By Valerie Henderson
Henson Hill Designs is a business that one could only appreciate after sitting down with Diane Henson, the remarkable lady behind the art of this business, along with her partner and husband, Robert Henson. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Diane, and after a long afternoon visit, I felt as if someone had just told me a story that anyone would love to experience.
Her story began with the heart-felt experience that started it all for this couple and their venture with Henson Hill Designs about four years ago. Diane and Robert had met a waitress in a local restaurant on several occasions and had formed a friendship with this young lady. After the waitress shared with them about her upcoming marriage, Diane created her first one-of-a-kind piece and presented it to their friend (the waitress) as a wedding gift. That was just the beginning of a business with a main goal to provide a spirit-inspired piece of art while being "the silent witness" for Christ. Both Robert and Diane are very passionate about their love for Christ and wanted to use this business as an avenue to share Christ with others.
Diane's favorite thing is for someone to need something - whether it be for them personally or a gift for someone else - so that she creates the piece with them. One of Diane's favorite pieces of work is a stain-glassed window she created to hang in a home in Wooster. At the time she was asked to create this stain-glassed window she had never done anything like that before, but the God-given talent Diane possesses was quite evident when this masterpiece was completed and hung.
Another piece Diane shared was that of a 4 foot by 8 foot painted picture of Christ, painted by another artist, that Diane framed out and bordered with glass tiles grouted in to complete an amazing piece of art.
Henson Hill Designs can be found at many shows throughout the state, and even in surrounding states on occasion, including the local Dazzle Daze event held each year in Conway. One of the most touching stories Diane shared regarding one of her pieces was that of a young lady and her mother that visited her booth at Holiday House in Little Rock. The mother purchased the piece for her daughter after Diane shared the remarkable story that was the "foundation" of this piece.
Diane had begun creating this particular piece, a piece that portrays the plan of salvation, one morning after she had completed her Bible study and prayer time. She felt led by God to create this masterpiece and was quick to give God the credit for helping her to complete it, as it was one of the most complicated pieces she had ever done at the time.
Upon completion, the picture was a beautiful piece of art that was simply a visual of life through Christ's eyes. The center of the work is a beautiful cross surrounded by pieces of broken glass held together with mortar in the midst of Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 written beautifully. While completing this piece she noticed several "white spots" throughout. It was not until this emotional piece of art was complete before Diane began to see what it really meant. The broken glass represented the shattered life we all live, the "white spots" represented the miracle stories we all experience in life and the mortar represented Christ's blood that holds us together. After Diane shared that story with the mother and daughter, the daughter told Diane that piece was made just for her as she had been going through some struggles in her own life. The picture still hangs in this lady's Russellville home today. Not only is this picture a stunning sight, but what makes it even more beautiful is the story that goes with it.
Diane's work can be found throughout homes and businesses near and far including First Baptist Church in Dardanelle. Not only does Diane make beautiful pictures to hang or even display on easels, but she also makes door hangers, beaded crosses, and a multitude of other things. Most of her work consists of natural elements such as stone, glass, wood, and metals. The common theme in all of her work is that it is all Christ-centered and she wants her work to help spread the Word of Christ.
Diane is very humble about her work and said several times during our visit, "God has blessed me with ideas," so again she is quick to give God the credit for her amazing work. Within the last year Diane added another very special piece of work to Henson Hill Designs, Riley's Renewal Bottles.Â
She began making these bottles, together with her dear friend, Donna Townsell, whose young daughter, Riley, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.Â These bottles are a tribute project designed to not only honor Riley and to serve as a reminder of her story, but also to help Arkansas Children's Hospital assist other children in this fight. (Just a note-Riley is doing great!)
Diane's story does not stop there, though; she and her husband, Robert, are very busy even outside of Henson Hill Designs. They also own Re/Max of Conway and are partners in Fidelity Title Services. In addition to the businesses, Diane teaches full time at Conway High School East and also teaches a night class at Hendrix College. However, regardless of how busy they may be, the faith these two have and the love these two share for one another, as well as the love for all the work they do, is so obvious.
For more information on Henson Hill Designs, please visit their website at www.hensonhilldesigns.com.