No, this isn’t a valentine’s day post too late.
I love books. I love text. I love history. This is a story of my love of calligraphy and letter forms. I also love to combine these interests with faith.
When I was about 10 years old, my mom bought me a calligraphy pen (the fountain kind, not felt tips) and an instruction book. I wanted to learn to make the letter forms, and Mom was in charge of making invitations for my grandparents’ 50th wedding celebration. So I practiced and practiced and eventually produced a draft good enough to have copied and sent to friends and family.
I also really enjoyed my one graphic design class in college, which was so long ago, it was focused on layout and text style, with not one consideration of web design!!
I still play around with calligraphy once in a while, and really enjoy some of the publications from Somerset Studio.
In my personal faith study, I really enjoy authors and teachers who begin their messages with an exegetical study of the root words from scripture. How was a passage written in Hebrew or in Greek? What are the subtleties of meaning and context that should be explored in order for the richness of God’s word to come through in the translation?
Now, I don’t know Hebrew or Greek (though I was a sorority girl for a year….), but I love to know things about the languages. I love to pick out words and study them, see how they are written, how they translate, where they are used in the bible.
Here is one of my own pieces I wear often:
There is a Hebrew word at the top, Kenaph. It means wing. It can also refer to the tassel on a Jewish man’s prayer shawl. In Matthew, Ch. 9, the woman who was healed of bleeding touched Jesus’ garment. Although written in Greek, the word for garment might have been referring to his prayer shawl.
The back of this piece is also embossed with a verse: “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.” –Mal4:2.
Here’s a set of pendants I’m working on with the Lord’s Prayer. The one on the left is in English. The one on the right is in Greek.
Celie Fago is an artist I greatly admire. She uses text in her work as well, but with an air of mystery. We can’t literally read her pieces because she uses fragments from symbols, hieroglypics, and such.
Have a great day!