Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Tree of Life

"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him." ~Revelation 22:2

On a recent mild spring day, my friend Christi Jentz and I spent an enjoyable hour or two beginning to plot out a plan for a sea glass mosaic, combining my fanaticism for collecting the colorful bits of shards discovered along the shores of Lake Michigan with Christi's artistic flair and talent.  It was all Christi's idea really, I'm far too lazy to have ever considered doing much with my sea glass other than cleaning it and then using it to fill the many glass jars and bottles that line my front porch windows.

Christi had recently been blessed to visit the Chartes Cathedral in France and was enthralled with the Tree of Life floor covering that lay at the altar of the great church.  She brought a picture of the Tree of Life from the book of Revelation to my house, sketched out a rough draft on paper and we began to assemble the beginnings of the tree roots and water at the base of the tree.

At the time we began, we weren't quite sure what we would do with the mosaic-would we embed the glass in cement for an outdoor stepping stone or perhaps should we aim for a stained glass window effect instead? One of the things I most love about sea glass is how translucent it is when the light shines through the many colors, so we have decided to go with the window option.  I purchased a salvaged antique window at Restore, a resale shop that supports Habitat for Humanity, and that window will become our base for the Tree of Life mosaic.  I'm fond of following sea glass groups on facebook and it was there that I learned that Duco Cement works well for holding the sea glass onto window glass so that's the bond we'll use, followed by a coat of resin to hold the piece together.  I'm a bit concerned that the window I purchased may be a  bit too large and heavy, so I may have to continue searching for something a bit lighter weight, but that searching will be most enjoyable, I'm sure.

the window will obviously need  a bit of love
and careful cleaning before we glue the sea glass on it!

At this point I continue to spend my spare time separating the many colors of sea glass in my collection to make the work of piecing the mosiac together go more smoothly and quickly.  We anticipate the project taking us several months before we'll be satisfied with what  we accomplish, but I'll be joyfully sharing our progress along the way and welcoming any advice from experts and novices alike on how we should proceed.

Christi has also written a post about the project including some fascinating background information on the Chartes Cathedral.  Please do visit her post here to learn more!

A river runs through the tree of life, and a river runs through my soul.  
That river refreshes me with every good gift from God-
the gifts of friendship, creativity, beauty and joy-
the gifts that bring meaning to my days.  
How glorious is our God!  
He quenches my burning thirst for His love 
with little drops of grace 
poured out with perfect measure 
to gently wash me into His peace.

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