Shroud of Turin

Now this is not the definitive way of doing this type of thing,,it’s just the way I decided to do it. The reasons made sense at the time,and solved many problems I thought I would encounter as I had never done this type of thing before.

I was asked to do a carving of the Shroud of Turin. For those who don’t know what this is,,it’s a 14 ft long cloth with the image of a crucified man on it,both front and back views. Some do,,some don’t believe it is the burial cloth of Jesus. Countless books ,documentaries, scientific inquiries and discussions have followed this piece for decades.Though the image shows a man in repose,,my job was to show that body,,,all the correct dimensions taken from the cloth,,and show it being crucified. Nice request Huh?

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Howard Lobb
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 21:12:24

    Wow!!! Mark this an amazing process! The foam idea is brillant, as the wieght of the clay your right would be extremly problematic, the natural drying process and slumping facter, keeping it just right in moisture, and the mould etc. So the foam is brillant.


  2. Mark
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 22:34:52

    Well thank you Howard. Seemed to make sense at the time. And it worked very well. Only needed a minimum of clay for a full size figure. There is only in some areas about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of clay. Another neat thing is since I made an articulated “skeleton” and covered it with the foam I would have been able , had I needed to, to just remove a bit of clay and foam,,adjust an arm or leg position and simply fill it back in. I still have this clay model in my shop to this day and it still looks good. An occasional hair line crack here or there but no big deal. Also, this is non hardening clay. It does get quite firm,almost hard,but I can still play with it should I wish to.
    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment.


  3. Doug Keller
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 19:35:47

    Hello Mark,

    What a wonderful and awe inspiring piece of art!
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us in this manner.
    Each and every detail is amazing.
    It a strong testiment of the amount of research and passion you put into your work.
    Simply wonderful,
    Doug Keller


  4. Mark
    Oct 14, 2009 @ 03:46:34

    Thank you Doug! Yes, this was probably one of the most all consuming pieces I have done. From the clay to the carving, it was an intense experience that took over my life for that moment in time. I’m happy to know you enjoyed it as much as you seem to have and appreciate it for what it is.Now if I could only post the entire portfolio of photo’s I have then you’d really have something to look at. Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness.


  5. jeanette
    Mar 19, 2010 @ 23:31:22

    Hi Mark,
    It struck me that this piece is very like a piece I have seen which was sculpted by machine, with information taken from the shroud. Even the facial features are similair.
    But the machine and the scientist couldn’t refine the rough edges as you have, and make it become a reality.
    I can’t find your research,but you say
    “Nice request Huh?”
    Well, yes… it would be an honor for a Christian sculptor who understands that
    the image of the crucified Christ is emblematic of a love so great, that this man was ready to die for those he loved?
    With that understanding it ceases to be an image of death…but pure love.
    Anyway, thanks for having done the work otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to admire it, and thank God for your talent!


    • Mark
      Mar 20, 2010 @ 17:22:55

      Thank you Jeanette, such a wonderful and gracious comment. This piece took quite a bit of research as there was little I could leave to chance. The carving matches the image as accurately as I could produce it out of necessity. Any deviation for so popular and closely studied piece would have been too obvious to all who would see it. I consulted with several who have studied the Shroud first hand and have written books about the subject. After all the study I felt I was able to then “give it a go” .
      The clay model was invaluable as it gave me the opportunity to get all the details correct and have others look at it where I could still make corrections , get the final go ahead before committing to wood. With something like this, going straight to wood could have spelled disaster had any mistakes been made. The angle of the arms, the distance the body slumps away from the cross to the length of the right arm being just over an inch longer than the left ( dislocated shoulder) could not have been corrected.
      Well I could go on but I think you get the point of some of the technical aspects that had to be considered. They all came together, along with a bit of artistic license and interpretation to allow others to enjoy my efforts.
      Thank you again for the very kind and thoughtful comments. I truly appreciate them.


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