Shroud of Turin
Rhea Egg by Peggy Vincent 2001
The egg is a genuine Rhea Egg (bird from South America). The Christ image is a photograph taken by Barrie Schwortz during his 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP). The image has been color enhanced and printed on specialty paper. The inside of the hinged doors are gold leafed. The base is sculpted from clay and is also gold leafed. A special fabric covered oval box is included.
In July of 2001 I was reading Romans 10:8-11 For salvation that comes from trusting Christ -- which is what we preach -- is already within easy reach of each of us; in fact, it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation. For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed.
After reading that passage I asked how I could serve. The idea to teach a class about the Shroud came to me. Since I didn�t know much about the Shroud I went on the internet and found the site Shroud.com. I read about Dr. Max Frei who was a Swiss criminologist who took sticky tape samples off of the Shroud cloth. He discovered many types of pollens on the cloth. When I read that Dr. Frei was a criminologist the passage from Philippians 2:8 came to mind. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminals death.
I wrote to the author of the Shroud web site (Barrie Schwortz) and told him how strange that a criminologist would be working on such an important historical religious artifact. I never expected a reply from someone as important as Barrie Schwortz. He was the documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) which conducted the first scientific studies on the Shroud in 1978. Surely this person was too important to respond to me. But I was wrong...
In my quest to learn about the Shroud I became friends with Mr. Schwortz. I asked Mr. Schwortz if I could use his photograph to create a Shroud shrine out of a rhea egg (bird from South America). He provided me with a digital file of Christ�s face that he took during his 1978 STURP assignment. The image provided was a dark black and white image and I needed something in the warm gold tones closer to the actual colors of the Shroud cloth. So, I contacted Mr. Schwortz again and asked him if he would be so kind as to give me a sepia tone print of Christ�s face. Again Mr. Schwortz did as I asked. But after receiving the new photograph something told me that the color just wasn�t right. My heart told me I had to do this project right!
Well, by that time I had found my fabric and had done some work in photoshop with the digital image he gave me. Mr. Schwortz is a professional photographer and I didn't want to go changing his work without his permission. So, I took a sample of the cloth and a printout of his image that I changed into the gold tones, and wrote him a letter. Mr. Schwortz called me and liked what I had done and told me to go ahead and use the image I color enhanced for the Shroud egg. That was a tremendous surprise!
The timing of this project was out of my hands. I worked on the color enhancement of Christ�s face the day our country was attacked September 11, 2001. What a blessing in my life to be working with the face of Christ on such a difficult day.
Philippians 3:8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
In meditation I asked to see a design for the Shroud egg. In a flash of inspiration I saw a golden key. I was thinking of a very elaborate design with filigree doors, but my mind was settled once the idea came for the golden key design. The golden key door is opened by placing your finger in the heart -- representative of �Doubting Thomas�. This was another wonderful surprise. I didn�t plan that!
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, �Put your hand into my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!�
Then I had to learn about the flower pollen samples found on the Shroud so I could include the right flowers in the egg. I had fun learning about the various flower types from a book titled �Flora of the Shroud of Turin�, by Avinoam Danin, Alan D. Whanger, Uri Baruch, Mary Whanger. Besides pollen samples on the cloth there are images of flowers. One of the plants that especially interested me is the zygophyllum dumosum (center). It is only found in Israel, Sinai, and a small area of Jordan. The other amazing thing is that scientists know this flower was placed on the Shroud cloth in the spring because of the blossoms that are imprinted on the fabric. The flower on the left is a chrysanthemum and the flower on the right is pistacia lenticus.
I completed two Shroud Golden Key eggs and sent one to Mr. Schwortz. He called me and thanked me; he was so delighted with the egg. Come to find out Mr. Schwortz has collected glass eggs for years so he was thrilled to finally get a real Rhea egg ! As a thank you he sent me a sterling silver necklace that has an image of the Shroud. You can only see the cut out image of Christ�s face when you hold it up to the light!
Colossians1:15 Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God.
Jesus Christ is our great way shower. He taught us one commandment -- Love one another.
Daily meditation on the words �I AM� is a direct experience of the infinite.
I am certainly not disappointed.
I got to meet Barrie Schwortz at a Shroud Conference he spoke at in Stockton California March 3, 2002.
Special thanks goes
Barrie Schwortz for his support and inspiration.
copyright © Peggy Vincent 2002