Montag, 14. März 2016

Arven Cross

The CROSS for the prize

It is finished. Hmm, that has a double meaning, I guess. Redemption is certainly finished, but I was referring to the making of the cross for the contest.

If you are going to be making one, you have four days left after today. The prize isn't so much the main thing to strive for as is the reflection on the cross itself as you make one. In fact, what you make might be ever so much "better" in whatever way than the one I offer, but if you win this one it will, at least be different. And one can't have too many crosses.

Arven Wood

This cross is made of Arven wood and has a little history with it.

Arven trees grow on the mountain sides of the Alps in very rugged conditions. They are scented like cedar and keep away bad things (significant for a cross - yes?). The wood is similar to knotty pine, though this cross's wood has no knots. The wood is traditionally used here in Switzerland for room paneling and alp-style furniture.

The particular pieces used for this cross were left over from the interior finishing of Singüeni. The  pieces had been chopped down in size for fire wood, but I rescued them from the flames, because I saw some potential use for them. (Now isn't that significant for a cross?)

The Making

This cross was notched and assembled by Thomas, because he has done that sort of thing with some cabinet makers. It is neither glued nor nailed, but is very tight.

I used woodburning for the decoration, because it fit the story of the wood. I had thought of painting or layered materials and other options, but this fits the piece best. The wood has its nicks and scrapes and wear and all the marks of rugged days - as a cross signifies.


A little more

As little accents (with some advisory input from sons and daughter, who didn't want Mom to put too much stuff on it), it has small glass beads: three red ones for the marks of Christ's wounds, and a purple one in a metal setting representing a crown at the top. Purple signifies both Christ's Passion and His title of King: Rex Judaeorum, as Pilate wrote. The settings are in eight points, the number being significant in the Bible of regeneration and renewal (think of the number of people on the ark, the age of circumcision, and the historical shape of baptismal fonts and so on).

The words on it, in the center, are the Gospel in abbreviated form, implying both the law and its fulfillment in CHRIST.

 The Cross
33 cm long, a little more than a foot.

That was my meditation in the making. I am looking forward to seeing yours.


  1. Oh so pretty! The woodburning is very lovely and tastefully done and I like the story of the wood. Wonderful!

  2. Oooh, I LOVE that cross! So pretty! I want to win it.

  3. Also, you referred to the significance of the number 8, etc. Have you read the book "In Search of Biblical Order" by Jack Casccione? If you haven't, we have a case of them, and I'll have to get a copy to you at some point. It's really fascinating.

  4. Katie, I have that book and love to tell people about it. I think it is deeply insightful (though it doesn't mention the number eight - the thoughts on which I got from sundry travels and speeches and other books). I am glad others recommend the Casccione book. (He happens to be the father-in-law of my niece.) I think it has much to say for translators, too, and should be taken into account when one chooses a Bible. The "ands" really are important.

    Thank you to all for compliments on the prize cross. My family likes it too, so I plan to do one for our family altar.

  5. Very unique and lovely! I am not making a cross this week because I have a wedding for over 200 guests to prepare for (Saturday) but I'll be making a cross at church next week as I do every year during Holy Week.

  6. Pam, that is quite understandable (200!). I'd love to see your cross for church next week. I am guessing it is draped in dark colors for Good Friday, then bedecked in Flowers on Easter Sunday.