Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Commissioned Pieces

As promised in my last post (Hey! That's TWO posts so far this week!), I want to tell you about my current jewelry project.  It really is something special so I will first give you a little background.  Just a few miles down the road from our home is the international headquarters for Mercy Ships, a global outreach whose mission it is to bring "hope and healing to the world's forgotten poor." 
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7

The organization's first hospital ship was the Anastasis, which was in service from 1983 until it was retired in 2007.  Beautiful, isn't it? 

(image from Wikimedia.com)

Some items of memorabilia from this historic ship are still around, including some keychains with original skeleton keys and tags.  Ooooh...what fun!  When asked if I would design some jewelry incorporating these vintage beauties I was thrilled!

The project started with a commission for five necklaces, all of the same basic design, using different accent beads and embellishments.  This is my favorite of the first five.

I was very happy with the first necklaces and so was my contact at Mercy Ships!  This project really has started my creative juices flowing again and what began as a project of just one design has turned into many designs!  This is a great mercy in itself, as I have really been seeking a way to get back on track creatively.

The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
Psalms 145:9
I am particularly happy with the use of brass washers altered to suggest the look of a porthole.  I used them in several of the pieces.  Other repeated elements are sea glass and pearls which are natural additions to the ocean theme. Brass seemed a perfect choice of material for the chain and findings as so many fixtures on ships are made of this durable metal.  (I recently saw an exhibit of relics from the Titanic.  The finish on the brass furnishings and navigation intruments was in good shape even after lying at the bottom of the ocean for decades.) 

Through this whole process I've really loved learning more about the Anastasis.  The meaning of its name is particularly wonderful to me.  In Greek, Anastasis means resurrection.  How fitting.

When you have a few free minutes, take the time to learn more about Mercy Ships here.   I hope you are as inspired as I by the story of a retired ocean liner, bought for "scrap value" and transformed to serve as a vessel of hope and healing.  I also pray that these new jewelry creations, fashioned from relics that could easily have been tossed out, will serve as reminders of the transforming love of Christ in our own lives.  For we were rescued...purchased for a price much higher than "scrap value" and by grace we are daily being transformed into creations far more beautiful than we could ever be on our own.

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