Salvaged wood sculpture by Stephen in progress.

New series inspired by “Amazing Grace!” in the works

This fall I'm excited to return to a project that I began, and put on hold, last year. I'm working on a series of sculptures based on Amazing Grace!. Once complete, there will be a sculpture for each of the six verses of the 1779 hymn by John Newton, plus the verse from Uncle Tom's Cabin, which is described below. Probably the most well-known and beloved hymn in all of Christendom, Amazing Grace! is about being salvaged or saved. Amazing Grace! (Original words) Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)That sav'd...

Wire crucified hand set in white pickling-washed salvaged barn wood with hand transferred text.

No greater love

The story is told of a little girl who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to fight it. As best he could, the doctor explained the situation to her brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitated for a long moment and then took a deep...

"Fishing with My Dad" wire and paper sculpture

What are you fishing for?

See this in the shop As the summer winds down, school has started, or will soon start for students and families everywhere. There's a rhythm to a new school year, isn't there? The relatively relaxed pace of summer seems to reluctantly give way to the regimen of academic and athletic schedules. New books to read, new project deadlines, practices and games, and of course, the ever-quickening march toward Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and Christmas all take the place of slow, long days of sleeping in and staying up...

A signature in the sky

Aug 21, 2017 brought a total solar eclipse to viewers across the United States. And sky watchers in other parts of North and South America could see at least a percentage of the sun blocked by the moon. Did you see it? If you were like a lot of folks, you got your glasses and hoped for clear skies. Some folks made a road trip for the chance to watch the eclipse in the path of totality, where the moon completely blocked the sun. We watched with my...

Finding forgiveness

What's the opposite of unforgiveness? Forgiveness? Well, grammatically, yes. But simply adding the "un" doesn't help us get at the core questions—and answers—about unforgiveness. Why do we harbor unforgiveness? Why do we struggle to forgive? Why is it sometimes so hard to genuinely let something go? Volumes have been written and preached on this topic. In practice, where actions, emotions, and life-altering events impact our present circumstances and potentially shape our futures—just as we impact others and shape their futures—it can seem complicated. The Secret of Gratitude salvaged wood,...

Photo of a hand-woven pine needle basket that Emmaline gifted to Patti.

A precious gift

Recently I was given a very precious gift. My dear friend, Mrs. Emmaline Davis, gifted me with a handmade pine needle basket given to her many, many years ago. Knowing that I make pine needle baskets, she knew I would appreciate the workmanship and love that went into making that little treasure. It is so delicately constructed with just single needles and thread! I was so touched. I love Mrs. Emmaline and cherish her friendship, and I know this is a special basket that she has given...

Photo of a hand-woven pine needle basket that Emmaline gifted to Patti.

A precious gift

Recently I was given a very precious gift. My dear friend, Mrs. Emmaline Davis, gifted me with a handmade pine needle basket given to her many, many years ago. Knowing that I make pine needle baskets, she knew I would appreciate the workmanship and love that went into making that little treasure. It is so delicately constructed with just single needles and thread! I was so touched. I love Mrs. Emmaline and cherish her friendship, and I know this is a special basket that she has given...

Photo booth picture from 1971

A true friend

“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” E.B. White, Charlotte's Web There are few things more inspiring than true friendship. Who's your true friend? If you're immediately thinking of someone specific instead of searching your mental rolodex, consider yourself blessed. If you're thinking...

Image of Apollo 11 Communion sculpture

Fifty years ago today Apollo 11 took Neil & Buzz—and Communion elements—to the moon

On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission was launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at 9:32 a.m. EDT. Today marks its 50th anniversary. Newspapers, magazines, and the Internet are full of remembrances of the event that captivated the attention of the world as Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. became the first humans to set foot on a celestial body other than earth. What was not as frequently reported at the time—and not as often remembered today—is that the first liquid poured and the first food...

Lifelong melody

“Where words fail, music speaks.”Hans Christian Andersen The music in my life started at a very young age. My mom sang "Jesus Loves Me;" my great aunts taught me "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and I loved to bang on the old upright piano in what we called the "front" room. I guess my mom got tired of the banging and my begging to learn piano, so lessons started when I was about nine. Once a week, I was allowed to leave class and go to a special room at...