May 1, 2007

Rugged Cross - Blessed Assurance

I'm working on a series of fiber art pieces called Rugged Cross.

I learned in 1994 in an American Church History class that in North Carolina KKK meetings opened with the singing of the old, melodious, and well-loved hymn "The Old Rugged Cross." Russel Richey, who taught the class, had researched the KKK in the sixties; he and an associate attended some meetings and smuggled a tape recorder in with them, and he played the opening hymn for our class. It shows that religion can be used for whatever ends a person has in mind.

This piece came about when I told a friend that I was working on a Rugged Cross series, and she replied, "I don't need another rugged cross. I'm looking for some blessed assurance." ("Blessed Assurance" is an 1873 hymn written by Fanny Jane Crosby and, according to Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal, is one of the ten most popular hymns sung by United Methodists. )

This piece is in a private collection.

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