Friday, June 10, 2011


Several months ago I decided it would be an enriching experience to participate in my church's art show.  We were wrapping up a church wide, eighteen month study of the book of Isaiah and this art show was meant to display visual art inspired by the study.  Each of us participants drew a number out of a hat to determine which chapter of Isaiah we would be representing.  Here is the passage I ended up with:

Isaiah 62
Zion’s New Name
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
   for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
   her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your vindication,
   and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
   that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
   a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
   or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
   and your land Beulah
for the LORD will take delight in you,
   and your land will be married.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
   so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
   so will your God rejoice over you.

6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem;
   they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
   give yourselves no rest,
7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
   and makes her the praise of the earth.
8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand
   and by his mighty arm:
“Never again will I give your grain
   as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine
   for which you have toiled;
9 but those who harvest it will eat it
   and praise the LORD,
and those who gather the grapes will drink it
   in the courts of my sanctuary.”

10 Pass through, pass through the gates!
   Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
   Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.

11 The LORD has made proclamation
   to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
   ‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
   and his recompense accompanies him.’”
12 They will be called the Holy People,
   the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After,
   the City No Longer Deserted.
a. Isaiah 62:4 Hephzibah means my delight is in her.
b. Isaiah 62:4 Beulah means married.

And here's what I came up with...

Hephzibah - Isaiah 62
By: Katie Kenfield
The form of the crown that wraps around the piece is made up of the passage written in ancient Hebrew text. The piece is illuminated from within symbolizing righteousness shining out like the dawn and salvation like a blazing torch, (verse 1). The letters found at the top of the crown spell out Hephzibah emphasizing the new name given to God's people, meaning, "my delight is in her" (verse 4).

Figuring out how to visually represent this and then execute the concept, proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.  I had made at least two attempts at an idea, slightly different from what you see in the picture above, which involved caligraphy...lots of caligraphy, and pipe cleaners.  Yeah, it crashed and burned.  Looking back on the whole experience, I kind of wish I had just knit a pair of socks and called them "Hephzibah" but I felt like I needed to get all artsy so I ventured into unfamiliar territory.  Sometimes that can be a fun exciting romp which opens up a new world of possibilities.  In this case, it mostly just frustrated me.  What I saw in my head was not what my project ended up looking like and I hated that.  I knew it was not my best work and I hated that too.  I was humbled, I was annoyed, I was glad when it was done.  

I did get several compliments on the piece and, true to form, I wrote them off as people just being nice or assumed my piece only stood out because it was the only candle holder in the show.  I had resolved to take my piece home, peel off the bubbly, sloppy looking sticker and use the glass for something more appealing like a fish bowl or a cookie jar; however, when I found out there were plans to auction off the pieces to raise money for our church's building fund, I thought,  "Hey, if someone wants it badly enough, they can have it- then I don't even have to take it home!"  

I listed my asking price at $20, assuming I was being optimistic.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email informing me that my piece had sold for $125.  WHAT?!  Immediately my surprise turned to guilt.  "This piece is not worth that kind of money," I told myself over and over again.  What was I supposed to do though?  "At least the money is going toward a good cause," I assured myself.  Still, I just didn't feel right letting someone walk away with something I knew could be better and I had already been brainstorming ways I could have improved the project.

After one more trip to the store and about an hour of holding my breath hoping my new plan would work, I came up with this...

It's still not my most favorite thing I've ever made but I feel like it's a major improvement.  I feel much better about selling it this way.

Read on for the gory crafting details...

I started out by tracing the ancient Hebrew letters onto tracing paper following the crown design I had come up with.  I then scanned the whole thing and made sure it was all going to line up okay.  The first attempt was printed onto Avery® Sticker Project Paper 4383, 8-1/2" x 11", Clear.  I was happy with how the print turned out and the actual sticker material was quite nice.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that it's not really designed to cover large areas.  It rippled, it stuck to itself, and it was nearly impossible to get it put on straight- it didn't help that the piece of glass wasn't exactly a perfect cylinder.  It was a mess but I was out of time.  I filled the bottom of the piece with sand and some tealight candles and called it a night.

The new and improved version followed a similar set of steps but instead of the Sticker Paper, I used Translucent Vellum inkjet paper similar to this.  I taped the seams together and wrapped the whole thing around the glass.  The end result is much more smooth and pleasing to look at.  

1 comment:

Sherida said...

It's gorgeous! I can see where the second version is better than the first, though. Nice job!