Ok, two new books to read! Woo! I’m excited!
First is Windows into the Soul: Art As Spiritual Expression by Michael Sullivan. I got this book for two reasons. One: I am really drawn to this idea of art as spiritual expression and spiritual experience. Two: I’m working on the idea of a workshop on art craft and spirituality. This last bit began when I was invited to assist with a acquaintance’s retreat on prayer. My portion was on art craft and prayer and I was thrilled to get to do this! During the weekend retreat, I held a rotating two hour workshop designed to expose the women in attendance to the idea of craft as spiritual discipline. I had many options of things for them to try, mostly so they could get their feet wet: painting a cross, making a prayer box or devotion box, making prayer beads from polymer clay, etc. Most chose to make the prayer beads, which was a lot of fun for them to do. Some had never even considered the idea of using beads in their devotional life, much less making them to represent specific people or issues or concerns. It was fascinating to see all of the beads come together. Sadly, no one made prayer boxes, but that’s ok. I do not know that they understood what they were or if I even gave a good description.
At any rate, this was so much fun that we’re going to do it within our congregation with an Art Craft and Spirituality Workshop starting in July. I have no idea who will even come, but we’re starting with the prayer beads the first week and then something else the next. I’m hoping there’ll be something in this book to spark an idea. Some of these items in the book, such as the first one which involves creating a collage page of words of that which impedes our relationship with God and God’s responses, may be a bit deep for this early on. It is a fantastic idea, but many people may find this too personal to begin with. However, I forsee this book being a great resource and inspiration.
Second is Printmaking and Mixed Media: Simple Techniques and Projects for Paper and Fabric by Dorit Elisha. The really nice guy at the bookstore said this was a good book, so I’m hoping he’s right and I think he would be since he said he studied this in college! 🙂 The closest thing to “printmaking” I’ve done is photography and work in the darkroom with photograms and photogram/ graphs, hand colored photos and other things related to a b&w darkroom. This appears to be quite different, I think. I’m looking forward to trying it out. It does seem to be easy to follow instructions, good supply list and project ideas.
Much more on my book list to yet acquire, including Steampunk Style jewelry by Jean Campbell and Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins by Susan Kazmer.