I can remember making small God’s Eye (also known as Ojo de Dios) crafts when I was little. All it took was two popsicle sticks, a few rolls of various colored yarns, and some patience and you’d have a great decoration to bring home and show off to your parents.
Well, this isn’t your normal God’s Eye. Jay Mohler has taken this craft and run with it, but he didn’t get started because of popsicle sticks, his connection to this craft started when he was traveling in Mexico in 1965.
It was here that he encountered the Huichol Indians selling ojos in the marketplace. Their basic design consisted of two sticks wrapped together with yarn in a diamond pattern. The yarn design would change colors as it extended out, but it wasn’t because multiple yarns were being used. Rather, they would dye a long, single piece of yarn multiple colors to get this effect. Then, two smaller diamonds were added to the ends of each stick. Below is an example created by Mohler.
You can read more of the story of how he got where he is today, but eventually he started making these God’s Eyes himself. He started selling them as a street vendor when he was living in California. Mohler took a break for two decades and picked up the craft again in 1999. He currently sells his creations on Etsy and also does custom orders.
Unlike the traditional style, Mohler has evolved his design into having 12 points (which is even up from the 8-pointed one he was doing previously). This style has allowed him a wide range of possibilities when it comes to his designs. On his website, he describes his work:
In my own [God’s Eye designs], I’ve settled in the last few years on a twelve sided pattern which to me best conveys the cosmology of western civilization. In the center we see a three part aspect of the divine, which, in Christian terms you could call the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Within other cultures we might say, the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Destroyer, or again, the Christ Avatar, the impersonal yet all-knowing God within, and the eternal all-existant God eternal beyond and behind all creation. Also in my mandala patterns, I have twelve spokes radiating out from the central diamonds, which can represent the twelve months, or the twelve apostles. Finally, my mandalas, being three-dimensional, allow for what I consider the most powerful element of my creations: the empty spaces, which always form triangles that point strongly back to the center. To me this represents God’s silent all-prevading presence of a perfectly still mind, and a peace that connects us with the divine in silent blissful moments of life.
Mohler has directions on his website so you can follow along and make one at home. You can also buy kits in his Etsy store.
I particularly like the designs he sews into the outsides of many of his creations. It isn’t something I’ve seen done before with smaller God’s Eyes.
The image below gives you a good look at how the stacked sticks give his creations more depth. You can also see how he weaves diamonds onto each pair of sticks before putting them all together into one design.
He loves to experiment with his designs. Silver Linings (below) is his “most modern and wild” design (according to one of his most recent blog posts which is from a couple years ago).
Mohler has made so many amazing designs. You’ll have to check out his Etsy shop to really see them all (make sure to check out his sales page as well to see even more of his designs).
[via This Is Colossal]