Christina Root: Jewelry Designer “And the Lord gave me a Lifeline…ART!”

Christina Root: Jewelry Designer

“And the Lord gave me a Lifeline…ART!”

by Sharon Furrate Bailey

Q:  When did you begin creating your unique jewelry pieces: charms, rings and more, and what technique do you use?

A:   Everything I have ever done in my life has contributed to the culmination of the rings that I create as well as the charms. My father was a gifted artist and musician, and my great grandfather worked in theatre. So, I have been surrounded by visual artists, musicians and the theatre. The process is called Electroforming. I use electricity to move copper from one place to another through a copper sulfite saturation, sort of like plating with metal. 

Q:  Share about your personal life.

A:  I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia in a town where many of my friends were born with silver spoons in their mouths. I consider myself fortunate in the sense that I was born with silver spoons in my hands. I was surrounded by creative

thinkers and I am thankful for this aspect today, but at times, I just wish I had a “normal family life.”

In art class, I was like a free bird. I felt like I was soaring while creating art. I sometimes wonder where I would be if it were not for art? There were several times that I even went back and told my art teacher in high school that she saved my life. I enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Art and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics.

Upon completing graduate school, I moved to Michigan to participate in an art exchange program with the Soviet Union. There is too much to share about that experience, but it did shape my life as an artist. During this time, I married and began teaching at an art center on Lake Michigan. Community involvement became very important to me, and with the help of many in the community, I started a program called Art Angels. This program helped many people through a somewhat holistic approach to health. From pediatrics, to oncology patients and those in foster care, I taught art, but they also extended a life line in a sense. 

Q:  You have faced challenges but overcame them. Share some more about those difficult times.

A:  While I was pregnant with my daughter, [I felt that] my husband “checked out” of my life emotionally, spiritually and as a supportive mate. We stayed married during this wilderness time for seven more years, but we were separate on every level. What helped me? Art helped me express myself in a positive manner…Now, my daughter is attending Louisiana State University and majoring in the arts field. I am so proud of her. She is following her true calling.

Q:  As an artist, you studied ceramics seriously most of your life, so how did your jewelry line begin?

A:  Ceramics are not easy to sell. I started making jewelry because, in a way, it is a form of journaling for me. It is fun and the jewelry I create represents a faith journey. There are many spiritual symbols used in my designs, and I feel a deeper connection to God when using these symbols in my work. For some reason, God seems more accessible to me by incorporating these images of Jesus and his mother, crosses and other Christian symbols. They remind me of Him and help me to reflect more of His goodness. Having been raised in the Catholic culture and religion, I am fascinated with the different pictures of Jesus, the saints and their stories and the stories in the Bible. There are many stories of miracles that encourage me, because throughout my life, I have experienced divine intervention myself. At the time I was experiencing a miracle, I cannot say I recognized it as a miracle.

Q:  Share one of your most spiritual revelations.

A: I will never forget the day I truly felt so close to God. I literally felt I could reach out and touch the hem of his garment. While driving to work on a very gloomy, rainy morning in the center of Philadelphia, all I could see was traffic and people carrying umbrellas. It was like a sea of people with black umbrellas. I was stuck in my car next to this huge old church. Suddenly, the rain stopped, the sun beamed through the clouds, and I could see the faces of the people that once had their umbrellas opened, but had closed them. At that moment, the church bells started to play a Cat Stevens song called “Morning has Broken.” When I hear that song today, tears come to my eyes because of the intimacy I felt with the Lord.

A variety of unique charms designed and created by Root.
A variety of unique charms designed and created by Root.
A variety of unique charms designed and created by Root.

Q:  How can one find your unique jewelry line?

A: I sell my work on Etsy.com (Christina Root) and locally at Mosaic Garden on Government Street as well as a few galleries in New Orleans.  For more information christinaroot@rocketmail.com.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17

Sharon Bailey

Sharon Furrate Bailey grew up in Alexandria, La., and moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU. She earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1990. She attends Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Sharon has been in the field of marketing, sales and public relations since 1996. She is a gifted artist and has been a columnist since 2005. She can be reached at sharon@brclm.com.

JULY 2015
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