For millennia, the cross has been a symbol of Christ's suffering and crucifixion, for the pain and eventually redemption that Easter commemorates. But the cross has been ubiquitous for so long that its symbolism can feel less poignant just because it is so familiar.
So on Good Friday, I find myself drawn to the spiritual jewelry of Houstonian Katie Scott. Her Thorn collection is a meaningful and surprisingly beautiful reference to the crown of thorns Jesus was mockingly given to wear by the Roman soldiers who oversaw his execution.
"My thorn collection was inspired by the crown of thorns that pierced Jesus’ head—it symbolizes humility, sacrifice and the reality that love and pain coexist," writes Scott. In an Easter message to customers, Scott notes that she was deeply influenced by lessons learned at Catholic school and at services she attended as a child in New Orleans, especially walking the stations of the cross:
"I vividly recall the feelings that were raised to the surface—sadness, pain, disbelief that anyone could be treated with such cruelty, and complete fascination with Jesus and Mary. From this point on, every time I would go to church, rather than listening to the homily, I would sit in the pew, staring at the images on the wall and contemplate Jesus’ crucifixion. I would wonder and ask, 'How did Jesus manage the physical torment and pain? How did Mary manage the emotional torment and pain of watching her only son be tortured and nailed to a cross?' The seed within me was fertilized... My jewelry collection was born from this very place—my desire to utilize my God-given gift of design and my desire to express my respect and love for the divine."
Scott's spiritual jewelry doesn't end with thorns, of course. There are endless permutations of the traditional cross—repeated as a geometric pattern, inlaid onto cuffs and displayed as minimalist shapes and ornate symbols—each meant to symbolize "hope, faith, resurrection and trust in God," per Scott. Her Modern Mary pieces feature a charm with an image of the Blessed Virgin that pay homage to "her beautiful example of grace, strength, surrender and trust in God."
But above all it's the thorns that epitomize Easter to me and move me to deeper thoughts about the meaning of the crucifixion and religion itself—and yet the pieces are subtle enough to wear every day. The collection includes rings, earrings, bracelets and a necklace, with pieces starting at $75 for a sterling silver thorn ring to $450 for a choker in 22-karat gold.
Its certainly no accident that Scott has her religious jewelry on sale this weekend—get 30 percent off through Sunday with code EASTER30.