Graham Short’s Amazing Art and a Lesson for All

Friday Thoughts and Discussion

About a year ago, God gave me an amazing new internet friend. Graham Short is a British artist who contacted me after seeing the post HOW TEACHING MEN TO PRAY MAY BE THE SECRET TO EFFECTIVE DISCIPLE MAKING. Actually, I am pretty sure that the picture associated with the post is what drew him to the article. In that post I had attached a picture of Godfrey Lundberg’s 1914 hand-carving of the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin.

Graham told me not only some of the back story on Lundberg’s achievement but that he had duplicated the feat using the same techniques used by Ludberg over a hundred years ago. Mr. Short, seems to be a delightful man with not only an incredible skill but a stunning commitment to his art.

Graham Short's Jesus in Gold
Graham Short’s “Jesus in Gold”

Here, for the first time in America I believe, is his hand-carved image of thorn-crowned Christ on the head of a gold pin. The detail is extraordinary and Graham has given me permission to post it here on the chosenrebel BLOG.

Graham’s attention to and passion for this craft is an inspiration. When he first contacted me, his agent was negotiating a Trinity Broadcasting filming and display of some of his art. The particular image to the left is, (imagine this!) “the thickness  of a piece of gold that would fit through a needle’s eye.” In other words, the width of a piece of cotton! The image itself is totally invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with a powerful microscope, YET, it is hand carved with simple tools. Remarkable.

His process requires extraordinary discipline. The following is from his website.

Graham ShortEach original piece is painstakingly produced stroke by stroke under extreme circumstances by hand, often in the dead of night. Each piece can take up to eight months to complete and each exquisite piece is truly a work of art. Graham’s work sells around the world and his artwork continues to rise in value. Graham has only completed around 48 pieces in his lifetime and he only produces between four and seven pieces per year making him one of the most collectible and desirable living artists around today.

A story on Graham’s work reports:

He works at midnight to avoid vibration from passing traffic. His right arm is strapped to the bench, allowing only his fingertips to move. He takes tablets throughout the night to lower his heart-rate to 30 beats per minute – then using a stethoscope he monitors his heart and begins to engrave with very fine needles – between heartbeats! Every few months he attends a clinic and undertakes a course of botox injections around his eyes to keep the muscles and nerves rigid.

Commitment. Graham Short is completely committed to his art form. Some would say he is obsessed. When I interacted with him via email, he said that his art was beginning to cost him his eyesight. But work continues because he is committed.

So here’s my question. 

If Jesus is our Lord, and He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23), why aren’t we who call Him Lord, as committed to our mission as Graham Short is committed to his art?


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