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My Process

My PROCESS for making a sacred art structure

01.

STEP ONE

I use 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 purposes.

02.

STEP TWO

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 U-shape.

03.

STEP three

The 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.

04.

STEP four

The torn strips are then grouped in sections, or “signatures,” of 10-15 folded pages .

05.

STEP five

The "signatures" are adhered with a Nepalese hand- made paper that comes from the bark of the Himalayan Lokta plant.

06.

STEP six

The "signatures" are hand sewn together with waxed linen thread using a 4th century Ethiopian Coptic stitch.

07.

STEP seven

The sewn together "signatures" are trimed with waxed linen thread using another 4th century Ethiopian Coptic stitch.

08.

STEP eight

Finally, 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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