Saturday, August 7, 2010

Melinda Schwakhofer

My friend Melinda Schwakhofer has created this beautiful piece to raffle for a special cause: The Sheldon Centre. According to Melinda, it provides “a restful environment, gentle hospitality and therapeutic resources to people in ministry from all denominations, who come to Sheldon for help and support in times of stress, crisis, burnout or breakdown.” Through The Society of Mary and Martha, The Sheldon Centre is raising money to rebuild their most out-of-date accommodation, the Long Barn.

Melinda made the gorgeous accordion book (shown above) from silk and handmade paper. Here is her description:
I call this little book a prayer book. It is quite small and the pictures and words invite contemplation.  It  measures 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" when closed and extends to 18". My prayer book is made from images of Lacock Abbey, Wilstshire, UK and a Chartres-style labyrinth at Meyers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC.
I printed them onto silk dupioni, fused them to buckram and stitched around the arcs and shadows with gold metallic thread. The other side of the book is designed with a detail from Chartres labyrinth and a quote from Thomas Merton. I printed these onto handmade paper which has been washed with gold paint.
“The darkness becomes an atmosphere of breathless clarity
in which we find peace
and the deep night becomes the brightness of the noonday sun
in which we find the one our heart desires”.
– Thomas Merton
To make a donation (and enter the raffle), click here. Donations can be made from any country and in any denomination. On Sunday, September 19, Melinda will draw a winner at random from all of the people who have made a donation. “This prayer book may help you to find your way in a dark time,” says Melinda. “Your donation will certainly help to provide a place for others to find their way.”

To learn more about Melinda, please check out her website and her blog. Melinda is an American living in Moretonhampstead, Britain, and her blog is a place I visit often. It is a marvelous little slice of England, filled with her spectacular photos, beautiful and insightful writing, mouth-watering recipes, and of course, her art.