Masonic Markers

November 2012
Brass

A member of the Masonic Order commissioned me to create unique marker chips that he could give to friends and associates so that they could cash in favors from him at any time of need. He wanted the markers to reflect the principles of the Order without being too stereotypically Masonic, partially because the Compass and Square logo is copyrighted but mostly because he wanted them to be unique. He also wanted them to reflect his own personal credo, which is "no man walks alone."

Starting with motto, I used a font similar to that on the United States Quarter Dollar (aka the quarter) to lay that text out along the edge of the face of the marker. The font seemed appropriate for a coin-shaped object, and was a nod and a wink to the presence of Masonic imagery on the U.S. one-dollar bill. Inside of the text I placed a bas relief of the trowel and the square, tools used to measure, align and cement the stones of a structre—an excellent metaphor for the building of relationships. Because the Masons frequently use symbology from the Hebrew Bible, that was set inside of a Star of David.

On the flip side of the coin, I decided to use the flip side of the front face's motto. A favorite Biblical verse of the Masons is Psalm 133:1, "how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together," which is the same sentiment but affirming unity instead of negating solitude. The Hebrew for this, הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אהים גם יחד (hineh mah tov u'mah nayim shevet ahim gam yachad) is a popular song at synagogues around the world. In the center of that, I placed the 48th of the 72 Names of God, מיה, which symbolizes unity.

The result is a marker coin that not only represents the owner and his Masonic principles, but one that emphasizes the bonds that compel him to give the markers out to begin with.

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