Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Clay stamps!

I finished my two-sided plaster stamp I'll be using to mark my ceramics with. I rolled and cut some clay out and tested the plaster stamps, and they worked! All of my bowls, cups, and plates will have one of these two insignias:
The symbol on the left is called the Jerusalem Cross, or more commonly known as the Crusader's Cross. It's a symbol I found often associated with monasticism and medieval monasteries. In Conception Abbey, they were everywhere. So I bought a simple metal one threaded with some kind of string, and I wear it as a necklace. Unfortunately, I didn't find out until I returned home that the Jerusalem Cross was the "logo" on the banners under which 11th century European crusaders rode into the Middle-East and slaughtered millions of Muslims (yikes!).

"So...you bought a swastika," my friend Mark's son told me.

Yeah. I guess so.

I suppose one reason I'm drawn to it is that (aside from being just a really cool graphic) I have had a preoccupation for a while with redeeming things that are perceived negatively.
For example, the chi rho was once a symbol of muscular, imperial Christianity. Now, largely
forgotten by the Church, it has become an emblem of underground Christianity, where brothers and sisters recognize one another much in the same way early Christians used the ichthus.

Which is why I think I'd like to use the Jerusalem Cross as our monastery's logo.

Which is why I have made a plaster stamp with which to brand all of the ceramics made and sold by our community.

Get it?

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