary, especially when using bible verses.

So I decided to make some. My first attempt I posted on Etsy, and it received some interest, but I was not happy with the way it was made, so I took it apart and worked some more on the idea.

Here is the result of that work, which I call "Garden":

You may be wondering why I did not choose a traditional cross of silver or gold precious metal. It is because I am fascinated with the natural wonder's of God's earth, and of the ways he makes himself known in the smallest of ways.

When I was young, a relative visited Fairy Stone State Park in southern Virginia. (http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fai.shtml) and brought me back a "famous fairy stone". Fairy stones are naturally occurring staurolite crystals. Staurolite grows in the shape of a cross.

I remembered this long-gone cross, and I thought that this would be a perfect way to make a rosary that bespoke of the wonders of the world God has created. I was lucky enough to find some for sale on the internet, as much as I would love to go to Fairy Stone State Park!

Then, what was I going to put with it? Something earthy, obviously. Again I was inspired by the green-earth-Garden-of-Eden imagery that unakite stirred in me. Unakite to me looks like a patch of grass that is partially covered by the red leaves of autumn. Red aventurine is a perfect companion to unakite, and what could be more garden-ful than a carved flower?

That just left deciding what the actual construction would be. Traditional Hindu prayer beads were made of knotted cord, or dried seen pods on knotted cord. Cord just seemed to coarse for semiprecious gemstones, so I chose brown silk thread. Many other rosaries have "spacer beads" separating the beads that you actually pray on, but I didn't want anything to distract from this wonderful garden.

So there you have it. The story of "Garden". I hope that whoever ends up with it enjoys the inspiration of this beautiful earthen kingdom that I hoped to evoke when I created this rosary.


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