Tag Archives: silk paraments

Kennewick Christmas Addendum

Kennewick Christmas

Christmas Manger alter parament, silk dye on silk, 33″ x 22.

Now  all the pieces in the 13-piece set Kennewick Christmas are finished. It took me a lot longer to sew each piece, some by hand, than I thought it would!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Syrian refugees as paint this set, and how, to a refugee in a stranger’s land, any space that is warm and dry can seem fit for a king. Even a manger meant for a place to hold food for farm animals is desirable if it’s the best place available. And that was the best place Mary could find to set her King of Kings, the baby Jesus, the night he was born. 

Joseph and Mary must have been worried, anxious, tired and dirty from their travels and from the emotionally exhausting process of bringing a baby into the world. Yet I’ve depicted them both as shining with halos, basking in the sacred Light of God.

Kennewick Christmas

I Iwonder if you and I can see the sacred Light of God reflected from the homeless strangers we encounter in our daily lives today?

It was fun to work with the idea of light shining onto the manger, and illuminating the straw. And to carry the theme of sacred golden light throughout the banners and paraments. And  to depict the Light of God shining on all of us through the halos on the stoles.

I thought I’d get a few pictures of how the stoles look when worn. Unfortunately the only model available was me. So here they are:

Deacon's-stole2

Kennewick Christmas Deacon’s stole

Pastor's-stole2

Kennewick Christmas Pastor’s stole

 

Kennewick Christmas

Kennewick Christmas Scapular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon’s Stole for Janet

© Kristen Gilje 2015 St. Marks Red Deacon's Stole

St. Marks Red Deacon’s Stole
© Kristen Gilje 2015

 

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by the Narrows (Tacoma, WA) has lots of beautiful art in its sanctuary, including some great stained glass windows. My friend Janet pointed out her favorite part of the glass, a symbol of a dove. She asked me if I could make her a Deacon’s stole with this design on it, transposing the blues to red instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stained glass at St. Marks by the Narrows, Tacoma, WA Det.

Stained glass at St. Marks by the Narrows, Tacoma, WA Det.

 

Transposing the colors from blue to red, in watercolor

Transposing the colors from blue to red, in watercolor

To the left is a photo of the stained glass, which is about 12 feet high, and on the right is my watercolor rendition of the design in reds. I chose to add some purples and spring greens for spark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet's St. Mark's Deacon Stole

Janet’s St. Mark’s Deacon Stole

 

Janet's St. Mark's Dove stole modeled by a Bellingham friend.

Janet’s St. Mark’s Dove stole modeled by a Bellingham friend.

 

 

The next step was to use my red interpretation on a deacon’s stole pattern that I designed several years ago. I found two  asymmetrical black buttons in a fancy knitting store to help strengthen the joint between the two sides.   Can you see them?

 

I like how the blues and greens and dark black-reds add just enough contrast to the overall red.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet’s stole modeled by a friend here in Bellingham, showing the side view. Thanks Sharry!

©Kristen Gilje Northwest Stole, handpainted silk, 2012

Northwest Stole

This winter I accomplished a long-term goal to develop a stole representing our great Northwest environment.

©2012 Kristen Gilje "Northwest Stole" hand painted silk

©2012 Kristen Gilje “Northwest Stole” hand painted silk

The idea was to include day and night, winter and summer, mountains, plains and ocean in one piece!

My goal was to express the sacred beauty and presence of God I experience living in this varied landscape.  Wearing this  stole in our Green Season rites and rituals in our churches is a way of expressing gratitude to the Creator for such a wonderful home. My hope is to see this sacredness celebrated in our churches.

The seed for this stole design came from a painting I completed in 2006, celebrating life at Holden Village in the North Cascades. Can you see in the two vertical strips, one yellow and the other purple, one summer and one winter, the start of the design?

©2006 Kristen Gilje, Breadmaking at Holden, watercolor 22 x 30 inches

©2006 Kristen Gilje, “Breadmaking at Holden,” watercolor 22 x 30 inches.

I promised myself I’d some day make a stole out of this painting, and now here it is!

©Kristen Gilje Northwest Stole, handpainted silk, 2012

Kent French, pastor First Congregational Church of Bellingham UCC, modeling “Northwest Stole”

 First Congregational Church of Bellingham UCC

2401 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 360.734.3720

 

 

New Red Banners for Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel

 

Painting in the living room

I’m honored to be making another set of banners for Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia this year. The graduating class of 2012, LTSP, has chosen to commission a pair of banners to continue the set ordered last year by the class of 2011.

Last year’s banners were also in pairs: Green, purple, and gold/white. You can see two of them in the picture below.

Philadelphia-2

Two of 3 pairs of banners from last year’s gift hanging in Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel at LTSP

Here’s a peek into the process:

 I start with white silk pinned to a wooden frame the size of the banner, which my husband has made.  This frame is 16 feet long and 45 inches wide. We set it up in the living room and adjacent shop area, after moving all the furniture away.

First I experiment with the colors I’d like to use, see how they mix together. Then I mix up a batch big enough to cover all the silk.

I use techniques similar to watercolor painting when I do these nice loose silk paintings. The silk is made damp first, so that the dyes will move and blend into each other softly. Then I apply the dye with sponge brushes.  

LTSP Red Banner in Progress

Detail First Red Banner: this process is very much like watercolor, only on a large scale

Dry silk banner ready to be rolled in paper

After the silk is completely dry, usually over night, I remove it from the frame, lay it over newsprint paper, and roll it up in the paper.

Here you can see the whole first red banner, with paper underneath, extending from the living room into our shop.

Next I roll the silk and paper up together, drill a hole into the top of the roll (avoiding the silk of course), and stick it into a piece of stove pipe.

 

 

Steamer for “fixing’ the dyes

The silk roll then hangs vertically down in the center of the stove pipe. I top the pipe off with newspaper and a towel as a lid.

I carry the stove pipe outside and put it into a big pot full of water, with a propane burner underneath. After sealing the pot to the stove pipe with aluminum foil and masking tape I light the fire. The water boils, making steam. The moist heat chemically bonds the dyes to the silk.

The silk steams for 4 hours. After letting it cool for a while I bring the pipe back into the house and unroll the silk. Usually the colors are brighter after they are steamed, so it’s always a pleasure to see what’s inside. Very much like opening a potter’s kiln, to see what the new pots look like!

For these banners, I cut the bottoms into an inverted arch, to match the arches in their new home. Then  the hems are hand-stitched, so I can control the tension of the thread. This way they hang better.

All that’s left now is to finish the hemming, pack them into cardboard tubes, and send them off!

 

St. Marks by the Narrows, Tacoma WA

St. Marks Lutheran has a new theme every year, and the past two years they have commissioned silk banners to depict those themes. For 2011 the theme was “Come to Us Creative Spirit.”

2011 St. Marks Lutheran Tacoma

©2011 Kristen Gilje “Come to Us Creative Spirit,” 6 feet by 45 inches, hand-painted silk. 

This year’s theme  was ” Listen, God is Calling”, and they commissioned another silk piece.

“Listen” in St Marks by the Narrows Lutheran Church

Here’s a close-up of just the painting:

Finished Banner for St. Marks by the Narrows, Tacoma, WA

©2012 Kristen Gilje “Listen God is Calling,” 6 feet by 45 inches, hand-painted silk. 

 

I was pleased to hear that the pastor referred to the silk painting in each of the sermons the following two Sundays after it was hung. I wonder what he said?