Celebrating our silver anniversary
Women of the ELCA has introduced a new line of sterling silver jewelry featuring the such loved images of water, cross and lily from its logo. The logo, and, in turn, this jewelry, identifies women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as children of God; baptized, forgiven, adopted into God’s family, full of grace and hope in eternal life. It is a reminder of the growth, beauty, and vitality that rises out of that life-giving baptismal water.
The line, created by Deirdre Olson, includes a necklace, earrings, a charm and a pin. All are available online and offer women an opportunity to show their commitment to the mission of Women of the ELCA: mobilizing women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.
Meet the artist
“As a college sophomore, I knew I discovered my passion on the very first day of my ‘Introduction to Silversmith’ class,” says Deirdre Olson. She graduated with a studio arts degree from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wis.) and did post-graduate work at the Fine Arts Academy of Helsinki, Finland. Twenty-one years ago she launched Deirdre Handcrafted Jewelry, based in Minneapolis, Minn.
The tagline for Olson’s company—“creating joyful gifts and jewelry celebrating life and faith”—offers a window into her inspiration. “I draw from my own faith experience when creating jewelry,” says Olson. “Inspiration also comes from all sorts of creative forces woven through my life, from the opera to an art gallery to nature. Along with my role as an artist, I also create from my own everyday needs as a mom, a daughter and a friend.”
It is the last step in the jewelry process, the polishing stage, that truly captures Olson’s imagination. A piece “looks anything but beautiful until the very last step. During polishing the true beauty of the piece emerges,” notes Olson. “Perhaps it’s my favorite step because I see parallels between polishing jewelry and God’s hand working in my life. I often think of Ecclesiastes 3:11 during this part of the process: He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Describing the Women of the ELCA logo as truly beautiful, Olson “immediately knew that the beauty of the logo would allow me to create a collection that women would want to wear. It’s always fun to create a collection, knowing that every woman could choose a piece that was just right for her.”
Olson’s jewelry is available through her online store and is also sold in the church bookstores, retreat centers, gift boutiques and galleries throughout the country.
Women of the ELCA silver jewelry can be purchased through the Women of the ELCA e-store. (It is not available through Olson.)