Sunday, September 20, 2009

Making of a Peace Pole for a Peace Bridge Dedication

A couple weeks ago I was invited to make a Peace Pole for a Peace Bridge Dedication on Sept. 20th here in Bend. I like to donate art to various events and it had been awhile since I had so I decided to make a Peace Pole to exhibit at the event.

First I looked online and found some sites about Peace Poles. I had never heard of a Peace Pole before.

I decided I wanted to use some wood I had on hand. I like to collect wood in all kinds of shapes and sizes. I keep it for future projects. I have a whole pile next to the house.

I've painted a couple times on wood before. I've mainly painted on driftwood.

The above piece is one that hangs next to our front door at our house.

Peace Poles typically are 4 sided but can be 6 or 8 sided or even round. They usually also say "May Peace Prevail on Earth". Mine was going to be 3 sided. 2 flat sides and a rounded side. I had an old pole that I found in the wood pile and I found a curved piece of wood that used to be part of a shelf unit which I wanted to use as a wing. Wings symbolize birds and peace and freedom to me. I thought it would be cool to put it on the top portion of the Peace Pole making it even taller.

I was told that the Peace Pole for this project in terms of design just had to be "peaceful". I could write or draw anything I wanted on it. That left things wide open. I ended up writing "Be Still and Listen" on one side and "Let Peace Prevail on Earth" on another side. And then the 3rd rounded side had flower and garden type images on it.

Below are images from the making of my Peace Pole.

This is the pole I found and the wood from the old shelf that I had cut into a wing shape. I sanded both.I got out my white gesso and covered both pieces which preps it to take the acrylic paint.

I found a container of dark blue paint that I had and put a coat of that on. I wanted a bit of the wood to show through so I left some natural wood stripes.

To get the feather pattern on the wing,, I used my fingers to draw into the paint while it was still wet. Then I started painting over the dark blue with other colors.

I found some plastic letters in my art drawer that peel and stick and I used them as a stencil. I put the words onto the wood, painted over the stencil and then pulled up the plastic to reveal the letters. Then I ended up hand lettering over the stenciled letters.

I was painting outside on the deck and it was nice to just mix my paints on the paper that I had spread out.
I added some of the white dots like I've been putting in my paintings lately. I thought it added a nice design touch.
Below is me with the final Peace Pole at the Peace Bridge Dedication site. You can see the bridge in the background. Some of the other Peace Poles were bright and colorful and I put mine in line with the others along the river.

Some detail shots of my Peace Pole are below.

They had speakers, music and singing, Native American prayers, delicious food and 50 doves of peace let go at the dedication.

There was a person putting free henna peace signs on peoples hands or ankles and there were a couple booths with peace information and peace stickers to buy. And there were beautiful purple tree branches hanging with Peace ornaments which made a gorgeous display!

Below is the Peace Bridge Plaque. Although is has a Dec. '08 date, they wanted to wait till International Peace Day on Sept. 20th '09 to have the dedication.

Above is Bend, Oregon's official Peace Bridge. They said there were only 4 bridges in the country dedicated to Peace. Hard to believe there would only be 4. There is a committee working to make Pacific Park, a park next to this bridge, a Peace Park as well.



A Creative Dream... said...

Wow, I love the idea, and I love how yours turned out! What a beautiful way for a community to celebrate both peace and art!

Michele Lee said...

Love how the pole turned out!! The wing makes it:) I also love this idea. May need to incorperate it into our community. Thanks so much for sharing this bit of peace with us.

Lindy Gruger Hanson said...

Thanks! It was a fun project and great to learn about Peace Poles! My next project is participating in The Sketchbook Project Vol. 4 from

I'll have more about it in an upcoming blog post.

Serendipity Collections said...

I LOVE your beautiful Peace Pole, Lindy! How awesome!


Beth Parker said...

That is one beautiful Peace Pole, Lindy! Thanks for sharing all the progress photos. That makes it extra fun!!