a variety of media in my sacred
structures, including paper, wood, stone, rusted nails, metal, and salvaged
wood. At times I create the metaphorical structure the Bibles are mounted on
and at times I find an existing piece that I can incorporate, such as a yoke,
skull, boat, cross, or other religious relic or symbol. I especially enjoy incorporating found and discarded items to represent how Christ “makes all things
new” and can repair and repurpose our brokenness and mistakes for his
Most of my art structures incorporate an antique
Bible. Prior to 1860, especially in Europe, Bibles were printed
with bold black ink on heavier and thicker paper due to the especially high
percentage of rag content, or scrap cloth, used in making the paper. While
today’s papers are thinner and are prone to crack and yellow with aging,
pre-1860 papers are often found to have survived fire and flood and outlived their
leather covers and bindings. I found this older, heavier, and thicker paper has
a beauty all its own and drapes gracefully when re-stitched and hung in a
pages of each antique Bible are carefully and prayerfully hand torn into
strips. The size of the Bible dictates the size and number of strips.
torn strips are then grouped in sections, or “signatures,” of 10-15 folded
The "signatures" are adhered with a Nepalese hand- made paper that comes from the bark
of the Himalayan Lokta plant.
The "signatures" are hand sewn together with waxed linen thread using a 4th
century Ethiopian Coptic stitch.
The sewn together "signatures" are trimed with waxed linen thread using another 4th century Ethiopian Coptic stitch.
the sewn signatures are draped over a religious metaphorical or symbolic structure
forming a U-shape. The U-shaped drape of each altered Bible represents God’s Word as a
container providing a vessel for our belief system. The inside of the U-shaped
Bible represents the contents of our inner spiritual lives, the communing with
God in our spirit through prayer, reflection, contemplation, and creation.
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