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Friday, September 28, 2012

A Beautiful Blessing

I took a little drive one day to a neighboring town with my sister.  We were going to look for beads to make rosaries with at consignment and thrift shops.  Walking down the street of a quaint little town, we popped into a secondhand store.  It was a small, tightly packed store with nooks and crannies filled to the brim with old and new alike. The proprietor asked us if she could be of any help and we chimed in together that we were looking for beads to make rosaries with. To our delight she revealed that she too was a Catholic and lead into stories of her life and faith.  It was such a blessing to share conversation of our mutual faith and hope in Jesus and His Church.  We didn’t have much fortune in finding beads there, but the kind woman excitedly asked us to follow her to the back of the store.  Reaching to a high dusty shelf she carefully brought down a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother standing about 12 inches tall.  It was feather light and very delicately fashioned with a brown glaze.  She told us that she would like to give us the statue because she knew that we would be reverent and truly appreciate it…she had no intentions of ever just selling it to an antique collector.  What an amazing blessing that lifted our spirit!

The beautiful statue sat on my windowsill and greeted me in the morning with a reminder to ever so diligently seek the will of God and say yes to Him daily.  One day I was rearranging the room and accidentally knocked over the delicate paper clay statue.  Horrified and saddened I picked up the two pieces thinking, how could have I been so careless as to let this happen.  As I was repairing the damage I realized there was no way to evenly match the finish without repainting the whole statue.  So with that, Our Lady’s statue went from sepia to color.  While prepping the statue for paint I had a deep desire to add a little something so I sculpted out of clay a symbol of The Immaculate Heart.  It turned out more beautiful than I imagined it would and now is placed in a secure alcove to be honored far out reach.

Thank you my sweet Jesus for all the little ways you inspire my days!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Story of a Crucifix

This small corpus about 8'' tall was the first I had ever sculpted many years ago. I never took a picture of the first plaster cast and finished crucifix I made with it.  A good family friend had made a dozen wooden crosses for me so I could complete my crucifix. The corpus was sculpted out of a polymer clay and then I made a mold. The mold making process was long and tedious. I painted on the latex medium and had to let each layer dry before the next one was applied. For some added strength to the mold I put thin strips of gauze between the layers where I thought the mold would be stretched during the casting process.

I was so excited to try out my new mold! These were the long-ago days where I could actually spend all day on a project with no interruption. I used a large baking pan filled with salt to stabilize my mold, I could have used sand but salt is what I had handy. I was too excited to try it out that I didn't want to waste time going to the store to buy sand! I mixed up some plaster in a table top condiment container so I could have control of getting the plaster into the tiny parts of the mold. Out popped the caste plaster a few hours later. I found out the hard way that I should have sanded and trimmed it up right away before it dried. So the next time i molded I sanded when the plaster was just set and fresh out of the mold instead of bone dry...much less mess.

I created this larger 13'' corpus a little differently. I used an earth clay that I had planned on firing and glazing, however, it cracked in many places before during the drying phase that I was worried it would shatter if fired. In my haste to get started with this project I didn't kneed the clay as I should have and let it dry entirely too fast. I am a bit impatient when it comes to getting on with the next step. I wanted to paint it so badly and have a finished piece that in my haste proper steps were  not followed. I paid for it though, it took twice as long to get to the fine finish work because the corpus was failing apart and I had to mend the broken pieces.

Its easy to become hasty in life...I think God wants us to slow down and take time to do things properly. I know Our Dear Lord has used many example out of my life to teach me this lesson. If time is taken with our prayer life as well as family time it's much more fruitful and rewarding then if we rush through prayers and barely spend any quality time with one another. So here's to more focus on a slower pace.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Finding Time

It used to be easy to find time to be creative.  When I was in high school, I used to paint or sculpt as a daily past time or just a way to relax and relieve stress.  Now, I'm very lucky to find moments where I can sit down and see a project through. Usually I have the time to start a creative work and then maybe revisit it in a week or month or more...but I wouldn't trade the precious time I get to spend caring for our beautiful children and my wonderful husband. My creativity has been mostly redirected to the culinary arts, and attempting to make a clean canvas of my home. When I have the opportunity I usually try to put my artistic creativity to use constructively in our home like refinishing furniture found at yard sales, sewing All Hallows Eve costumes, or helping our children explore the world of art.  Some windows for personal creativity open now and then.  Usually they are late at night after everyone is should I also be.