New! On Eagle’s Wings Cross Designs

“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

On Eagle's Wings Cross ©Nancy Denmark

sterling silver On Eagle’s Wings cross measures 1 1/8″ X 3/4″

This jewelry piece, H66 On Eagle’s Wings, is a high polished sterling silver cross with a raised, stylized eagle. It measures 1 1/8″ X 3/4″ (measurement does not include bale). Priced at $55 for the cross + $6 US shipping = $61.  I am now accepting pre-orders while it is still in production stages. Click the photo or above link to pre-order from my website.

The design came about over the summer as a commission from St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas  to make a large pectoral cross (below) for one of their pastors celebrating 50 years in ministry. After making the large cross in the style of my Impressions of Nature series they decided to make a smaller cross (above) available to their members. The stylized eagle design I used on the crosses is my 3 dimensional interpretation of the logo of St. John Lutheran Church.

On Eagle's Wings Pectoral Cross ©Nancy Denmark

large sterling silver On Eagle’s Wings Impressions of Nature pectoral cross measures 3″ X 2″

The eagle is a powerful symbol used to represent St. John the Evangelist. Christian tradition has connected the authors of the New Testament Gospels that bear their names (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) with the four “living creatures” that surround God’s throne, as described in Revelations, Ezekiel, and other early Christian texts. John the Evangelist, the author of the fourth gospel account is symbolized by an eagle because, as the eagle soars towards heaven, he soared in spirit upwards to the heaven of heavens to bring revelations back to earth. John describes many things at a loftier level than the other three gospel authors.

The eagle represents Jesus’ Ascension, and Christ’s divine nature. More inspirational symbolism of the eagle may be found online, including this primer to Catholic symbolism, where a Cloistered Poor Clare Colettine Nun beautifully expresses the power of our Christian symbols as teaching tools to “…grasp them in their beautiful simplicity and begin to appreciate the profound meaning within them, for each contains an entire treasury of thought, a repository of the experience of life in the Faith in its many joyful, painful and hopeful dimensions.” Her symbolism of the eagle includes “The Word of God has the power to raise us up on eagles wings and bring us to heaven” as expressed in the verse from Isaiah that I include with these crosses in a printed gift enclosure.

Both crosses are available to all for purchase. In the spirit of our inclusive faith, I do not create exclusive designs. My thanks to St. John Lutheran for generously sharing their eagle logo design with the world in this way. It was a joy for me to translate it into this new form to create another wearable love story and statement of faith. Click the respective photos or linked text to read the full description of each design with ordering information on my website.

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Hearts & Amethysts For February

Descending Dove With Amethyst

Descending Dove With Amethyst

The birthstone for February is the beautiful purple amethyst gemstone and Valentine’s Day brings heart jewelry into favor this month. I started my line of Christian symbol jewelry in 1988 with a heart theme. Many of these early designs incorporating symbols within hearts are shown in the grouping below. (Click the photos to link to my website where you’ll find more details and prices on each piece.) Some of the names of my heart themed pieces are “Hearts Entwined In Christ”, “Shine In My Heart”, “Peace of the Lord”, “Heart Ablaze”, “One In The Spirit”, and “Holy Spirit Alight In My Heart”. Each comes with a printed gift enclosure weaving the combination of symbols into a story, giving the wearer a message of faith to share with the world.

Symbolic Heart Jewelry Designs

From The Heart Symbolic Jewelry

The American Gem Society reports that amethyst, is a purple quartz, a beautiful blend of violet and red that can found in every corner of the earth.  English regalia were decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. This symbolism also ties to it’s use in the Church today as purple is the biblical color associated with royalty. The things of the King are often referred to as being royal such as the royal city and royal priesthood. Purple is the liturgical color often used to represent the passion of Christ and used in seasons of penitence and mourning.

Canterbury Cross With Amethyst

Canterbury Cross With Amethyst

The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning sober.  In ancient Greece, the gemstone was associated with the god of wine, and it was common practice to serve this beverage from amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. February’s purple birthstone has been found among the possessions of royalty throughout the ages.  The intense violet hue of amethyst appealed to early monarchs, perhaps because they often wore this color. Purple dye was scarce and expensive at one time, and so it was reserved for the garments of kings and queens. Amethyst has been found in ruins dating as far back as the ninth century, adorning crowns, scepters, jewelry, and breastplates worn into battle.  A large amethyst is among the closely guarded gemstones in the British Crown Jewels.

Gift of God Sterling Silver Amethyst Cross

Gift of God Amethyst Cross

I designed my “Gift of God” cross to resemble the ribbon of a bow, symbolizing the gift. “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith… It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift.” Eph. 2:8-9 This amethyst cross is shown on my website on a purple cord which is a popular option for wearing many of the gemstone designs.

As always, I encourage my customers to not feel limited by the gem assigned to their  month of birth but to enjoy any special connection to their birthstone, while embracing all gem colors that appeal to them. Color is a spice of life!

All designs shown are available for immediate delivery on date of this post (February 2, 2012). Ordering/purchasing information may be found on the contact page of my website and prices for each piece shown are posted  on each design’s page (click each image).

Symbol Designs With Garnet Gemstones

Sterling Cross With Garnet

Bishop Alard Cross W/ Garnet

The birthstone for January is a garnet, one of my favorite colored gemstones. As we begin a new year, I thought it might be fun to share a blog post each month to spotlight some of my designs available with the month’s birthstone(s). Click each photo to link to more information about the design on my website. As a longtime lover of  the large spectrum of colored gemstones, I have always encouraged my customers to not feel limited by the gem assigned to their  month of birth but to enjoy any special connection to their birthstone, while embracing all gem colors that make their heart sing. I have often included color symbolism in my stories that accompany my symbol designs with gemstones. The garnet for me symbolizes the blood of Christ when used in a cross. I found it interesting to read that Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. The pomegranate is a very symbolic image used throughout history.

sterling canterbury cross with garnet

Sterling Canterbury Cross With Garnet

A little online research leads to some history and lore about birthstones. The American Gem Society states “The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then – the tanzanite was added to December.” They include a color photo list arranged by month where you may click on the month you were born to learn the history of your birthstone. Many Museums of Natural Science & History include information too. The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture has some interesting science and legend behind birthstones stating “how powerful it is to have our month of birth represented by a beautiful natural gemstone. We can own and display our special stone and feel embraced by its beauty”.

Descending Dove pendant with Rhodolite Garnet

"The Spirit In Motion" Descending Dove W/ Rhodolite Garnet

The American Gem Society states, “Garnet, the birthstone for January,  signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend.  Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed.  References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry.  Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites.  Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.” Personally, I am quite fond of tsavorite garnets that rival the color of emeralds. The Burke Museum website shows a garnet in it’s naturally occurring state, and suggests “The next time you eat a pomegranate, you will notice the seeds’ resemblance to garnet.”

All designs shown are available for immediate delivery on date of this post (January 18, 2012). Ordering/purchasing information may be found on the contact page of my website and prices for each piece shown are posted  on each design’s page (click each image).

Sterling Silver Gift Of God Cross W/ Garnet on Leather Cord

Sterling Silver "Gift Of God" Cross W/ Garnet On Red Leather Cord

Artful Mother’s Day Gifts Will Abound

This Saturday!!! April 30 10am-5pm Please Come to A SHOW OF FRIENDS

at J. West Studio 2103 Commonwealth @ Indiana in Houston

Nancy Denmark jewelry, wall crosses & more
Jean West art glass & jewelry
Margaret Bailey handcrafted wood
Marilyn Cameron pottery

What a timely shopping opportunity for an artful Mother’s Day gift.

Art Show of Jean West, Nancy Denmark, Margaret Bailey, Marilyn Cameron

A Show Of Friends

I am intentionally transitioning from a heavy show schedule to a stronger web presence and online sales. But I do expect to continue getting out there from time to time to sell my stuff, just less often is the plan. So don’t miss this opportunity to come see some beautiful handmade wares in person. That person to person contact between artist and customer is invaluable and I do still enjoy the face to face opportunities as I know the art lover enjoys the hands on buying experience. I also enjoy the camaraderie of being with other artists at shows, so it seemed apropos that if I was going to do only one spring show it should be A Show Of Friends! We have been showing together for some years now but this is the first time we are trying this Show Of Friends at J. West Studio in the spring. Please help us make it a success and come on out to see the show this Saturday. We’ll also have some refreshments to welcome our guests. The show is in a lovely historic Victorian courtyard at J. West Glass Studio, where the setting complements the art of four talented women friends.

Click any photo below to view a preview album of our art offerings. Directions and map to the show below.

Looking Down To Shady Courtyard

Come By For A Shady Visit In The Courtyard

Stunning Spiral Staircase

Visit Nancy & Jean's Displays Upstairs

Margaret Bailey's beautiful wood display

Margaret Bailey's Beautiful Wood Display

directions to find J. West Studio

Directions and a Map To A Show Of Friends

Feelin’ The Green of New Life With Malachite

Sterling Silver Gift Of God Ribbon Cross With Malachite

Sterling Silver Gift Of God Ribbon Cross With Malachite

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m feelin’ the green today, so thought I’d share something green with my “Gift Of God” sterling silver cross pendant design set with a malachite cabochon stone. The scripture that accompanies this design is “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith… It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift.” Eph. 2:8-9
I designed this cross to resemble the ribbon of a bow, symbolizing the gift.

Since St. Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol of the Trinity to teach about the Christian faith, I decided to do a quick photo shoot outside to show this design with a bit of the Irish spirit on my blog today. My yard is always a mass of this somewhat annoying oxalis weed in early spring. When I take photos I see things in a different way, in a new light, and today it did not seem like a weed. “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” ~A.A. Milne Many times my seeing and knowing just has to do with getting “up close and personal” and spending time with the subject and sometimes it has more to do with looking at something enlarged on the computer screen. In those varied ways the subject often speaks to me in a new way through my photography. Through the photo composition, the oxalis or shamrock entered the pondering of today’s subject matter. As a prolific, invasive weed, the oxalis is something troublesome to deal with as we clean out the flower beds each spring preparing for new plantings. “But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else.  In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit.  Weeds are people’s idea, not nature’s.” ~Author Unknown So many times I find myself drawn to photograph the pretty little surprises of nature that pop up in the grass. When photographing the weeds I don’t think of them in negative ways. I appreciate them for their beauty and stand in awe and wonder of their intricacies while contemplating their complexities and any messages they may hold for me. “What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My time spent behind the camera is often precious God time since it leads to deep thought. I kept noticing the lovely heart shapes that compose the trinitarian shamrock. The heart shapes led me to ponder relationships which eventually brought me back to the Trinity and the relationship of the three persons in one and my relationship to each. Then I thought about love and more relationships. I contemplated the symbolism of green as new life and growth and back again to the gifts and Gift of God.

While I received many messages today in the photo shoot of my cross design juxtaposed against the shamrock, I am left pondering the ways in which the gift of God’s grace is shown to me through “my weeds” or the unwanted things in my life. If I ponder life’s unwanted things in the new light of that grace, I find them to be more embraceable. My experience of new life often comes in the form of new thinking or re-thinking old thoughts and ideas. I think that’s what we are called to do during Lent…to rethink our lives, renew our spirits in reflection, and to recommit ourselves to living by the Spirit, in relationship with our trinitarian God.

This cross design H23 The Gift Of God, is available with many gemstone choices. Click the image to see the jewelry design on my website with more details and ordering information.

Symbolic Jewelry Created As Lenten Discipline

Every year as I head into Lent I find myself reflecting on my first experience of taking on a Lenten discipline, since it was such a productive experience for me. In 1988, my discipline was to create a body of work through which I could share my faith through my art. Here’s a piece of my story that I have shared before but is worth repeating again and again, especially on the anniversary of taking on this endeavor.

Christian theme heart jewelry designs Nancy Denmark

Heart Themed Jewelry In My "From The Heart Line"

“In the late 80’s, after hearing a stewardship sermon, I felt called to communicate the love of God through my jewelry work. I understood it to be my responsibility, as a good steward of my artistic gifts, to create a body of work for the Glory of God. It was the best way for me to give God a good return on his investment in me. As a Lenten discipline, I created the first pieces of my line of jewelry incorporating Christian symbology. I named it “From the Heart Line” as many of my first pieces were hearts incorporating different Christian symbols. Through the years, I have continued to add to that original body of work, which is now over 60 designs strong. With that first calling, I committed to give each piece a story or scripture explanation to help the wearer communicate their faith to others with words, as well as the visual design. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, is “Tell everyone around you of the great love of God. When all else fails, use words.” It is my goal as an artist that each jewelry piece stands on its own as good design without the attached symbolism. It is also my goal that the symbols will communicate without words. This often results in perfect strangers, being drawn to comment on the design, opening a door for the wearer to share their story of faith. My ministry is sharing the love and glory of God through my design work, offering the wearer a “love story” to visibly wear and verbally share.”

This line of symbolic jewelry may also be viewed in my catalog brochure available for download on my website. Printed at 100% the images in the brochure are actual size, with stories, symbolism, and prices. The BROCHURE tab is accessible from any web page. A simple click on the word BROCHURE will download a pdf file catalog/brochure with current pricing.

Clicking on the above image of heart jewelry, will take you to my web page featuring this group. The web page lists these designs by name and ordering code with purple links to view and read about each jewelry design shown in the image above. To place orders, visit the contact page on my website for instructions.

Feeling “One In The Spirit” Today

Today I celebrate many years of marriage with my husband so I am personally feeling the spirit of this One In The Spirit jewelry design. I designed this piece to symbolize marriage or a Christian union of two.

anniversary, marriage, wedding jewelry

"One In The Spirit" Sterling Silver Pendant, Anniversary Design

This was one of my first jewelry designs where I combined many symbols to tell one story. It comes with a nice printed box enclosure presentation of this symbolism and message: Two hearts joined together by and in Christ form a union, which is encompassed by the Holy Spirit. I designed this as a symbol for a Christian marriage or union. A combination of many symbols…the outside line of the design suggests a descending dove, which encompasses the two hearts, forming a fish marked with a cross as they join.

This is an excellent choice for anniversary, wedding, marriage proposal, or valentine’s day jewelry gifts or any just because I love you occasions. I just mailed one out this week to a man who will be making his wife very happy on their upcoming anniversary.

Happy Anniversary to my husband today! I’m feeling the love!

(click the image to view all the purchasing details on my website)