Become a Patron & Spark a Verse

Artist in Residence 2015, Melissa Beck

Exodus 28:1-5, 29-30Proverbs 19:20-21Isaiah 50:7; Hebrews 12:2; Romans 7:15


“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame.”

(Isaiah 50:7)



MelissaBeck-headshot-300x225.jpg#asset:1649  December 7, 2015


This piece has been quite a process, and now I’m happy to say it is complete…or rather what I set out to do is complete. I made a pair of glasses that I can wear. I got an eye exam and had my prescription put in the frames so wearing these glasses improves my vision. The lint that once was aimless excess is now redeemed, making up part of the structure of the frames. Inherently an object of focus, these glasses make the lint into something fixed and give it purpose. I learned later on that putting the lint into a resin doesn’t just help the lint become a fixed object, but the lint’s presence in the resin give the frames rigidity and actually contribute to its strength. Although this piece is “finished,” it didn’t turn out as I had thought but instead has taught me more.

While the piece itself represents redemption of the figurative lint in our lives, the process of making these glasses forced me to enact the practice of setting my face like flint. Despite failures and struggle, I had to remain determined in order for the piece to be completed. One of the hardest parts about making this piece was not knowing how to do it because I had never done this before…and I’m pretty sure no one else has either. As my earlier post showed, I had run into issues and thought many times about abandoning the piece. It’s often the case that we lose our flint-like faces before we even get anywhere. At least I notice that about myself.

Therefore we are not required to carry the load ourselves.

This piece makes me think of when Christ died saying, “it is finished” (John19:30) and when Paul said to “work out your salvation” (Philippians 2:12). Sometimes this seems like a paradox; that work must be done even when something is finished. Although my glasses piece is finished, it still can be worked on. The screws are weak, the shape doesn’t fit well enough to stay on my face, and actually the lenses keep falling out. Even still, they work and are fully functioning glasses. They are finished, and yet I may keep working on them. I like how Isaiah 50:7 starts out with “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me…”. It’s a reminder that anything we do is first empowered by and possible because of God. He is our helper and we can’t do anything on our own.

Several people helped me along the way in making this piece. Their help was essential to this piece. Even as we get impatient with ourselves, want to abandon the process because we seem to be getting nowhere, our Maker is in the business of refining us with us. Our in progress states are just as much of value and importance as a finished piece. Sometimes it’s the doing of something where we learn and grow the most, making that process essential. In life we are never finished. We are always pieces of lint being redeemed, and that is a good thing.

Flint and Lint

Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck1.jpg#asset:1673


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck2.jpg#asset:1668


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck3.jpg#asset:1671


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck4.jpg#asset:1669


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck5.jpg#asset:1672In progress: blue silicone mold and resin cast of glasses frames inside.


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck6.jpg#asset:1674In progress: resin is cured, ready to be sanded to desired thickness.


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck7.jpg#asset:1675In progress: resin is cured, ready to be sanded to desired thickness.


Finished_Flint_and_Lint-MBeck8.jpg#asset:1670






Follow the development of Melissa’s project by reading this in addition to her first, second, and third post as a 2015 Artist in Residence.


All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.