Despite my carping about going to church as opposed to hanging out on the porch, I'm glad I went. It was good--better than it's been in a while. It's a bit of a strange time right now. Our priest, Karla was married two weeks ago and is leaving next week to become rector of a parish in North Carolina, where she and her husband will be living. I'm happy for her, but the reality of our parting is starting to set in. I've been intentionally focusing on the positive aspects of her move. It's probably good for her career to take what she's learned here and apply in a different place. It's great that she and her new husband are not going to try to live in two different places (he's not able to relocate to DC right now). I haven't lost focus on these positive things, but the fact that my friend, adviser, and confidant is not going to be physically present in my daily life is starting to overshadow. We'll see each other a couple of times this week, including a birthday party, a final discernment meeting, and a big parish going-away BBQ. These will all be good, happy times together, but I'm afraid the tears are inevitable. I'm not cute when I cry.
On the subject of Karla. The pictures below are of a liturgical stole that I made for Karla's wedding. The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Bishop of Washington, wore it when he married Karla and Steve. Now the stole belongs to Karla, for her to wear when she marries other couples. This feels so very right. Karla officiated at Dan's and my commitment ceremony last October. In an indirect way, I participated in her wedding. Now threads (literally and figuratively) of all of that joy will be part of future weddings.
These are the two pieces that make up the front. The piece on the right is painted silk habotai. The piece on the left is sheer polyester, about the weight of a window sheer. The circles are silver composition leaf prepared using Jane Dunnewold's laminating method (and, I confess, no small inspiration from one of her designs). The laminating technique works very well and is clearly documented in Jane's CD titled "Paper and Metal Leaf Lamination," which is available at www.complexcloth.com. If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Jane DO IT. She's great. So, as I look at these pieces I think I like them better as individuals than I do in combination. The photo shows two pure elements.
Here are a few shots of the finished piece, The top two layers are hand quilted with gold metallic thread to a piece of lightweight interfacing and there are small clusters of seed beads sewn into the middle of each circle. What was I thinking?
I wanted the back to be something radically different, with an element of tension. The wedding day is all pretty colors and shiny things, but marriage is a more complicated mix, which I tried to convey through uneven color and pattern. The words running along the back are part of the wedding vows. I think it's neat that when the priest wraps the couple's hands in the stole they see some of both sides.