Occasionally my work returns to me for an adjustment or repair. The chasubles made for the chapel at The Village at Orchard Ridge were lined in slippery fabric, so that they hang away from the pastor’s alb.
The Chaplin reported that they slipped backward during worship, becoming uncomfortable. We devised a solution of cotton “patches” added to the shoulder area. Future chasubles will have a yoke lining of non-slippery fabric .
It is always a joy for me to participate in dialogue that increases the effectiveness of my work. I also enjoy the opportunity to touch and see what has gone into service.
I began my professional life doing garment alterations while a college student. I am pleased to still include craftsmanship and individual attention in my toolbox of skills.
This art piece was doomed to be unfinished, untouched for months but still in the range of daily examination. The aha! direction found me as I drove over the mountains, pondering my child’s life. “He’s never going to be happy until he learns to dance on the rim of nothingness.” I thought. “No, it is I that needs to learn that dance.” I argued back.
I returned to the studio and cut a hole in this work. I worked quickly, finding materials oddly at hand. I hummed the hymn, “I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath.” I thought about little Mary at the annunciation, her receptiveness to impossible news.
The dance on the rim of nothingness (or everything) is old. In Advent we wait. We prepare. And some of us dance. Join me.
Advent, my favorite liturgical season, suggests mystery and anticipation. What’s happening? and When? I never cared for magic as a child, but I did love the present making and wrapping and the cookie baking that filled time in December. I even bought into cleaning because that preceded the decorating and then company and festivities! My mother is not alive to verify or contradict this interpretation of family history. This is the Advent I am remembering now.
The blue stole pictured here is designed for a congregation as a gift to the interns that share time with them. If I were a practical person about Advent, I would have designed something easier to duplicate. I desired to create a background that suggests mystery, order, and energy. I delight when I return to this design. It takes me into Advent.
Spirals are cut from blue prints, arranged on the background fabric and fused down. The stole shape is cut from the fabric. A double grid is stitched on point. one set of lines created with variegated rayon thread and the other with couched yarn. I could stop right there, if this were a project to make me happy.
The dove, a defining symbol for the congregation, holds a gold rope to which an anchor cross is attached. As a former member of this congregation, I know it is a community filled with the Spirit and anchored in faith. I like how the rope winds around the stole and down the other side, a bit of mystery in that also.
It has been a delight to work on Advent stoles in June. I am pondering Christmas cookies as I write. What would bring the anticipation of Christmas to you today?
Here it is! An answer to the question I shared on October 9 of this year: What possesses me? I visited my son recently and discovered the answer in a piece of my own art, “Waiting for the Rain.” When Joe first saw the piece, he studied it and then turned to me with the comment, “You are consistent.”
“In what way?” I asked. His response was that I was consistently good, which was thrilling to me. But he added, “There is hope in all your work.” And I was humbled.
I have believed for a very long time that one of my central messages is hope. I would like to be more expressive about love, but it is hope that pervades my work. I guess it possesses me. Perhaps that is why Advent remains my favorite liturgical season.
Parched land, dry and cracked. Thirst. Waiting. Waiting for the rain.