Testimonials from Stole Owners Around the World(Click on each thumbnail image to open a gallery of images for each stole)
Rev. Jeffrey Seaton, United Church of Canada
“Janet's stoles are one-of-a-kind pieces of liturgical art. Each one is a feast for the eyes, and they serve to enhance our worship experience with their beauty and rich use of colour and texture. Ideally, worship is a multi-sensory experience, engaging not only our ears but our eyes as well. The use of colours and symbols from the Christian tradition makes these stoles function like stained glass windows - they tell the stories of our faith, sometimes in a more literal fashion as in the three crosses on the Lent stole, the star on the Advent stole, or the doves on the white stole. Both the green 'Ordinary Time' stole and the red Pentecost stole convey their themes more impressionistically but equally powerfully.
In Christian tradition there is the notion of the 'cloud of witnesses' - all those who have been our ancestors in the faith. We believe they are a continuing source of inspiration and support as we encounter the challenges of living as faithful people. These stoles are created from neckties that were donated by members of the congregation in which I did my most of my training for ministry. Each one carries a story from the life of someone who helped me to become the minister I am today. When the stoles were completed, they were displayed in my former congregation so that those who had contributed ties could see the final result. As people gazed at the completed work looking for their ties, they shared with me the story of the tie, where and when they bought it, and what it meant to them. These stories have become part of the fabric of the stoles; the memories they evoke accompany me in my ministry.
I feel very fortunate to be the wearer of these stoles. They are very beautiful pieces of work, crafted with loving attention to the stories and histories of the bits of fabric of which they are composed. The end result far exceeded my expectations. Janet's originality, creativity, and spiritual sensitivity enabled her to create pieces which are deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, and yet express the tradition in a fresh and unique language.”
Dr. Valerie Jaeger, Lay Chaplain of the Canadian Unitarian Council
“ My stole continues to delight, ground and uplift me all at the same time.”
Rev. Richard Hill, Georgia, USA
“I get more comments on the stole every time I wear it. People notice even from a long distance that the quality is superb and there is something unusual and special. Even more so, when I tell them we found an artist who took our mothers’ linen table cloths and napkins and created this as a one of a kind work of art. This originally was created for our oldest son’s wedding. Now, as a pastor, I use it for all weddings and when serving Holy Communion.”
Reverend Anne Barker, Westwood Unitarian Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Photo credit: Lorian Kennedy
"Janet Armstrong gathered our fabrics and our stories, and crafted them into a beautiful representation of our congregation. I wear my Westwood Unitarian stole for all special events and many rites of passage, as well as for Sunday services. She captured our Northern Lights spirit and brought it to life in a practical, professional, ritual garment. I love my stole, and feel honoured to wear her art.
In deep gratitude, Reverend Anne Barker"
Rev. Dr. Noel Due, Lutheran Church of Australia
The foundation of Noel's Tree of Life stole was a favourite green satin evening dress belonging to his wife. The leaves were made from significant fabrics, e.g. Harris tweeds reminding him of his time spent in Scotland. Noel says: "It is truly magnificent!! Thank you so very much for such a wonderful piece of prayer-filled work. What a blessing to be on the receiving end of such grace! Words can't express the admiration and joy at the the product...and the process!"
An ordination stole for Pastor Jodi Keith, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Trenton, Ohio, USA
Jodi collected ties from her father, husband, son, friends and colleagues. The most remarkable tie was one contributed by her mother, a tie made for Jodi's grandfather for his wedding in 1930. It was so fragile that I had to cover it with a fine netting, but was able to use it as a frame for the candles on the back.
Jodi wrote... “As I unpacked the stole, surrounded by my family, words failed me! Your artistry is a great ministry and I am so honored to use such a thing of beauty in my ministry. The Holy Spirit surely moves through your workshop, as the cloud of witnesses represented by the gathering of neckties comes together in God's church. Thank you.”