Here is a heartening story that went out in a recent newsletter from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts descrbes how college senior, Amy Green is designing a Cosmatesque floor for her parish, Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Driggs, Idaho. She is doing this through the weekly Guild of St Luke art class at the college. The article below was written by student Marlene Schuler, Class of 2017. In this Amy describes how this will be done through members of the parish volunteering their time to lay the tiles. She told me in addition that these professional tilers had also managed to negotiate a deal with the tile supplier, who offered them a good price simply because he was taken by how unusual this project is. This is the sort of result that makes it all worthwhile for me. I'm sure Amy will do a great job! Another point is that the article doesn't say so, but as this is done on a limited budget, they would welcome donations to go towards the finished floor. So here's your chance to contribute to the rebuilding of Catholic culture. Contact me if you would like to donate and I will put you in touch with Amy and the church.
Anyway here is Marlene's article, which was headed:
Rebuilding Catholic Culture, One Tile at a Time
What inspired you to start this project?
Initially, it was the Way of Beauty program in freshman year. Then, it was furthered by going to Rome and seeing the Cosmati floors in person; in particular, the floors of San Benedetto and Santa Maria in Trastevere.
(The Cosmati floor in the basilica Sancta Maria in Trastevere that helped to inspire Amy)
Could you describe a little more how the Way of Beauty Program was able to help you with this design process?
In the second semester of freshman year, Mr. Clayton focuses in on Euclid’s geometry and how it is applied in various art forms. At the end of the semester, we were asked to design a Cosmati floor using the techniques we were taught through the program. I was so struck by how easy this project was and how beautiful the floors turned out; which was incredible for me, because I have never been able to draw.
Currently, I am taking the St. Luke art guild in which Mr. Clayton is able to help me with the design of the floor!
Where are you in the process of design?
I’m in the middle of designing the floor right now. Once I finish the design and our parish has raised the necessary funds for the floor, the project will begin. There are several parishioners who have offered to donate their time, talents, and materials to lay the floor. It’s going to be local parishioners and people from our town (including non-Catholics) all working together on the floor, cutting and laying the tile…. it’ll be like medieval times, when everyone from the village helped out.
I am also designing a website whereby people can donate to the project to help purchase the tile. I am hoping to have the website up and running by the end of this semester.
Is this something you would like to continue doing after the project is finished—after your tenure at Thomas More?
If there are other opportunities, I would definitely be open for exploring them. It’s so exciting to be able to use the education that I’ve received here so soon—even before graduating.