Monday, August 24, 2009

All Saints' Bowl Complete

The All Saints' Bowl, after long last, is finished. Of course, it did not end up being all saints - since that would require either a much bigger bowl, or much smaller saints. But we have five saints, and some stained-glass windows, and it's all very churchy.

The stained-glass motif came out very well with water glazes. They seem to be illuminated, even on redware.

We chose five female saints to depict on the bowl, largely because of their attributes and stories. Saint Joan of Arc was the first chosen because I (Gabe) have been fascinated by her since I was a child. I've even dreamed of Joan of Arc many times. Our Joan looks more like a riot grrrl than a medieval French peasant, but this is our Joan, not the real one.

Saint Dorothea appears here because of her iconographic attributes - three apples and three roses in a basket. Our daughter Eva is obsessed, for some reason, with apples, and carries around a basket, so Saint Dorothea is for her.

Saint Cecilia has no personal significance, but as patron saint of music she has to be one of our choices. We love and play music of all kinds, and not a day goes by without a dance party in the kitchen. Saint Cecilia lives in our house.

Saint Mary of Egypt has a fascinating story: as a beautiful, dissipated young noblewoman Mary went on pilgrimage to seduce male pilgrims and enjoy a tour of debauchery across Europe. But when she reached the Holy Land and entered the temple, she was overcome by the Holy Spirit and saw her sins. In penance, she went out into the desert with three loves of bread and lived for much longer than anyone ought with only three loves of bread. Anyway, she's normally pictured as a wasted old woman with three loaves, which seemed like a cool image.

If we were Catholic, Saint Lucia would be our second daughter's patron. Lucia has an interesting story too - she was a lovely young nun, and when a man complimented her on her eyes, she gouged them out herself. She said she would rather live the rest of her life blind than cause anyone temptation. Lucia is usually pictured either presenting her eyes on a platter (gruesome) or holding a sprig with her eyes growing as flowers (poetic). She also carries a lamp, since her name (ironically) means "light." Also, Saint Lucia may not have actually existed. That's okay.

No comments: