Pennsylvania "Dutch" Hex Signs - Barn Signs - Folk Art Decor — Traditional Hand Drawn and Hand Painted Folk Art

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Jj Starwalker
Corinth, ME

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Unfortunately, that was about all I was able to learn from my Grandmother, who felt she was breaking tradition to teach me even that. She was, you see, tradition-bound to teach only one student, in the next generation, of the opposite gender! She had apparently not found any males in my parents' generation that either were suitable students or wished to learn, and was able to rationalize some, that had she found such a student, he could have taught me... and hence my basic education.

She died when I was a teen, before I was really interested in traditional crafts, or traditional Craft, and my interest lay dormant until, as a young woman and artist, I rediscovered hex signs as potential batik designs. In my research and reading at that time I came across an out-of-print book entitled "Diary of a Hexenmeister" -- fascinating reading that dovetailed well with what little I had been taught and some of what I had discovered in the intervening years of spiritual questing.

The designs are a way of representing energy, lines of force or will, the collaboration between the painter and Deity and much of what my grandmother DID, but did not explain, was covered in the book. Rather than just being "whipped out" using a drawing compass much as geometry students' doodles, Grandmother would pause as she drew. She did not just put the compass on the paper or wood upon which she worked, but placed the point with deliberation. With the point set, she then set the radius of the circle, paused, and always inscribed the first circle with careful deliberation.

In this way she centered herself, and mentally put God at the center of her work, with the radius metaphorically representing the reach of God's will and the circle bounding all as does Deity.

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10/30/14