Meet The Rosary Promoter
"I think for young people, the rosary can be kind of dry. So, they look at the beads and the symbols on the beads that have biblical and Catholic meanings. They get more meaning from the rosary from looking at the beads."
Sarah Harkins of Clayrosaries.com is a stay at home mom who has been making clay rosaries for 14 years. She has experimented with many different arts and crafts but finally fell in love polymer clay as her favorite, mainly because of it's ability to work as a medium to recreate beautiful symbols of the Catholic faith.
She started making rosaries at the age of 15. She believes she is doing what God has called her to do and seeks to spread the Gospel through her work.
What makes your polymer clayrosaries unique?
My clayrosaries are so unique because I am the only person who makes and sells polymer clay rosaries with cane work. The cane work is what you see when you look at the pictures in the beads. I have seen some dvd on the internet about how to make clay rose rosaries, but these are very different and much more simple than the cane work.
These are truly homemade clayrosaries, how do you make each bead?
It's hard to explain without seeing it first hand, which is why I started my blog. In my blog: www.theclayrosarygirl.blogspot.com (click on the tab: beads), you can see many good examples of how the beads are made through the pictures I have taken while making them. It has helped a lot of people understand the process much better.
In very basic terms, I start big! I make the designs in much bigger form than you see on the beads. I mix colors, I make shapes, I roll, flatten, and pinch until I have my design complete. When I am finished making the design, I reduce the cane by rolling and stretching it, until it is the right size for a bead. I then slice beads, punch holes, and bake them in my oven.
A lot of families pray the Rosary together which is going to include little
children. How durable are your polymer clayrosaries?
I am very committed to making my rosaries durable- for all ages. My children- ages 20 months and 4 years play with all of the rosaries we own, and the only rosaries than haven't broken are the clay rosaries. In fact, we've gotten rid of the other broken rosaries, so all we have left are the clay rosaries! Recently, I have also switched stringing materials from fish line to stainless steel flex-wire. This is to make sure the rosary is as sturdy as it can be. In addition, I have a durability guarantee which ensures that if anything happens to the rosary, I will fix it and send it back at no charge.
What are your favorite beads and why?
The symbols that I like the best are the dove (Holy Spirit), Immaculate Heart, and the Lamb of God. It seems the longer I make beads, the more intricate the designs get. The Immaculate Heart and the Lamb of God are beads that I have recently made with great detail. These symbols have such rich meaning behind them, I couldn't bear to leave out the important details! I love how they turned out!
How did you get your start in making rosaries?
I started making rosaries when I bought a book on how to make polymer clay beads
when I was fifteen. It was so much fun, I couldn't stop! In the book was a picture of a clay rosary. It was the only one I have ever seen since, so I am assuming the artist did it once and then moved on. Anyway, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, even though I really didn't have a devotion to the rosary. I made one for my mom because I knew she would like it. She loved it, and so did her friends, and their friends, and I have never stopped making them since because people have never stopped asking for them. I like the fact that I made the first one for my earthly mother because now I make them all for my heavenly mother, Mary. It seems that through my work, she has lead me to a deep devotion for the rosary, herself, and her Son.
How has your work deepened your devotion to Mary and the Most Holy Rosary?
It's hard to make a rosary and not have a devotion to Mary and the Rosary. It's almost as if Mary draws me in through my work. My mind can be far from her, but after I start working, she gently reminds me why I am doing what I am doing, and invites me to pray while I work. My work is so much bigger than I am. The rosaries I make are not my own, but Mary's. It's her work, not my own that brings people closer to Jesus.
In what ways has the Rosary brought peace and serenity to your life?
The Rosary is my favorite prayer because of it's simplicity. I don't have to think about what words I want to pray to God, it's all there for me. When I pray the Rosary, I feel God speaking to me through the mysteries and sometimes in ways that I least expect. Praying the Rosary helps me conquer fears, anxiety, and troubles that I or my loved ones may be going through. I always feel my prayers being answered when I pick up the rosary. Mary always comes to my aid to lead me to her Son.
What item that you make is your favorite and why?
The only rosary I have made for the first 13 years of making rosaries continues to be my favorite and that is the multi bead rosary. It has all the beads I make. In the past year, I have expanded my store to include many different rosaries, chaplets, and jewelry, but the original multi-bead Rosary is still my favorite.
Check out Sarah's beautiful, high quality clayrosaries at Clayrosaries.com and support this handmade rosary designer!
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