Friends and clients Suzanne and Gary Halstead commissioned me and Stratoz to turn the 9 Fruits of the Spirit into mosaic signs. In April, 2011, all four of us gathered in our basement to pick out sheets of glass, and talk colors. Wayne Stratz designed the lettering, cut out the letters, ground the edges. Margaret Almon created the backgrounds, and then we gave them to Suzanne, who created the borders, grouted, sealed and polished them as part of sweat equity. Gary installed them for the October 1st, 2011 dedication, which started with a walk through the Halstead’s stone labyrinth in their backyard. These words will always be present in my heart after working with them so intimately over the past months, and I am honored that Suzanne and Gary were moved to commission us.
When I wrote earlier about my Fruit of the Spirit Mobile that I painstakingly stitched from polyester double knit, my mother emailed this photo to me, as she has it hanging in her dining room. I had forgotten how pleased I was with the pineapple of Goodness, and the plaid on a diagonal for texture! Self-Control is emblazoned a banana, my least favorite fruit, but I still enjoyed the curve. I may have had a jumper made of the pale peach of Self-Control, and the vibrant orange of Kindness is where my eye goes to now. Seeing it all in the flesh(fruit-flesh that is), brings back the tactile sense of making the stitches, lining up the fabric. This part of the root system that led to my life now as an artist, and my new manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit via the commission from Suzanne Halstead. On Wednesday, Suzanne and I grouted Faithfulness and Kindness. The scale is much larger than my mobile, as is my excitement in seeing it all bear fruit! More photos to come as the process continues.
In March of 2011, Stratoz and I received our biggest commission yet. Our friends Gary and Suzanne Halstead had a wall in their yard, overlooking the labyrinth they created. The space was host to retreats and labyrinth walkers, and Suzanne had a vision of the wall mosaiced in the style of our Nutmeg Designs’ signs, in the qualities of the Holy Spirit: Joy, Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Self-Control and Faithfulness.
We were honored to be asked to create these words in mosaic. I remember being in Sunday School in the 7th grade, at Edmonton Moravian church, and studying the fruits of the spirit, from the passage in Galatians 5:22. In true Sunday School style, the lesson included an exercise in creating a mobile out of paper, a different fruit shape for each quality. Over the course of the week, I felt compelled to recreate the shapes out of scraps of fabric(the 70’s were good for polyester double knit, which didn’t ravel), hand stitched together, and stuffed with cotton batting. Bringing the mobile to class the following Sunday, I felt conspicuous, and felt embarrassed by my excess, and yet I loved the soft forms, and still have them in my memorabilia.
Stratoz began the project by designing and cutting out the letters for Faithfulness. He was going to start with “Joy” but Faithfulness gives us a running start with many more letters! I will be gluing the letters down and mosaicing around them, and I can freely give myself to this big, bold, colorful incarnation of the Fruit of the Spirit, with abandon!
Here is a video by Stratoz introducing Faithfulness: