Tuesday

The Copper Angels



Way back in the early 1990's, when we first started making things from copper, this angel came into being...

I drew it out on heavy cardboard and traced it onto the copper... John cut each one out with hand shears.. till his fingers bled, I'm sorry to say... copper edges are sharp and not the easiest to manipulate around all those ins and outs and corners... then they were hammered and the edges smoothed...

We made quite a few... She took care of our whole family for a while... with the sales of her sisters... they fed us... they clothed us... and kept us warm... this is the only one we have left now... and all of those earlier memories are inside her...






We developed a method... to suit ourselves... of patinating copper... to bring out its beautiful verdigris... as you often see in old church roofs... with glimpses of its original color still visible...

...the variations were always different ... always a surprise...

I still find it one of the most beautiful surfaces...





At that time... in our never ending searches for old interesting things, we stumbled across an old church that had collapsed with age and neglect.... long years earlier...

...from this site, we were able to salvage some beautiful weathered wood.. protected under other debris... still sound...and solid... with the grains showing the strength of differing growing seasons, when the tree had more sustenance...

We used portions of this beautiful wood for the bases.. they suited each other perfectly...





We came across this book with its wealth of information on Angels... almost anything, in writing and illustration, you would ever want to know on the subject, I would say... in great detail...


Angels have a reputation as being Divine Messengers... most often they are envisioned as a winged being in Human form... existing as such in the beliefs of the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.... They are also present in Hinduism and Islam...




In Christian tradition, Angels are spiritual beings... created to act as intermediaries between Heaven and Hell.... what ever you perceive these to be...

and not to forget, the Archangels who are said to protect against Demons...




... connected to Angels are Halos... Scrolls... Cupids... and Musical Instruments...




They say there are Angels to watch over almost everything.... The Moon... The Four Seasons... The Planets... The Hours of the day... The Days of the Week and so forth...





Although to balance things out, under the leadership of the Archangels are the Angels of Punishment... who rule over the Seven Divisions of Hell... again, whatever you imagine that to be...



Particular angels are assigned attributes, such as...

Michael..... the Sword for Judgement

Raphael... a Pilgrim's Staff symbolizing Protection...

Uriel...a Book for Wisdom

and Gabriel... a Lily for Mercy...






There is even an Angel's Alphabet........ an Angelic Script...





... most often... innocence, kindness and beauty are associated with the Virtues of Angels....






...a small copper verdigris Star we made at the time... I love the combination of the two textures...




Many believe Mortals have Guardian Angels to protect them through life...

May you be watched over... wherever you are... whether you believe or not....


I am merely the teller...




.... first two masterly illustrations are by William Morris from his book "The Kelmscott Chaucer"
...."The Four Angels of the Winds" by Durer... "The Angelic Script" and the small woodcut... taken from "A Dictionary of Angels"...



.

47 comments:

Arija said...

Thank you for the blessing of the angels, mine just got me out of bed at 4 in the mornint to be first to see your mst angelic post.
It is wonderful that your angels provided for you when you needed it, even though it came at the price of John's hands.
So gad you kept one for it's own sake.

Should you have the time to visit, scroll down a couple of posts, there are some roses you may enjoy.
I hope your dear Max is happy at school. Our grandies have finished for the year and made a splendid
1st. Advent for us. India is away teaching and will be home again to-night. I miss her...

Anonymous said...

I hate to leave anonymous comments but I must at this time. I thoroughly enjoy your blog.....I want to live in it....lol.

Ruth said...

Angels are visiting all around, connecting us. I am a lover of verdigris, and your angel has special beauty with the labor and design love that went into her. Informative and beautiful post, Gwen. Thank you.

flyinamber said...

"anonymous" has right!your blog is like a fairy-tale!
like your angel very much!

Anet said...

A beautiful angel indeed! I once made a flying trumpeting angel out of wood, not sure where she flew off to, hmmm...
Noah and I thought your little cove with the table would be a wonderful spot to sit and do some homeschooling.
Oh the thoughts we could think in there!

Sharon said...

I never knew there was an angelic alphabet! And I agree with Anet about what a wonderful space your cove is.

See, we are having an international angel procession. Very cool.

mansuetude said...

when i die i would like to feel like an old church collapsed with age and if not neglect, light; light streaming endlessly.

love your post. a beautiful beautiful... a friend of mine built a large copper sculpture and hand cut all the hundreds of scales, hard on the hands indeed...

Jo said...

Gwen, we can never have enough Angels in our lives, thank you for this angelic post...your copper angel is superb...and I am certainly thinking about the artists hands that created it...both yours and Johns.
Angelic script is wonderful, as all the images you have chosen to show...W Morris & Durer...amazing!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Kathi... I hope the Angels are watching over Jim's family...

Arija, Your roses certainly do look and feel as if a magical Princess in in there somewhere.. just waiting for her prince.. Magnificent...
I think I worried more for John's hands than he did.. but that is both of our natures... It is delightful to see your upside down life compared to ours... For me to see roses in winter is surely a blessing indeed...

Anonymous, your comment is a happy one.. Funny you should say that.. people are moving to this little nook along the Bay of Fundy from all over the world!!

Ruth when you first posted your angel, the feeling it emitted was so warm, I thought I would love to do one too.. then Sharon exhibited the angels that surround her and that was that.. I had to join in...

Dada, Thank you, you are sweet! Angels do bring wistful thoughts to each of us don't they..

Anet.. that little nook with the table is waiting there for you and Noah... You two could teach me a few things... I'll be sitting there with wide eyes listening to you and my chalk and slate at the ready...
I bet your beautiful angel came to life and is flying up overhead somewhere, smiling down at you right now....

Sharon, Angel processions all over the world.. that should be good for everyone's heart...
I haven't figured out how to use the Angels alphabet yet.. may have to learn Hebrew in my next life time...

mansuetude, what a beautiful image.. glowing, streaming light.. unceasing... pouring out of all the crevices... like a sunburst... your words are pictures
Oh the sculpture your friend made .. now you are tantalizing me.. I'd love to see it...

Jo, so glad you came to share in it... The sense of an angel hovering near, can never be a bad thing... even if it is just a feeling to keep you company... thank-you...

shicat said...

Beautiful post, so much to share. The cove is beautiful along with the view. The windows in your home are just wonderful,from a church? Perhaps the very one that you found the wood at? Angel alphabet,very interesting.Poor husband cutting copper.

Morna said...

Hello, Beautiful Gwen. I love all the Angel Lore, especially the Aphabet! And I love, love, love your "whimsical" jewelry line. But - I think "Coffee Pot" should be renamed "Squirrel with Curly Tail and HUGE erection" - I'm going to be in trouble with the angels - or somebody - for that joke! Plus, what if I'm the only one who gets it? I'm the only one who sees the priapic squirrel? Is priapic a word? Well, let me know if I need to schedule an extra shrink appointment this month! From your irreverent cyber friend. :-)

Marie Alton said...

Awesome post Gwen! I love your angel...and angels in general. I know they have visited me from time to time...as is their task to visit many. Thanks for all the info...way cool!

Morna said...

In an attempt at redemption, I have posted a couple of angels of my own. I agree that angels care for us, and, Gwen, you obviously have a heavenly host of angels looking after you. :-)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Shicat, very observant.. they were models of some windows we found at another location from another church... oh, John is a pretty tough guy.. he doesn't seem to mind a bit of rough handling...

Morna, you are hilarious!!!.. you're right... in a way that coffee pot could be a pretty frisky squirrel.. .. that's fine with me... maybe someone wants an abstract squirrel in heat.. who knows.. different strokes for different folks...

...art like beauty is in the eye of the beholder..

hey the angels thought you were funny too.. you lightened everyones load..and you are probably saner than most!! I'll be over to see your angels... no redemption needed.. just be you!!


Thanks Marie, glad they drop in from time to time..
it is nice to have a little mystery, isn't it?...

Morna said...

Whew! Expulsion of held breath. I am so glad you are as nutty as I am. :-) I would never want to offend you. And I'd never want THAT to be something you'd find offensive!! Thank you, for telling me to be me. And thank you for being you.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

These are wonderful. And, that first photo should be your Christmas card!

VioletSky said...

I love how I learn something new every time I visit. A joyful lesson with gorgeous pictures.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Pamela, very good idea.. I might just give some of these to my family...
Picasa's text feature works well for inscribing the messages ...


Sanna, thank you for the sweet comment and for visiting.....

Anet said...

Hey Gwen,
Noah and I were reading about Christmas celebrations around the world. We read that children in Eastern Canada would receive barley toys and chicken bones in their stockings.
Noah was wondering if you knew of these things. They are candy,yes?

annette emms said...

Gwen, what wonders you have to share with us.
Angels are all around, I'm quite sure of that, gently protecting and guiding us. Yours looks so pretty against the arched window.Thank you for this special post.x

Gwen Buchanan said...

Anet, yes chicken Bones and Barley toys were a traditional Candy treat at Christmas.. chicken bones are a hot spicy bright pink outer crunchy hard candy surrounding milk chocolate about 2" long and rather skinny... and Barley toys were a sweet clear candy you could suck on all day in lots of colors and shapes such as santas, reindeer, dogs, roosters, pigs, cats, camels, trees, houses.. etc.. all kinds of shapes.. they were my favourite... Most of them began being made in St. Stephen New Brunswick at Ganong Bros.

You bring back lots of memories.. they still sell them too. I bet Noah would Love them and maybe you too!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Annette,Thank you for being here.. Can you imagine if all the angels wore your Fairy Shoes.. What a spectacular parade that would be.....

Anet said...

Wonderful! I can't wait to tell Noah all about it:)
Hot spicy with milk chocolate? Very interesting combination.

seth said...

Gwen, the surfaces of both the angel and the salvaged wood are incredible. And together, I'd venture to describe as perfect!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Seth if there was a soul to appreciate texture you are the one.. Thanks so much... I always enjoy yours...

mansuetude said...

well, gotta love the magnificent moose...
when i was maybe second grade, in Maine camping out, before bed, I heard someone tease that they had pitched our tent on a moose path, ha ha... out at the fire, i had to ask my father the particulars of that idea, and it didn't help me sleep!

Gwen Buchanan said...

They are so big... and they charge too if they decide they feel like it... who's gonna stop them.. ... with long legs like that, they probably could have stepped over your tent and not even wakened you...

Don said...

I can imagine the joy of discovery you had with rummaging through that old church. Just looking at the wood grain and the way it has been worn through the years makes it such a thing of beauty. The slow-growth timber of the days of yore will never return, we'll only find it in the ruins, or in your house!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Don, So nice to hear the thoughts of a fellow appreciator of that most wonderful gift from nature...wood...

I think this particular piece came from the window sills...

Ruth said...

Came across a moose on the Pacific Crest Trail when I was in college. He and I stood and looked at each other, 15 feet apart, for what seemed like a long time. Then off he "trotted" - which sounded like an avalanche. So big.

Ah, nature.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth , He must not have felt challenged by your presence.. He must have thought you were a worthy piece of nature yourself!!

Robyn said...

I have a wonderful picture in my mind of you rummaging through the old worn timber. I would have been whooping with each find. The verdigris star against the worn wood....magic!

painter girl said...

Your angel looks as if she will fly gently out of the window, her horn sounding long after she is gone. So beautiful the picture itself. But then we get to see the textures and they are amazing. The wood makes you just want to run your fingers over it feeling its texture and spirit.
May she watch over you always...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Robyn, I know you would have loved it for sure.. there was probably a fair bit of rusted metal parts too..

Hi paintergirl, the texture is the best part....that is what is so lovely about your work.. it is so tactile... and you create it all!!

mansuetude said...

i'll trade you a hunk of oatmeal raisin brown bread for a slice of low sugar pecan pie...

and also, a small thanks for your graciousness.

mansuetude said...

alright, i will throw in a green ribbon, two marbles, three quarters and a piece of string...

maybe a balsam airplane (if i can find it in the trees) ... but that is it!

Serena said...

OH, such a beautiful post about the angelic realm, Gwen! Thanks for all the interesting information. I love the verdigris angel and star.....the colours are GORGEOUS!

I can see a very frisky squirrel in the coffee pot too...though I would never have noticed but for Morna's comment...lol

Gwen Buchanan said...

Mansuetude.. It's a deal.... I do love a good barter.. and what a trade this is!!!

but....You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true.........



Thanks Serena...I agree, verdigris is hard to tire of...

and I think Morna is one of those girls that just wants to have fun!..

Jacky said...

Such a special angel...thank you so much for this post about angels and your story of she came to be.

I love your verdigris angel.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Jacky, I enjoyed sharing it...

Sandy said...

Love the photos and this post! Wonderful to read how these angels took care of your family for awhile. The blues in the photos are gorgeous!

Gwen Buchanan said...

It was slim pickens back in those days, that's for sure, Sandy.. Glad you like the verdigris!!

jennifer lorton said...

The patina on the copper is beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Jennifer.
http://blog.jenniferlorton.com

Ro Bruhn said...

Your angels are divine, such a beautiful colour. I've been checking out your other posts, what a beautiful part of the world you live in, it must be a very inspiring place. Your jewellery and books are stunning too.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Jennifer , you are very welcome... thank you!!


Hi Ro, I'm glad you came by and had a tour around my part of the world... The huge tides of the Bay of Fundy and the accompaning cloud formations have a way of getting into the depth of a person's soul... We truly enjoy its environment...

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

What a beautiful post. I love your angels, and the story behind them is wonderful - that through the sales of these lovely creations the angels took care of your family.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Janice, They really did care for us.. and must have taken care of John's sore fingers too. It was an interesting time in our lives.