|Meet the Artist: Rebecca Ellis|
|Written by Production|
|Tuesday, 04 May 2010 12:25 PM EDT|
A former clothing designer who “gave up thread for a spool of wire,” artist Rebecca Ellis makes crosses out of wire and gemstones. Along with selling her necklaces, earrings and other cross-based products, she displays her art at the wholesale Habitat Showroom in Dallas.
Tell us about yourself.
“I have been making crosses since almost the end of 1997. The idea came to me when I was with my father. He was in his 80s and he had macular degeneration in his eyes. He couldn’t see, so we decided to go out on our property and check the fences, and for years he had baled hay from a square bale of hay and crossed over the two pieces of wire from a bale of hay and had thrown it in this big ravine. … But trash became treasure to me because I started looking at it and I pulled it out and said, ‘Dad, look, this makes a cross.’ … That was my serendipity with the wrapped wire cross that God gave me.”
Your husband is a pastor?
“He’s pastor of Union Church (in Dallas), and he was on staff at First Baptist Church in Dallas. He was a singles minister and decided to go full time into pastoring a church. We actually started a church with, like, 13 people and now we have 400-500 members at the Dallas Convention Center.”
How do you make the crosses?
“Each cross has nothing in the core of the center except wire, and I start by just wrapping and wrapping the length of that long bar on the cross, and then I tie off a little piece to do the cross bar on the cross and then I just kind of go crazy. I wrap, wrap, wrap, wrap up and down the cross bars and then once I get the cross frame made, then I embellish them with gemstones or geodes, rocks, anything you can imagine that I feel I can truly put on a cross knowing that it was Christ’s sacrificial cross that paid my debt and gave me eternal life.”
Where do you get your inspiration for each cross?
“A lot of times it’s through scripture. It’s like an outpouring of what I’m going through in my own life. I had this inspiration after going on a mission trip with our Amazon outreach. I was just so compelled about fish and water and how that all wrapped around the scripture and Christ’s calling to the disciples to follow me and to leave their fishing industry behind. … so the Fisherman’s Cross came out of that trip. It has three hanging fish on a piece of wire that’s all kind of rolled around. It looks like it’s all caught on the fishing line on the 15-inch frame. … I’m totally inspired by just the gospel and how He changed my life personally and so the cross is just everything I think about, wow, what a great sacrifice.”
What is the retail price range of your art?
“I have a line that starts anywhere from $20 up to $700.”