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Local artists whose ornaments will adorn the U.S. Capitol Holiday Tree emphasize nature in their designs, with two adding ...

A wish for peace

Williams artists contribute decorations to Oregon's yuletide tree in Washington, D.C.

WILLIAMS ' Artist Louann Faist doesn't know where her ornament will hang on the Christmas tree gracing the west lawn of the national Capitol this holiday season.

But the chairwoman of the Pacifica Arts Guild hopes the spirit of her message will be spread by those who gaze up at the 70-foot Capitol Holiday Tree, also known as the people's tree.

Her original handmade ornament is a papier-mache globe, painted in bright blues and greens and circled by the words, Peace On Earth.

This is a time of year when the world thinks of peace and goodwill toward others, she said. I wanted to bring this awareness up, especially when an Iraqi war may be happening at any time.

More than any other time, we need to think about peace, she said.

She is one of four guild members ' all from Williams ' who joined some 6,000 other Oregonians in creating ornaments for the tree cut from the Diamond Lake Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest.

It is the first Oregon tree used in the 37-years of presenting a Capitol Holiday Tree. The tree was set in place at the Capitol Monday, and a lighting ceremony is set for Dec. 12.

Loaded onto a truck in Roseburg on Nov. 11, the 28-year-old tree was taken on a 3,200-mile trip, following the historic Applegate and Oregon trails, before arriving Monday in Washington, D.C.

It stopped in Jacksonville on the first leg of its cross-country trip.

Ornaments for the 70-foot tree had to be able to weather snow, sleet and rain. They also needed to be half a foot in diameter.

They wanted a very large ornament ' six inches in three dimensions, Faist explained. We had to first imagine how we wanted it to look on a regular tree.

They enlarged their creations accordingly and coated them with a clear acrylic coating.

All four artists were inspired by Oregon's natural beauty, but Faist and Conny Lindley also included their concerns about world peace.

A tapestry weaver for nearly 30 years, Faist wanted to focus on peace, both because of the holiday season and because of the war drums beating on the international horizon.

It seems like things are escalating, she said. We need peace on earth.

Lindley designed an ornament depicting a purple and white peace sign constructed from cardboard, rainbow mylar and metallic mylar.

When I came to Oregon 30 years ago with my husband and one-year-old daughter, it felt like we were moving towards peace, both in our own lives and in the world, she said. Now we have a one-year-old grandson, and I still have a prayer of peace in my heart, for all of us in the world.

Local residents Ann Gunter and Terry Harrison both turned to Mother Nature for inspiration.

Gunter created an ornament of red madrone sticks that form a ball filled with chartreuse lichen and pine cones.

Using sculpture mesh as a base, Harrison constructed a yellow and black hawk with its wings spread. The hawk is made of papier-mache and colored tissue paper.

More information on the Capitol Holiday Tree and the ornaments can be found on the Web at Capitol artists to exhibit smaller ornaments here

The four local artists whose large ornaments will hang on the Capitol Holiday Tree will join other members of their arts guild in displaying normal-sized ornaments Saturday. Their works will be on display at the Pacifica Arts Guild's Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival.

The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be at 14615 Water Gap Road, Williams.

These ornaments by four local artists will be on display on the U.S. Capitol building tree.