From the Admin: This week we have a guest article by the creators of Silver Branch Arts–a directory of New Church artists and craftsmen. Enjoy!
It started as a small visit here and an after church conversation there. The topic was the same: craft sales were fun, inspiring and a powerful motivation to spend time creating, but was there a better way to make uniquely New Church art and handwork available year round and to a wider audience? Could we create an online way to showcase beautiful things and the people who make them?
The process began in earnest as regular meetings around plates of cookies and cups of tea. First we voted on a name for our fledgling organization: Silver Branch Arts and Handwork. A name to honor the many ways women and men create with their hearts and hands. It was derived from the memorable relation where art and statues filled the garden, a beautiful rainbow appeared on the wall and the gift of grapes with leaves of silver was Swedenborg’s parting gift.
But then the real work began! We were a bunch who didn’t know how to make an email account, how to make a webpage or make digital pictures behave the way we wanted. We called in experts and read books from the library. We learned to use Zoho Mail, WordPress and Google Docs. We wrote letters, applications and mission statements. Slowly the dream became a reality.
Silver Branch Arts features one artist each month, showcasing their work and sharing a brief biography written by the artist. These pages are then moved and contained in the Archive section of the site so past artists can be reviewed. The Directory page shows all the artists that have joined Silver Branch and gives examples of the art they create and the way to contact them for purchasing their work. The remaining pages tell the viewer of our mission and how to contact us. Our site went live in April and we have had a steady stream of new artists joining us, new followers and a increase of emails that receive our updates.
We are a small band of folks trying to honor the teachings of the New Church in art form. We hope you look at our site, consider filling out an application if you are an artist or enjoy and purchase beautiful art and handwork from around the world as a consumer.
Heather King for the Silver Branch Team