Traditional Crosses

Black Iron Cross

Black Iron Cross Fence
Nambe, New Mexico Cemetery
Karen Rivera 2009

Jemez Springs Adobe Church

Jemez Springs, New Mexico
sebastian 2009

Chimayo Chapel

Chimayo Chapel
Chimayo, New Mexico
sebastian 2009

Saint George on a Horse Shrine

Cross of the DaySt. George on a Horse
Sanctuario, Chimayo, New Mexico
sebastian 2005

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is Transformed

In Santa Fe, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is honored within the parish’s santuario. Outside, a 12-foot bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe stands near the entrance, its base often decorated with fresh roses. Parishioners accompanied the statue from Mexico City, where it was cast in bronze, to Santa Fe in 2008.

Church is converting a weedy slope in front of its parking lot into a shrine that tells the story of the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe. The church also will create an Institute for Guadalupe Studies and a Marian Resource Center and Library in the old Guadalupe School and Convent across Agua Fría Street.

The area will be called “Santa Fe’s Hill of Tepeyac.”

“It’s a place where people can come and look for resources about Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Nguyen said.

The Santa Fe Hill of Tepeyac is “a wonderful way to pay honor to our Mother,” parishioner Diana Lujan said.
More from the Santa Fe New Mexican

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine at Chimayo, New Mexico

Our Lady of Gudalupe Shrine

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
Chimayo, New Mexico
sebastian 2003

Jane Beeder’s Vintage Cross Jewlery

Copper Turquoise Beads with Vintage Silver Cross
by Jane Beeder

To say Jane Beeder travels the world is an understatement. From her years in spent in the Middle East buying antique strings of hand carved gemstones to her upcoming trip to Russia, Jane never misses a chance to search out the most exquisite and exotic beads for her original jewelry.

In her recent show last month at Hayden Hays Gallery at the Broadmoor Hotel, Jane’s jewelry held it’s own with all the other masterpieces displayed.

Crosses, whether they are antique Navajo sterling silver, gem studded artifacts from Morocco or hand crafted by local Colorado Springs artists, are combined with the rough-hewn gemstones, hand-forged crosses and elegant silver findings that are a hallmark of Jane’s work.

Many of her recent pieces combine Coptic (Ethiopian) Crosses with turquoise beads.

Ethiopian crosses are made from elaborate lattice or filigree work in a baroque style.  The artists designing the African crosses take great delight in creating ornate decorative patterns. They embellish a simple cross with trefoils, flared arms, fanciful projections, complex openwork and intertwined patterns of lines that symbolize eternity.

Traditionally worn around the neck on a deep blue cotton cord, the crosses are given to children when they are baptized and they become one of the most prized of all personal possessions.

Named after the region they come from, the crosses that Jane uses in her work are hand-cast and made from nickel or brass alloys.

Jane Beeder combines a hand-carved Antique Lapis Lazuli and Sterling pendant with oversized Lapis Lazuli rondelles and hand made sterling silver beads

Jane’s studio at Cottonwood Center for the Arts is an out-of-the-ordinary voyage. Crammed floor-to-ceiling with Chinese antique cabinets full of exotic beads just waiting to be turned into collectible, wearable works of art, Jane can be found working surrounded by overflowing baskets of chunks of amber, strings frosted 1930’s lucite and tribal beaded headbands


For more of Jane’s necklaces, check out photos of her work here on Fresh Ink.

Jane’s studio, #103, is at 427 E. Colorado in downtown Colorado Springs at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. For more info about Jane’s workshop, call (719) 520-1899. Her work can be purchased at Cottonwood on Tejon or The Boulder Street Gallery in Downtown Colorado Springs.

Hidden Grave with Flowers ~ Nambe, New Mexico

Nambe Cemetery
Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico
Karen Rivera
January 2011

I shoot a lot of cemetaries. For heart-rending, technicolor boisterous displays, you just can’t beat a New Mexican cemetary on Easter, Day of the Dead or Christmas. I’ve made it to my favorite, the Nambe Church cemetary in Nambe, every Boxing Day for most of the last 20 years. I follow that up with New Year’s Day in Acoma. It seems to make the perfect emotional double-header.

I found this small, weathered cross tucked away in a far corner surrounded by tumbleweeds and scruffy dead plants. The new flowers shows that this lonely hidden grave hadn’t been forgotten.

Alley Cross with Thunderclouds

Alley Cross
Dave Siemer 2010

Crosses are everywhere you look, even in an alley in a small town in Oregon.

Sanctuario Church Tower with Cross

Church Tower with Cross, Chimayo
Chimayo, New Mexico
Karen Rivera 2007

San Antonio Church ~ Punta de Agua, New Mexico

Punta de Agua

Highway 55, Southern New Mexico
Karen Rivera

The small villages along Highway 55 have always held a special place in my hard-scrabble New Mexican heart. Using the few resources available in the barren, harsh acres early settlers recycled the ever-present rocks into homes, walls, and churches.

In Punta de Agua, the rough-cut stone San Antonio Church stands as a monument to an earlier example of sustainable and green building.

If you’d like to walk through Punta de Agua at street level, click here to go to Google Maps, then click satellite.


4 Corners Baskets ~ Zia Pueblo, New Mexico

Four Corners Baskets
Zia Pueblo
July 2010
Karen Rivera

Local Native American Basket Makers incorporate the designs of crosses, native plants, mountains and rivers into their wonderful baskets. Made of raw reeds and natural dyes, the basketmakers weave spirituality into their art.

Nuestra Senora de Los Dolores de Manzano

Nuestra Nuestra Senora de Los Dolores de Manzano
Manzano, New Mexico
Karen Rivera

Andreita Avila’s Cross

Andreita Avila’s Cross
Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery
Bernalillo, New Mexico
kd sebastian 21010

There’s something so touching about handmade grave markers. Many of the cemeteries in New Mexico have suffered from vandalism and neglect. Families die out, move away or simply abandon the traditional New Mexican ways.

My favorite crosses are what I call the “hard times” crosses: handmade from whatever durable materials could be afforded. Rebar, cement, wood, rocks–everything is fair game and free. Oddly enough, the poorer the community, the better kept the graveyards are.

Andreita Avila’s Cross is on the left side of Our Lady of Sorrows Graveyard in Bernalillo, New Mexico. It’s proximity to the Placitas off-ramp has made it a vandal’s dream so it was heart-warming to find this small pocket size memorial exactly where it was placed  years ago.

Izzie’s Easter Cross

Izzie’s Easter Cross
Bernalillo, New Mexico
sebastian 2010

Dinner for Two

Dinner for Two
acrylic on fir
sebastian 2005

The crosses in the painting on the wall keep the afterlife ever present no matter how festive the dinner.

Traditional Black Celtic Cross with Circles

Traditional Black Celtic Cross with Circles
Alexandra Grey 2009

Free Traditional Black Celtic Cross with Circles by Alexandra Grey is available at Cross of the Day Free Cross Clipart here.

El Vez Serenades the Lady

El Vez Serenades the Lady
Sanctuario, Chimayo, New Mexico
sebastian 2007

Black Iron Cross with Grapes

Black Iron Cross with Grapes
Chimayo, New Mexico
sebastian 2007

Assyrian Cross of the Four Worlds

Assyrian Cross of the Four Worlds
Alexandra Grey 2009

This Assyrian Crosses has 4 symetrical arms that represent the four directions: North, South, East and West. The arms of Assyrian Crosses expand into bell shapes or end in vertical ovals.

Circles are a another common feature of Assyrian crosses. A single circle in the center is a symbol for the center of the universe. All the strength of the universe’s powers are pulled in towards the cross’s owner.

The four circles in the cross show an outward focused life balanced between the world’s forces.

Assyrian Cross of the Four Worlds by Alexandra Grey is available at Cross of the Day Free Cross Clipart here.

Saint Fiacre’s Gardener’s Black Celtic Cross

Saint Fiacre’s Gardener’s Black Celtic Cross
Alexandra Grey 2010

This Black Celtic Gardener’s Cross sparkles with balanced glowing leafy elements. aint Fiacre’s Gardener’s Black Celtic Cross was created to honor Ireland’s Saint Fiacre.

Ireland’s Saint Fiacre is the Patron Saint of Gardeners; taxi cab drivers; venereal disease sufferers; barrenness; box makers; florists; hemorrhoids; hosiers; pewterers; tile makers and ploughboys.

Born in Ireland in the 7th century, St. Fiacre was a monk turned hermit who became known for his healing herbs, prayers and food. After fleeing Ireland in a desperate attempt to find solitary peace, St. Fiacre traveled to France with where he performed his first miracle.

Approaching the Bishop of Meaux for land with space build a guest house and chapel, St. Fiacre was given a small plot of land in Breuil, in the province of Brie where he established long-lived orchards and gardens. His festival is celebrated on the 30th of August. He is the Patron Saint of  Brie and gardeners invoke him as their protector against pests and crop failure.

Saint Fiacre is the Patron Saint of Gardeners and taxi cab drivers

Saint Fiacre’s Black Gardener’s Celtic Cross Clipart by Alexandra Grey is available at Cross of the Day Free Cross Clipart here.

Red Celtic Cross

Red Celtic Cross
Alexandra Grey 2009

Our Free Red Celtic Square Cross is a simplified version of an eighth century square Celtic cross-decorated vertical grave stone in Fahan Mura, Co. Donegal.

In early Britain, suicides were buried at the crossroad under the crude cross that the two roads represented, adding to the air of the supernatural. Crossroads also symbolize the space “betwixt and between” where miracles can happen and mystical forces could be contacted just before dawn.

The four cross arms of the square Celtic cross represent the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. The center shows the 4 elements meeting at a crossroads.

This cross-decorated vertical grave stone is in Fahan Mura, Co. Donegal. Our Free Red Celtic Square Cross is a simplified version of this eighth century square Celtic cross.

The Fahan Mura Cross rests in a quiet graveyard next alongside the road from Letterkenny to Buncarna.

This early 7th century cross-slab is 6 1/2 feet and demonstrates a close connection with Scotland, where the shape is more common. The intertwined hand carved knotwork is believed to represent the Tree of Life with its roots on the earth and its branches high in the air symbolized a connection between heaven and earth.

For more images of the Fahan Mura Standing Slab, click here.

The Free Red Celtic Cross by Alexandra Grey is available at Cross of the Day Free Cross Clipart here.

Field of Wildflowers Story Cross with Carnations

Lazy cows amble in a field of spring wild flowers in the water color center of this pastel Vintage Easter Cross. Story Crosses were designed to showcase scenic views including pastoral scenes like this one. The well drawn carnations give the feel of looking through the card into another world. Charming, but I’m still not sure what cows have to do with Easter.

This Free Country Story Easter Cross with Carnations Greeting Card Clipart is available at Cross of the Day Free Cross Clipart here.

White Easter Lily Cross

White Lilies in pots are everywhere around Easter, flooding the grocery stores and vegetables stands here in Southern Oregon. The traditional White Lily has always symbolized purity and grace.

Vintage traditional Easter Greeting Cards, like this one, contrast the charm of the lilly with the solidness of the Cross.