Designing a mosaic tile based on a pattern from Chartres Cathedral, France, using sea glass found on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The Gothic cathedral of Chartres is located in the town of Chartres, northwestern France. In 1979 Chartres Cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Throughout the centuries, Chartres updates and restorations have been tastefully carried out.
The choir, above, with renaissance era additions, have been recently restored and updated- note the custom faux-marble finish on the pillars. This part is elegant and airy in contrast to other areas of the church, much of which retains the original "weathered" medieval appearance (equally majestic).Because all of this has been thoughtfully undertaken, it adds to the wonder and life of this building.
At the time of my visit, May 2014, the very latest "update" was a side altar honoring Ss John Paul II and John XXIII. More views link one and two. Herve Lelong's brilliant altar carpet was also on display possibly because it was the Easter season or in celebration of the two Papal canonizations.
One particular image on the carpet that caught my eye was the
Tree of Life:
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;…" Revelation 22:2 (and in Genesis 2).
The Sea Glass Trail
As of 2017, Anne has branched off on her own and creating wonderful seaglass windows for herself and others. I am glad to have inspired her "creative genius".
The second part of this blog entails a small project that I've embarked on with a friend, Anne Bender, using sea glass that she has collected from the shores of Lake Michigan and other places. Anne first wrote about seaglass on her blog
"The Sea Glass Prayer":
I am like a piece of sea glass.
Although I am nestled amid
the gritty sand and hard rocks
Your gentle waves of love
continuously wash over me
so that I become
smooth and soft.
I am glistening, sparkling and colorful.
I stand out
from my surroundings.
I am a reflection of
Your Holy Love
and later, "Heart of Glass" link
"Sea Glass in Winter" link
"The Sacrament of the Universe" Link
What to make?
For inspiration, I suggested that she look at Herve Lelong's "Tree of Life" design from Chartres Cathedral's main altar carpet and today we began the design layout.
Below are views from Anne's kitchen. As you can see, she has enough sea glass to complete this project and more. The mosaic won't be a precise copy of the Chartres pattern because we don't want to cut the glass into specific shapes, instead, we will use the shapes that nature has created over time, fitting them together like puzzle pieces. The colors will be slightly different. Genuine sea glass is mostly found in shades of green, blue, white or clear and brown.
This project will take a couple months to "grow". I plan to update this post with occasional progress reports.
Anne's June 19th blog "Tree of Life" link
6/3 collecting sea glass at Lake Michigan link
6/16 Anne is looking for an old window frame.
July 2014 We will glue the pieces on glass and pour a layer of clear resin product over them.
8/11 Anne has emailed me several samples of sea glass work that she found online. Click to enlarge.
9/3 after further discussion we rejected the window below and headed over to Lisbon storm and Screen in Milwaukee to find a better window. Here's the story on Anne's blog and images below.
Below. Here's how it looks today 9/10. We worked on it this all afternoon.
....and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations: On the eve of September 11. We Pray. Link
11/1: Anne blogged on another Tree of Life:
"Happy the soul in which Mary, the Tree of Life, is planted; happier the soul in which she has acquired growth and bloom; still happier the soul in which she yields her fruit; but most happy of all: the soul which relishes and preserves Mary's fruit until death, and for ever and ever. Amen." ~St. Louis de Montfort
We'll get together end of Nov. to do some more.
11/16: More work is postponed until January. Our weekends are booked! Winter has arrived in Wisconsin and it our first snow fall.The Tree of Life bears fruit in four seasons - this is one of them.
Writing on the Lord’s gift of the Eucharist… It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and blessed is he who holds it fast. The man who feeds on Me shall live on account of Me.” St. Albert the Great, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church.
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