Before this piece took on three-dimensional life, it was an original concept drawn in pen and ink on calfskin vellum (a material that will outlive me and you and will see the next generation, and the one after that). Designed with meaningful intricacies and skillful symmetry, this piece, a theme amongst Jake’ collection, facilitates powerful truths intended to be intimately consumed by the viewer.
Back in September 2012, a man from California saw the Rose as a wood slated print Jake had produced for Denver’s Q Conference and upon researching the piece found the original inspiration on Jake’s website as the pen and ink drawing. A convincing phone call, nine months and 800 hours later, the Rose grew in depth, life, and significance. Who knew this Californian would be handing the Rose a microphone that would give its story a louder voice.
I thought that when Jake carved the Rose, it was the greatest possible expansion this piece would have, only, I was wrong. Let's just say that the piece has taken on the full meaning of its name, "Sojourner" as is hasn't stayed in one place very long.
The California commissioner of the Sojourner’s Rose carving would soon have a surprise and yet another challenge for Jake: reproduce the Rose carving as a limited edition series in bronze.
So, after a trip to southern California, the Rose is now home (we never thought we’d see the day) and she takes her place in our studio home here in Englewood, CO. The process of unlocking the Roses’ potential continues, and we believe that with its success, its meaning must stay intact so that viewers all around the world will know what this piece has to say.
Sailors of long ago looked to the heavens to find their way on this earth. Though the seas would churn and the winds would blow, the heavens remained their constant guide. Burning stars above would chart their course across tumultuous seas that threatened to claim their lives. Beyond the stars, sailors spoke of a greater force that they believed kept them safe and guided them home- this was the Divine.
In the center of this piece is the sojourner represented by a ship. A ‘sojourner’ is a traveler who does not stay long in any one place (Psalms 39:12, Hebrews 11:16, Philippians 3:20).
The four points of the compass mark out the sign of the cross. The cross is intended to be central to our faith, which we ought to bind our lives. We find ourselves, the sojourners, bound to the center of the cross, signifying the profundity that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
Perfectly subdividing the four points of the cross are four angels, God’s ordained host of heaven, that speak to the protection God has placed around us (2 Samuel 22:3-4, Psalm 91:4).
Woven between them are banners of the original names of the eight winds adopted by seafarers during the Middle Ages. Around their feet, encircling the heavens, is a laurel wreath, the crown of victory to all who fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
The eight phases of the moon, parallel to the eight winds, reminds us that God made the moon to mark the seasons (Psalm 104:19, Genesis 1:14). We are bound by time, and purposed for a time such as this.
Observing the cardinal directions of the compass, East and West tell that He has removed us from our transgressions by the work of the cross (Psalm 103:12). North, or True North, is represented by the crown of the King and at the foot of the cross is an anchor where we find our freedom, bound in a life of worship (Hebrews 6:19).
Lastly, the charge to those who believe: “True the Course of Sojourner’s Be Whose Bearings Are Followed Faithfully.”
Whether we are literally traveling across an open sea or simply making our way through life, we are all sojourners. May your compass forever point True North.