a rose in winter.

i always feel quiet in the winter. all whispers and tiptoes, deep sleeps and slow mornings, soft music and sure-footing. slow but steady, methodical, deliberate. every thought becomes a meditation of the tiniest seedling of an idea. and for some reason these ideas always feel like they are balls of fire; full of force and energy. a surprising juxtaposition of my serene shell of winter housing a red-hot mass of creativity. last spring i researched Saint Rita for a project i was working on. i learned of her story and i fell in love. she's the patron saint of lost causes and impossible cases. knowing this alone made my stomach tighten and my heart ache. i'm a sucker for an underdog. i thought about her again this past fall and decided to base a design on one of her miraculous stories. it's a simple story but one that gave me such a vivid experience just sitting in my cozy little studio that it stuck with me. again, the details of this story, though simple, became meditative and striking. i felt like a witness to her triumph as well as a child learning a lesson. there was warm, crackling hope in the middle of an icy landscape of impossibilities. the story goes like this: the rose and fig. near the end of saint rita's life she fell ill and was bedridden in a convent. a cousin came to visit one day in january and asked her if she wanted anything from her old home. she replied that all she wanted was one blooming rose and one ripened fig. given the time of year her cousin thought it impossible but went anyway only to find that waiting in rita's garden was one fully-ripened fig and one blooming red rose. the cousin picked them and brought them back to her. and that was that. short and sweet. all i could do was picture what that rose must have looked like to her cousin: a small burst of color amidst the bleak wintry landscape. and what about after the initial shock of red, after the doubt was disqualified? what came next? i imagine that rose spread over her cheeks and filled her heart, softened her eyes and renewed her spirit. i felt like that just reading the story on my stale computer screen. i immediately wanted to recreate that feeling of surprise and warmth and relief that i believe her cousin felt—to create an image of stark red against cold space with the underlying message of willingness and hope. a willingly open window leads you out into the textured open air where one naked tree waits deep in the silver of winter, taught and frozen but anchored in a rose-red bowl of warmth. and just in case your heart forgets, a message of hope points secretively inwards. hand cut vintage bakelite and sterling silver: textured, pierced, balled and oxidized to reflect a time-worn lesson.
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