Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's All Greek (and Jewelry) to Me...

This past summer, I was blessed with an amazing opportunity to spend two weeks in Greece following in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. I traveled with a group of 40 lovely people and one awesome tour guide. Together we explored the ancient ruins all over that beautiful country. Everyday of the trip brought one breathtaking experience after the other.
Click here to see a few of my favorite photos from the trip.

It was truly a wonderful trip... very inspiring both as a Christian and as a jewelry designer. Standing in the same places that saw major biblical and historical events, made me feel awestruck.

It only took a few moments for me to realize that taking pictures of Greece wasn't going to be enough. I wanted to take Greece home... and that's what I did! I decided to collect leaves from plants that adorned the popular attractions and from ordinary places. Now in my studio I have dried leaves labeled, "poplar leaves from Olympia", "plant outside Paul's prison in Philipi", "laurel leaf growing next to the Parthenon in Athens" and "ivy leaf from the stream where Paul baptized Lydia".

I know that my travel mates thought that I was nuts at times, but I kept telling them that I had a plan for those leaves. And now everyone can see a little bit of my imagination come to life in the photo above. Here I have cast an olive leaf (left) from the grounds of Philip's tomb and a laurel leaf (right) from Apollo's temple in Delphi. I'm not going to bore you with the process, but I painted each leaf with several layers of a paste form of pure silver. After completely drying, I fired them in a kiln, applied a patina, polished and voila... perfect leaf impressions made of pure silver (click on the photo above to view larger). The process took about a week working at mom speed and I look forward to making more with the leaves that did not get ruined by the Greek heat or my cat.

The photo on the right is the olive tree that "gave" me a leaf.
The photo on the left is the laurel tree that did the same.
Thank you trees!!! (and security guards for looking the other way!!!) and by the way the, the stones behind the leaves above are actual pieces of ruins in Corinth and Ephesus... but don't tell anyone!!!.


Kallia said...

Oh wow, it's so beautiful! You're so fortunate to be able to travel there. I am envious!

I have some olive oil coming from Greece soon and cannot wait to experience it.

blueboygifts said...

very beautiful! I have always wanted to go to Greece.

Shannon said...

Beautiful leaves! And what a great story behind them. :)