With Easter just around the corner, I thought I share something a little different…
Religious Jewelry as a Form of Art
When you think of various forms of art, does jewelry come to mind? If it doesn’t, it should. According to dictionary.com, “art” is “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance”.
Why Make Art?
Art, in one form or another, has existed since before humans had a written language. Think of the drawings made on the walls of caves by Early Man. Making the drawings was not essential to survival. Why take the time and expend the energy to produce art, then?
Much as humans have a need to feel that they are not alone in the Universe, they also need to leave their mark on the world in some way. It’s how we, as people, say, “I was here. I mattered”. We all hope to some extent that we will leave the world a bit better off because we lived.
A part of us does carry on when we have children, it’s true. Not all of us have children, though. Not all of us want to be parents, either. It can be argued, too, that there are better reasons for having a child than to simply leave something of ourselves behind in the gene pool.
When we make any form of art, a part of our personality is transferred to the piece. If we are not able to produce the art ourselves, by wearing it or displaying it in our homes, we become associated with it. Our descendants will (hopefully) look at the piece and be reminded of us. We matter because someone remembered that we were here.
Religion and Art
It can be argued that art and religion go hand in hand. A number of churches are elaborately decorated. In a Christian place of worship, we find images of the cross and cups for Communion fashioned out of gold. There may be statues or religious images as well.
We want to make the church a place that is different from where we spend the rest of our lives. The church building is a place where we celebrate and honor rites of passage in our lives Friends and loved ones gather together to mark the birth of a child or to witness a couple being joined in marriage. Church is also a place to gather together to mark the passing of a friend or loved one. During these times, we are reminded of such “higher” virtues as love, honor, duty, and family.
In wearing religious jewelry on our persons, we are able to appreciate the jewelry maker’s skills as an artisan. Even if we have no artistic abilities to speak of, we can “adopt” someone else’s talents by wearing their art. The piece may become an heirloom to be passed on to future generations. In the case of religious jewelry, this wearable art is also a tangible reminder of the values that we hold dear.
Happy Easter everyone and God bless!