MUSE AND MELODY
My first experience of Diana Pops’ art and craft was with a song she wrote called “Subtle Shiver.” It’s been almost 20 years since she first dropped off a home recording of the song, hoping I might consider it for one of my albums. Di was sixteen at the time, and honestly, I didn’t hold out any hope that it would stagger me as much as it did. But it surely did. My daughter Sarah ended up singing it on our “Sons and Daughter’s” album.
Diana’s signature attunement to the delicate sacredness of creation and its innate ability to conduit divine presence was evident already then. Listen:
As I walk through this field in the fall time
Leaves become a red carpet as I pass by
Don’t know why but the world’s in its prime right now
As I walk the prairie skies are vacant
Pick up stones the river hasn’t taken
The firefly that danced with the frost silently dies
I hear traces of old familiar songs
The cold wind blowing helps to rush me along
And here I found you in your glory
On that cold October morning
In this clearing by the river
I felt a subtle shiver
I know you waited for me
Every wave on the water is dancing
Looks as though the summer never happened
The trees or’e my head sway
And the sky starts to blaze
Never thought you’d give to me a love song
I never saw it’s been here all along
I close my eyes to cover a tear
That’s made it down my cheek
And now I hear your voice
It speaks so loud and clear
I see you everywhere
And I hear traces…
METALS AND GEMS
Diana surprised us all when, after a significant season of songwriting, she turned to the exquisite craft of art jewelry. Di’s ability to smith designs she had created was quite astonishing. Having done a ton of “how-to” research she began creating one-off, narrative-based rings, pendants, and necklaces, etc. for people who wanted their own stories memorialized in metals, gems, and jewels.
Again, her ability to see the sacred shine through the material resonates (for me anyway) with the mystery of the Incarnation; a kind-of foretaste of the age of Christ when such divisions will be finally healed.
The image below is of a thimble-sized, silver lachrymatory (bowl for tears) Diana made for me the day my father died.
FIBRE AND FILAMENT
More recently, Diana surprised us once again when, after nine years building a strong reputation as a fine-art jeweler, she pivoted again; this time toward the crafts of embroidery and felting.
People have a need to create! Increasingly, in our tech-centered society, there is a growing desire to get back to making things with our hands; the tactile creating of tactile goods. As creatures, we may not be able to create ex nihilo (out of nothing) as does God, but we have been endowed with the ability to create ex amore (out of love) using the materials God has given for our mutual flourishing and joy.
Diana’s recent forays into stitch and felt-craft have yielded whimsical designs that, in their own right, are simply enchanting. Given Diana’s first love of music, this shouldn’t surprise us as the word enchant (Latin: incantare, from in- ‘in’ + cantare ‘sing’) means: infused with song.
Whether it be a magical garden (see top image), or a saddled-for-adventure narwhal, or a French fop-egg with a piece of toast for a pet, Di’s creations not only make our hearts smile, but they also train our dimmed eyes to see through the mere matter of creation, to the possibility of ever-whelming delight and joy for which it is given.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT DELIGHT*
In imitation of The Creator, humans have an innate need to create. Not everyone has the ability to create their own designs, but many share a love of craft.
What is wonderful about Diana’s designs is that they are replicable. She hopes to start a small business called “Fiber and Filament” to produce marketable kits so that others can make them too. This will require some set-up costs to set up space, stock materials, create attractive packaging and then market them to stores and online outlets. She estimates her initial start-up costs are around $5000 and is hoping that some of us will come alongside her to help kickstart the project.
This is good work. I’m excited to see where it could go.
If you’d like to help Diana kickstart the business-end of Fibre and Filament, please visit her GoFundMe campaign:
Donate at: Diana Pops – Fibre and Filament Start-Up
Thank you. Any amount, no matter how modest, is gratefully received.
Songs Co-Written with Diana:
ABOUT LOVE – Video (YouTube) | Music by Steve Bell and Mike Janzen, Lyrics by Steve Bell and Diana Pops
BETHANY IN THE MORNING – Video (YouTube) | Music and Lyrics by Steve Bell and Diana Pops
*“Don’t Forget About Delight” is a song title on Bruce Cockburn’s “You’ve Never Seen Everything” (True North Records)
That Diana. Such a beautiful song. From such a beautiful girl. And what depth from a 16 year old. She has many a beautiful facet – just as the jewelry she creates. Very talented and beautifully created herself. Wishing her much success with this new venture.
I am taken back with the depth of presence and shear delight as you said.
Your work is so tender and beautiful — I loved the “Secret Things in a Prairie Field” piece above. Do you sell these by chance? You are wonderfully gifted!
Wow! The gift ideas are already forming . . . . . but I think I’m ahead of the game. Best wishes in the startup and development of the business. And your music is such a gift!
I too love the Prairie Field embroidery and look forward to seeing Diana’s kits. I have never seen her jewelry before and it is so intricate and beautiful. It moved me as I looked at it.