Rough 2 Rustic May 2022
Each quarter, our friend Clare McCallan (a talented poet and writer) interviews each of the creators featured in the box. Here is her conversation with Michelle:
Over the last few years, Michelle of “Rough 2 Rustic” has found new solace in the arms of the sorrowful mother. Like many of us, these past few years have challenged her and her family in unexpected and overwhelming ways. As she explained to me: “I’ve always been drawn to Mary but I’m especially drawn to her sorrowful heart. Seeing her in her suffering forces you to think about your own suffering and honestly, makes our earthly suffering seem so unlike suffering at all. I just imagine her broken heart, breaking over and over again.”
In this May’s Little Catholic Box, Michelle has contributed an engraved wooden Mary, in reference and reverence to the miraculous medal, reading: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
I congratulated Michelle on making such a beautiful piece, that will surely help bring Mary into conversations and thus devotions in homes around the country. Keeping with that idea, I also asked her how she brings Mary into her own home life, as a mother of four young kids.
She explained: “It’s just an everyday conversation. We have Mary statues in our home. We talk about Mamma Mary every day. When I hold her, my little girl grabs the miraculous medal I wear around my neck and kisses it. She points to it and says “Mamma Mary”!
Michelle sees her vocation as two-fold: as a wife and mother, but also as an artist who is called to bring beauty into the domestic. She feels called to share her gifts through her art, turning natural wooden “scraps” into conversation-starting and devotion-keeping pieces. It seems to me that her two-fold vocations have bled into each other, bringing both creativity into her maternity and maternity into her creativity. And both Michelle’s children and her customers are all the better for the ways she shares her gifts.
As Michelle herself says: “I create joyfully knowing my faith is in God and my creations are for His glory. My goal is to use what I have, use all that I have to give back the gift that was given to me in a resounding way.”
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