In my post, Environment vs. The Environment, ‘hand-made gifts’ is #3 on my short list of things that feed our inner beings. I am going to give you a personal example of a hand-made gift that is priceless to me.
The Owl’s Beauty Secret (two sides)
by Christine Fish
I acquired this little 4″ x 4″ gem of a mosaic in a mosaic swap which I described here. I guess this isn’t strictly a gift, since each of us brought a mosaic and each of us walked away with a mosaic, but it feels like a gift to me. The artist, Christine Fish, is a friend and fellow Austin Mosaic Guild member. She is crazy-smart and incredibly creative. She whipped out this little mosaic in her “spare time”.
The ‘beauty’ ‘secret’ of the owl is eating the mouse. Hey, she was using the cards she was dealt, as half of the tile, including the two-sided word tile, was assigned to her by the rules of the swap. She made the mouse skin out of shards of glass that she fused in her kiln, creating the tiny bubble shapes. She fused the glass mouse ear, too. Each vitreous tile and porcelain tile was carefully cut to fit, and she even painted the edges of tile that appear in the frame, at least the ones whose color didn’t please. My plan is to mount this on a rod sunk into a turned wood pedestal my grandfather made, making an axle the tile can turn on.
This gift oozes care. This gift is awash in character. This gift represents our most valuable resource-time-and our most valuable activity-creation. This represents the triumph of quality over quantity. If we are surrounded by nature and a few well-chosen objects that nurture our souls and a few well-chosen objects that serve our purposes, the quantity-collections of stuff that glitters for a moment, then is gone in the deluge of something new, are going to seem pretty shoddy.