Reredos Carvings

My visit to Philadelphia went well.  An hour and a half drive one way for what amounted to 5 minutes work seemed rather silly but the meet and greet part of the job is important.

This project was just approved and I think it was important to meet the principals involved as well as see the actual church and the carvings to be duplicated.

I’m using the term Reredos as it best describes what is being built. The back wall ( behind the Altar) is currently Marble which was done around 1950 or so for the Churches 100th anniversary. Parts of that Marble are now being replaced with what was ORIGINALLY  there! Go figure. What was old , and torn out, is now new again. The sketches show the main back panel behind the altar with the Tabernacle now centrally located ( it is now off in a side room). The smaller niches will be to the left and right of the main panel which will house two statues.

I’ll be responsible for all the carving which really doesn’t amount to too much besides quantity.  There will be 4 larger Corinthian style capitals for the main section with 4 smaller ones needed for the two side niches. I’ll also be doing at least 4 fleur de lis , one large cross and possibly several tops for current spires that are missing. In addition to this there will be 96 crockets for all the spires ( the little curved pieces along the edges of the spires) all done in Oak.

Here are just a few of the photos I took for reference. The sketches are only preliminary at this point and will be refined with shop drawings.

The preliminary sketch of the main back panel. It will lay flat against the wall with  very little projection.

One of the two side niches that will house statues on the left and right of the main panel.

Currently in the Church is this Confessional which has the Architectural elements that will be copied for the new Reredos and side Niches.

A rather peculiar stylized version of a Corinthian type capital that will be used on the new Reredos and side niches. It’s not Doric, nor Ionic,, so I’m calling it Corinthian in style.

An example of one of the Spire tops that need to be copied to replace several that are missing in the church. Elements from this piece will be used to design the main cross on the Reredos. You can see them in place in the photo of the existing Confessional.

An example of one of the 96 Crockets ( little leaf designs on the edges of the Spires) that will need to be carved.

One of the side niches where some of the red Marble will be removed to accommodate the new wood work. The main section is similar to this layout and it too will require Marble being removed to make room for the new Reredos.

It will take several weeks from this point to begin actual work as another company  out of Philadelphia is doing the main case work. Until they have some blocks prepped for me to carve ( I may make my own to my specs) as well as providing me with scaled drawings to go by I can wrap up some other projects.  Nothing like Architectural carvings to keep you busy,,, and in business. What they may lack in variety ( though I find this interesting) they usually make up for in volume. I can live with that!


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