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Pittman’s ‘angels’ bring life to old hymnals

Amy Pittman displays two hymnal angels on her piano. (CONTRIBUTED)
Amy Pittman displays two hymnal angels on her piano. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Amy Pittman of Madison creates ‘angels’ from church hymnals, symbolic to many people of sacred memories.

About 15 years ago, she started making angels after a piano student gave her an old hymnal. “It had a rustic ‘doll’ look. I tried to duplicate it,” Pittman said.

Pittman uses old hymnals, discarded by churches and no longer useful by a congregation. “I’m always looking for hymnals to ‘rescue.’ Several churches are now using media screens for song lyrics and no longer need written music in hymnals,” she said.

To Pittman, these books are special because of their rich history. “I love the precious hymns and often find myself singing or humming lyrics as I work on each angel — ‘The Old Rugged Cross,’ ‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ I also would hate to see any music discarded,” she said.

Her crafts become “meaningful symbols of God’s music in our homes. Just by seeing one sitting on a mantel or piano, visitors often remember their favorite memories of singing in church.”

Amy Pittman uses hymnals discarded by churches to create the angels. Each angel is different. (CONTRIBUTED)
Amy Pittman uses hymnals discarded by churches to create the angels. Each angel is different. (CONTRIBUTED)

To make the angel, the time-consuming step is folding each page in a specific pattern. Pittman then constructs the body and secures the head. Finally, she adds embellishments, like hair, pearls, lace, ribbon, glitter, rhinestones or fabric — unique to each angel. Each angel requires five to seven hours to make.

Pittman can customize angels to memorialize or honor someone. “One of my favorites is my Breast Cancer Angel, wearing a beautiful pink bandana under her halo, pink rhinestones and ribbons,” she said.

A lifelong musician and retired band director, Pittman graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in music education. She and husband Dwayne are members of Capshaw Baptist Church. Daughter Bethany is a junior at New Century Technology High School. Son Bryce is a fourth-grader at Jones Valley Elementary School.

Bryce has autism, and the Pittmans will use angel proceeds for autism therapy expenses.

Hymnal angels are available at University Pickers on University Drive. For more information, email to pittmusic@att.net.

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