Early in April, I received an e-mail from Janine in Sydney, Australia inquiring about a stole for her ordination in June. She has been studying at the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York for the last two years. In a follow-up e-mail, she stated that she LOVED bright colours, particularly bright rainbow colours, and hoped I could create something vivid. Well, I had been pondering creating a rainbow stole on spec, just to play with a whole range of colour, so Janine’s inquiry has been very timely. Janine also requested symbols of the values that are at the heart of all religions—love, peace and transformation—specifically a heart, dove, and spiral.
My first step in the design process is to delve into my boxes of ties and start pulling out any possible candidates. I have four boxes sorted into colour groups: (1) red and orange; (2) blue; (3) green, yellow-green and blue-green; and (4) red-violet and violet. Plus I have a small bag of yellows (not many men have worn yellow ties over the years!)
(This isn’t even my full inventory—I have almost the equivalent in other ties that I can’t really work into a stole such as striped ties, tweedy wool ties, and dark browns. Someday I’ll find a use for them…)
Here is a beautiful rainbow of ties pulled out of the boxes for Janine’s stole. I managed to find all the bright colours plus some that are lighter in value or duller in intensity.
The next step was to sketch out some ideas of how this stole could look. It helped that Janine has some definite ideas, e.g. the dove at upper chest on one side, the heart on the opposite side lower down, and the spiral on the back. Getting the “flow” of the rainbow just right meant sketching it about 8 different ways. Janine also prefers the brighter and lighter colours—yellows, oranges and reds as well as greens—and had asked that I minimize the darker hues, the blues and purples. Janine gave me great feedback on the first set of sketches, and with that I was able to come up with the proposed design:
|I'll be working with design B on the right.|
Janine has commented:
Your intention to help me identify what I do and do not like, seems to have worked well. Thanks for all your efforts thus far. I sense we are syncing well. I love that you are as energised about this as me! To have a unique stole hand made with passion and creativity, certainly makes it far more meaningful for me - it kinda feels like we are birthing something sacred together.
I feel the rainbow is a wonderful symbol of inclusiveness. I had a quick look at the Wikipedia entry: the rainbow is featured in the mythology of many different cultures and is imbued with diverse yet similar meanings.
I am really looking forward to working with all this glorious colour!