History of Rufty’s Chrismon Shop
And the development of the Christian Symbol Designs
As the popularity of Chrismon making grew, it became increasingly difficult for Mrs. Spencer to obtain supplies. In 1964 Rufty’s Garden Shop in Salisbury, NC became the chief supplier of Chrismon components. Harold and Barbara Rufty searched for and found manufacturers in New York and Japan who could supply the necessary materials for making Chrismons.
One should not underestimate the contributions of Harold Rufty towards the growth of Mrs. Spencer’s Ministry. He was willing to satisfy this small market, which was ignored by the established crafts industry. For this reason, Rufty’s was given the rights by Mrs. Spencer to use the copyrighted word “Chrismon” in its name and so Rufty’s Chrismon Shop was born.
After the death of Mrs. Spencer in 1990, it seemed as though the creativity for the Chrismon patterns had ended. However, as a supplier for the books, Barbara Rufty became the source for shared ideas from creative individuals who had taken to heart the words of Mrs. Spencer.
“We hope that the time comes when you create some of your own designs for your tree…new Chrismons that are made may become not only the most meaningful and cherished ones on a tree; but may serve as inspirations for others to follow” – Frances Kipps Spencer
Mrs. Rufty’s daughter Melonie Rufty Beaver who graduated in 1978 from the University of Oregon with a BS in Fine Arts (Major in Weaving, Minor in Ancient Art History) conceived the idea of creating the Christian Symbol Kits. In 2003 Melonie began designing patterns that were inspired by the entire Bible, not just the New Testament monograms of Christ. She worked out a system of first conceiving the physical structure of the ornament as well as the symbolism of the pattern. Next she devised the step by step instructions (including graphics). The final product would become what is today known as the Christian Symbol Kits. These kits are offered in single pattern form (Not all of our patterns are offered as Single Kits) or in multiple pattern kits which are compiled into a series called Booklet Kits. Both are lovingly packed by hand. The Booklet Kits became necessary as the single kits were simply too numerous. Both types are packed with the supplies necessary for creating the enclosed pattern or patterns.
Some of our earliest multi pattern kits are Starter Kits. We have four of them, two beginners and two intermediate levels. Two designs from each Starter Kit are packed singly; the rest will be packed as Special Orders (6 kits of the small size or 4 kits of the larger size). The best value is the Booklet Kit. Many of these kits are available in small or large size patterns. Small sizes are designed to fit on a 7’ tree or home tree. The large sizes are for the larger Church trees. Also consider using your designs in wreaths and garlands and not just on the trees. Some of the Crosses and patterns from the Life Cycle of Christ can be used for other seasons in the Church year, such as Easter. Many of the small sizes are given as gifts to lift the spirit and remind us of our Faith in Christ.
We are introducing new designs yearly through our Christian Symbol classes which are typically held February through Sept. These classes work on our new patterns which are usually copyrighted and released in June and Sept. Please visit our website for dates and times.