Craig & Melanie Flaming live with their cat Jasmin in a beautiful, turn of the century home, in Chicago’s North Shore area. Surrounded by mature forests with beautiful views, the chain of 68,000 acres that the Forest Preserve District of Cook County manages, makes a perfect location to be inspired to create the sublime.
God is the source of creativity and beauty and is himself the most creative being that lives. As a master craftsman, designer and lover of beauty and order I strive in all areas of my life to become more like God each day that I am blessed to live this fantastic life he has given me. It is in art and nature that we see how magnificent and amazing God truly is. His unparalleled beauty is found all around us in the trees of the earth with their immense variety of color, texture, density, figure and even smells. The brilliance of the animals of the air like birds and butterflies and of the depths of the ocean like molluscs and turtles dazzle and amaze us. Even the stones and metals deep within our planet, which when refined, cut and polished are some of the most treasured possessions in human history.
We have been given sovereignty and control over these precious natural resources. With that power comes great responsibility to care for, maintain and nurture our planet for the use and enjoyment of it for ourselves and for our children and future generations. When possible, I seek out sustainably harvested lumber, materials that are a byproduct of other industries, recycled and reused supplies and have saved numerous centuries old trees from being burned up as firewood. We recycle, reuse and compost as much as we can to keep the amount going to our landfills as minute as possible. We all have an obligation to care for and love our planet, not just for us, but also for our children and the generations to come.
God encourages us to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, we should think about and fix our minds on these things. It is with this inspiration of the divine that I strive to create works of such excellence, beauty and grandeur that they inspire our spirits to great admiration and awe. Unparalleled beauty reveals a pure, vulnerable truth and leads us to a place of intimate worship in the presence of our divine creator. It is in that intimacy that we ourselves find wholeness, purpose of being and true beauty.