2012 Epiphany Christmas Market

Saturday November 17 10am – 3pm
Sunday November 18 8am – 1pm
Participants include Nancy Denmark, Margaret Bailey, Paula Dittrick, Jean West, Marilyn Cameron, Joann Thompson, Patricia Hinojosa, Sara Knowles, Judy Berry, Betty Daniel, Susan & Morgan Bradford, Uchenna Onyelwelu, Kathy Mathison, ECHOS, and Epiphany Youth.

Items at the market will include Baskets, Pottery, Jewelry, Wall Crosses, Knitted Wearables, Quilts, Glass, Wood, Nativities, Holiday Decor, Photography, Note Cards, Soaps, Lotions, Paintings, Mixed Media Collage, and MORE!

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is located in Southwest Houston at the intersection of Bissonnet and Gessner.


Christ Our King and Shepherd


This cross design is part of a series of jewelry pieces that are all derived from the pectoral cross I made for The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle. Each piece features different elements of his pectoral cross. This design features the Good Shepherd, lion and lamb, and grapevine that are all part of Bishop Doyle’s cross. In gratitude for Bishop Doyle’s blessings to share his cross with others, I donate a percentage of my sales of these derivative designs to be used in his ministry.

The ends of the cross terminate with stylized fleurs-de-lys. The liliform ends represent the Trinity and the total twelve petals represent the Apostles. The arm-ends also have the appearance of crowns. The crown symbolizes that Christ is King, and it is also a reminder that crowns await all faithful Christians. “Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

There are numerous biblical accounts using the analogy of Christ as The Good Shepherd. One of the most familiar is from the Gospel of John when Christ said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

The familiar lion and lamb imagery has developed from a combination of biblical verses from Isaiah to symbolically convey a message of peace. The verses paint a picture of ferocious beasts (like the lion) feeding and lying with gentle animals (like the lamb). The depiction in the cross with a lion and lamb lying together at the feet of the Good Shepherd reminds us that peace and unity is available to us through our Great Mediator.

The vine represents Christ who tells us in John 15, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser…I am the vine, you are the branches.” In referring to Himself as the stem that sustains the branches, and his Father as the vinedresser, He was using a metaphor that was well understood, since grape growing was widely practiced in the Holy Land. He describes how the vinedresser prunes so that it will bear more fruit and how a branch thrives in its connection with the stem and root system.

This cross is in the early design stages with a projected availability date of February 2010. To follow the making of this cross, subscribe to my blog or become a “fan” of my facebook business page. A photo journal of the making of Bishop Doyle’s pectoral cross may be viewed on my website: http://nancydenmark.com in the special projects section.


“Going Home” for last 2009 show…

I look forward to ending this week with a show in my hometown of Orange, Texas. It is a nice juxtaposition to show my creations in the context of the home where it all began. I grew up in an unusually contemporary home for the time and place and my early exposure to clean simple design definitely shaped, influenced, and developed my own sense of design. I think growing up in a “not so normal” house in a small town also gave me the courage to step out on my own and “march to the beat of a different drummer”. My “going home” to show has brought me to much reflection on early influences in my life and how they worked together to shape and form me as an artist. The years of our childhood are such a short window of time in the big scheme of our lives but yet those early years are ever so important in our adult formation. I am very grateful for the people and things that shaped my life. I hope to share more along this theme as the week goes on and I continue to reflect upon the many variations and concepts that “going home” conjures up in my mind. And if you live in the Orange/ Golden Triangle area, do stop in for our Open House & Art.

Here are a few quotes I have been reflecting on as I start this new week.

“Home is where one starts from.” T.S. Elliot

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

“If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. ” Henry David Thoreau

Open House & Art

Flying by the seat of my pants, trusting the Spirit has hold of a belt loop…

I am finding myself a bit overwhelmed with chairperson duties for a fundraiser at my church this weekend. Of course it is an event that my friend Margaret and I created for the church so I have no one to blame but myself! My big ideas often lead to lots of work. I also have a speaking engagement on Thursday morning. When I committed to both in the same week, I knew it could be a bit much, but trusted in advance that I would find a way to pull it off. So I started this week, lying in bed early Monday morning, thinking I should just accept that I would most likely “fly by the seat of my pants” this week. Then I lay there wondering where that saying comes from anyway. First thing Monday morning, with my morning espresso routine, I googled it. The meaning I found: “Decide a course of action as you go along, using your own initiative and perceptions rather than a pre-determined plan or mechanical aids.”

That is pretty much how my week is unfolding and I’m really going to hope for the best that this style works as I give my talk at St. Dunstan’s on Thursday morning. There will be some kind of advance prep and I guess it may appear here as my next blog post. I realize that this blog was probably made manifest the first week of November because I woke up on November 1, realizing it was time I gather my thoughts for this presentation.

Spirit Wind Beneath My Wings

I would like to think that the trust, hope, and using my own initiative is guided by the Holy Spirit. Trusting that the Spirit is the wind beneath my wings, I take these things on, knowing I will be given what I need, as I need it. As this week continues to unfold I will greet the opportunities with gratitude. I trust my chaos will turn to order as I go along. I am grateful I have these opportunities to serve. These occasions always seem to present opportunities to encourage others which gives me joy. I am grateful that my church trusts me with these events I dream up, and gives me a big green light to run with them. I am grateful that the Daughters of the King at St. Dunstan’s believe I have a story worth sharing. As I fly by the seat of my pants this week I will trust that the Spirit has a hold of one of my belt loops and will see that I don’t fall as I fly.

Working on my attitude of gratitude this morning, I found this quote which so eloquently sums it up: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melodie Beattie

And of course I have a responsibility as a co-chair of this event, to not miss an opportunity to make my plea for folks to come on out and support it! We have a nice variety of show offerings and this will be my last local show before Christmas. More preview photos may be viewed online here.

click the image to link to map

Hoping my junk may shine today…

Shine In My Heart, being a prism of The Light… This same theme still seems to be surfacing daily this week and I hope it is there at some level 365 days a year.

As I was posting my morning facebook status with my cup of espresso (my morning ritual)… I was led to look up the word transfiguration to see if I was using it correctly and I loved the definition and example I found. Dictionary: “a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state: in this light the junk undergoes a transfiguration; it shines”.

The word transfiguration usually brings to my mind a very out of this world happening as I would imagine the Transfiguration of Christ. I loved seeing the word used in such an ordinary way in this dictionary. So my thought and focus for the day became a hope that I may be transfigured in some way. May my junk… my personal baggage, my woes, my heartbreak, my weaknesses… somehow be made to shine today.

To me, this means filtering everything in my life through that prism in my heart, which can make the ugliest of things shine. That is the transformative nature of my life of faith in Christ Jesus. Everything may be made new, redeemed, filtered by that prism, darkness made light.

jewelry polishing

Finishing & Polishing

One of the tasks facing me today is to finish and polish some of my silver castings for a show this weekend. The process involves bringing rough and dull silver castings to a bright, shiny, lustrous state of polished sterling silver. The theme and metaphor is obvious there! This finishing process is a mundane, repetitive, and dirty task that I honestly do not like to do. I have found ways to find some joy in it. As I think negatively about the drudgery of the job, I try to turn those negative thoughts around and pray for the individual who will eventually be wearing the piece I am polishing. Today as I polish, I will pray the wearer may experience the transformative power of our Lord in a personal way in his/her own life. I will pray that their “junk” may be made to shine. May my own personal junk be redeemed as I pray for others today.

Shine on prisms! Show your light today!

FYI Note: most images in my blog serve as links to the item or subject on my website. Please do click on the photos and explore more about it on my website.

It’s Showtime!

We started this show last year. Four artist friends showing in a unique setting of J. West Glass Studio and the courtyard of her historic home near Montrose in Houston. All four of us are members of ECVA/ Episcopal Church & Visual Art. Come if you are in the area. Open to all. Share the information with friends and family.
A Show Of Friends

A Show Of Friends

Saturday, November 7th
10am to 5pm
2103 Commonwealth Ave. @ Indiana in Houston
J. West glass studio near Montrose

look for “J.West” & “Open Studio” signs with balloons
from West Gray travel one way on Commonwealth
from Westheimer travel one way on Waugh & turn left on Indiana
(some display only accessible by spiral staircase)
Jean’s phone number: 713.529.4217

Nancy Denmark jewelry, scarves, crosses, & clay
Jean West glass & jewelry
Margaret Bailey handcrafted wood
Judy Adams pottery

sterling, beaded, & glass jewelry, wall crosses, wood symbols, nativities, pottery, glass, knitted scarves

This says it so well, “about that job”

As I worked yesterday and laid in bed this morning, I listened to the messages rolling around in my head as the next lead to what I might share here. In general I was gathering my thoughts together in a theme to convey how I grew from a “frozen chosen” Episcopalian to one who lives out my faith moment to moment in everyday life finding myself quite comfortable sharing and talking about it. Trust me, it did not come easy. It was a gradual progression. The “art part” of this art & faith story is that my art made it possible. My art made it comfortable for me. My art opens the door. Art is my job. Art is my ministry. Well…that post is yet to come…but it will come. In one of those serendipitous life moments I found this in my facebook feed this morning and thought…”same message” of sorts, so I will just share this link for today as I continue to formulate my own story. It speaks for me in so many ways on this theme of our job as our ministry in the world. It’s all about HOW we do the job that makes it ministry! More from me later on this theme. For today, read and ponder this: at the Episcopal Cafe.

Shine In My Heart

Shine In My Heart