Irena's Chalice

This piece is close to my heart for several reasons. Our assignment was to design and create a chalice to have a drink with someone (absolutely anyone). I chose Irena Sendler as my “date.” To understand the design, I must first introduce the woman.

A Polish woman, Mrs. Sendler was a leading member of the Zegota, an illegal council to aid Jews in German-occupied Poland. Because she worked for the Social Welfare Department, Sendler had a special permit allowing her to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to inspect for possible signs of Typhus. During her visits to the Ghetto, Sendler regularly smuggled small children out of captivity. Once a child was brought to safety, he/she would be placed in the protective care of a Polish family, convent, or orphanage and given a new non-Jewish name. The child’s name and their family was recorded on a cigarette paper and buried in a bottle so that they could one day be reunited.

I created this piece as a tribute to Mrs. Sendler, who is a true heroine. The chalice was designed to look like an upturned bottle, spilling forth the names and information of all the children that Irena saved.

Medium: copper, brass (nuts and bolts)

Size: 4.75"(base) x 3" (rim) x 9.25" (tall)

Submitted to the 2016 "Faces of Change" SNAG Conference.

Exhibited in the 2015 Ball State Student Art Show.