James Avery Craftsman, Kerrville, Texas

The older I get, the more cognizant of dates I have become; markers along the trail of life as it arrives which allow us to find occasions to draw near. I don’t know if we ever really need a reason to party, however, things that arrive outside of our regular circumstance are ample gateways into escaping the mundane. And not every celebration has cake (even if I am voting yes to that mandatory cake proposal) though, can still be cause for celebration.

As a kid, I was part of a youth ministry program at a nearby church that hosted some of the most wealthy families that I could imagine. Some of them are great people who care deeply and use their resources to help affect change in the world. And yet, some might have just been there to be seen. However, in many ways, I looked upon the middle class life that my single mother was attempting to provide as less than those of the wealthy Mcmansions that these peers inhabited. And, while none of that should actually matter, it is emblazoned in the way that I perceive the world, even to this day, about trying to compare my experiences to those of others. Some of it may be a reality check, but mostly, it ends up becoming a thief of joy if I allow too much of it in at one time.

One way that this particular popular group expressed their faith, something that I probably more often should have payed attention to, was through displaying outward symbols of the same. A way of marking themselves apart. As tattoos were frowned upon in the ultra conservative landscape of the church in question, a fashionable alternative was through jewelry. Specifically, sterling silver was a hit then. I dare not compare the practice to idolatry, as it seemed more subversive than that.

The Jewelry of James Avery was a prime selection of choice. The works were inspired by Avery’s faith and while there was plenty of greater pieces to select from, his dedication to charms, made for a prime gift giving or celebration induced events.


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