A-spire-ing to new heights


The side altars where the spires need to go.

IMG_5406The main altar with a mural painted by a friend. I know several of the people in this scene that posed for the artist as reference. Jesus, the figure in the center is a good friend I used to carve with. He looks exactly as pictured here , hair and all.

IMG_5415 Here is the statue of St Theresa I recently completed for them.

IMG_5404And here is one of the 14 Stations I did repairs to. They are approx. 5 ft tall.

IMG_5412 A view from the center aisle showing the Baldecino, Main Altar and the side altars left and right. I also did painting on all these columns as well in a faux marble design.

IMG_5416The next statue scheduled to visit my studio. For reference it’s over 6 ft tall. The scale in this church is deceptive. That pedestal is over 5 ft high.

IMG_5421An upward view of the Baldecino arching over the main altar. That egg and dart is almost a foot wide and the statues on top are over 7 ft tall.

And so we begin with the spires…..

The nature of jobs is they tend to compound themselves. Here is a case where I only restored a statue of St Theresa for them. As one thing leads to another the job expanded a bit. The stations were in need of repairs so I did all 14. Fine ,,I thought that was it. Nope. It now includes what was originally 8 Spires for the side altars. Then it turned into 12. Since then it’s expanded into doing another Statue. And since I already did one statue,, how about another since everyone loved the first so much we’d like another done. And you know,,, we really need to have the first three pews cut down so when we have a funeral it’s easier to turn the casket around to head back out the door… can you do that for us? And you know,, we feel the colors on the relief carving of the Last Supper are much too bold for this church,, can you fix that too?

At this rate this church will be my income for the next six months if they keep this up. Adding things just when I think I’m finished! You know guys,, I have other clients waiting. Namely ,, your Bishop!

Yeah,, and with this economy do you see me complaining? This to me is a windfall. And I like it.

I’ll have pics of the Stations. These things are huge by comparison to others you normally find. The average height is around 5 ft. Those figures are anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall. You can’t tell by the photo’s. But they were pretty straight forward as I didn’t so much do all the figures,, but basically restore areas damaged when they had roofers in and damaged say,, fingers, arms, bases etc. that I fixed and repainted to match the original areas. They weren’t complete re-do’s. Though many do need it.

This story is about what is essentially basic woodworking as opposed to carving. It’s all part of my trade and work is work so I do it gladly. Besides I like this work just as much. It offers a nice change of pace and challenges other areas of my brain.

The bases for the spires are simple boxes. I made up some 7/8 stock out of Wawa ( an African wood) only because I had some that was 2 1/4 and when I split it , planed it , it came out to this measurement. There is no particular reason for this,, it could have been 1/2 or 3/4, it doesn’t matter in this case. But I made up 12 open ended boxes using rudimentary jointery since it’ll all be painted. These don’t have to be that fussy. I also used up a lot of scrap lumber laying around to make up 20 inch 2 1/4 X 20 inch blocks to make the top spires themselves. Again,, it’s all painted, no joints show and some ended up being solid wood,, some were made of two pieces and some were even three. Glue them,, cut them out,, sand them a bit and when painted they’ll all look the same. There are even two types of wood used. Poplar and Spanish Cedar. Why,, only because I had so many scraps of each , enough to make up the parts I needed. Here are the basic boxes.IMG_5371

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. RichardJohnson
    Jan 12, 2010 @ 16:13:43

    You skilled in, I’ve been browsing for some really riveting word about woodworking and topics mutual, and I haven’t been
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  2. markyundt
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 22:52:53

    Richard,,Don’t worry about language. I understand you perfectly and I hope you understand me as well. I admire anyone who can converse in multiple languages and is willing to give it a try. I’m not so fortunate in that respect. You keep talking and writing and I’ll do my best to keep up with you. Grammar isn’t important to me. The intent is all that matters and we’ll sort out the rest.
    And if you love carving and what I write means something to you then I have done my job in touching another carver! I am so glad to hear you enjoy our articles. I do have more planned for the future but I have been deep in work at the moment and cannot spend much time on the computer. But come back as you say and I’m sure we’ll have more for you to see. Any questions please feel free to write and ask.


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