It’s quite an experience being in the presence of true talent.
Louis Comfort Tiffany was the son of Charles Tiffany, founder of the famous Tiffany’s jewelry stores. When his dad died, he left him three million dollars. (85 million dollars in today’s market.) Louis didn’t rest on his dad’s reputation. Wasn’t just the entitled rich kid.
He pursued his dream. A true artist.
Tiffany experimented with glass design, taking something useful and making it an object of art. Colors and textures. Form and function. He looked to nature, antiquity and rock formations for inspiration. He used chemistry and mechanics as art tools in finding and purifying colors and making massive pieces. Doors, window panes, lamps, vases. He pushed the limits of what had been done to discover what could be.
My friend, Clara, and I spent the morning at the Morse Museum in downtown Winter Park. Walking through exhibits that reflected not only Tiffany’s talent, but his imagination.
Beauty grabs heart and mind alike. Add to it incredible workmanship and unbelievable attention to detail and people will take notice. As much as we live in an “instant” society, something exquisite that took a long time to create depicts the value of the process and talent behind it.
In an article Tiffany wrote for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1917, he said, “The search for beauty is in itself the most wholesome of all quests.” In his pursuit of beauty, he didn’t limit himself to glass creations. He worked in pottery, architecture, painting, and interior design.
Seeing the variety, detail and beauty of his work, I realized skill and talent aren’t the only things that separate the artist from the non-artist.
It’s vision. How the artist sees what hasn’t yet come into being. The allure of putting differences together.
That’s how God sees us. We’re individual works of art from the hands of the Master Craftsman. Put together in ways He sees as beautiful and delightful.
The media has scripted for us a definition of beauty. Youthful, bright, healthy, slender. No blemishes, wrinkles or flaws.
Something we all could achieve if we could daily airbrush ourselves like a canvas. Never allowing anyone close enough to see it.
True beauty isn’t just appearance. It’s how we show up when no one is looking. It’s how we receive someone who’s different from us. It’s appreciating and valuing the flaws. Stepping back and recognizing that true beauty isn’t polished or profiled.
It’s personal. From the hand of the Master Designer.
When God created us in His image, He used colors and textures that spanned a spectrum. He saw all of them as good. No one color was better than another. He gave people shapes and sizes, all of which were pleasing to Him. He allowed circumstances which might cause some to have missing parts or pieces that don’t work as others do.
He delights in the magnificence of our differences.
Tiffany understood that ordinary could become extraordinarily beautiful. It’s how you frame it.
God sees the extraordinary in each of us as we reflect Him. Framed in His love. Presented as uniquely beautiful works.
How do you see yourself?
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