My panel for the mural at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Dublin, Ohio, is dedicated to my brother and my father. They both died unexpectedly in 2000.
I originally didn’t have any ideas for the panel. Things developed just in talking to artist Anita Miller (see "Art for worship"). She asked a lot of good questions and made me think about the two of them and what they had in common.
One of the things I remember most about my father were his strong, beautiful hands. He was an electrician, and he worked with his hands all his life. And my brother and I really appreciated craftsmanship, things people could do with their hands.
Anita asked, “Do you have any items around that remind you of the two of them?” I had my father’s tools—wooden planes that were actually from his grandfather. My father had given my brother these wooden planes that his grandfather had used. So it was a neat connection between the two of them. Those planes were incorporated into the panel, along with the big electrician’s leather gloves my father gave to my husband, which my brother also used when he came over to help us.
The way Anita coiled the extension cord in the picture—I didn’t see it until it was already roughed in—was something I had seen all my life. We always had an extension cord like that in the garage. As a kid I would help my dad. He’d tell me what he needed and I’d go to the garage and get it and bring it to him. It was just weird that she would have this whole vision and it would include pieces that I didn’t even think of and that would bring back great memories of me working with my father.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers