I couldn't resist checking out the existing geometry on this Marian themed Altar. Even though, in my school days I would have headed for the art room rather than the maths room every time; the recurrence of medieval intricacies in my work has long since converted me!
This altar was made in the days when imperial measurements were king. I found that the original design is off centre, (above right) and the circles were not so ...well, circular. Anomalies like this where human intervention is evident can add liveliness and charm to a decorative scheme; all the same, this was a little too lob-sided for my liking.
The general condition and paintwork is poor, (above left). We were able to restore the item and repaint it with a new decorative scheme. As a working piece, that makes sense - it keeps it in circulation if adapted to the current needs of a congregation.
A carved wooden statue which had been treated to look like plaster is restored...
Above left is the Sacred Heart statue as it arrived at my studio. Above right, is our completed restoration of the same.
Fr. H and I sat down to coffee and discussed if there were any particular changes which might improve the look of the statue. We both agreed that its expression was a bit severe. That pointed beard was reminiscent of some of the more intense faces I had seen depicted on Mandyllions of the Eastern Church.
Current photos of a carved wood Sacred Heart statue we are restoring for a London church; we found a surprise or two...
The back of the chair is arched to represent the arch of the rainbow; "the sign of the covenant between God and every living creäture.
" (Gen 9 :v 12)Under her feet is the Toad stone, believed during medieval times to be formed in the head of a toad, and to have magical powers;- it is the East Anglian equivalent of the moon or serpent, all representative of evil; superstitious practice and idolatry.
Just as the serpent is crushed under heel in the book of Revelation, so Mary (crushes) the Toad stone and all it represents - under her feet.
The finished statue holds a sceptre fashioned like a three fold lily, as Mary is the pure Lily chosen by the Trinity from all eternity.
I have added two decorative golden bosses at the base displaying the Greek symbols for Mother of God and Jesus Christ ♥
It is said that "When England returns to Walsingham; Mary will return to England."
Slide show of procession
As its not always possible for me to attend the installation of my statues or similar events like this procession; I am always grateful for those who send me a photo or two.
The slideshow is courtesy of Mrs. H. and the comment is from " Brendan" :
"The day has been very special the sun has been with us, Carmel was full and even the old Sister's looked young, really seemed that Our Blessed Mother had arrived home, Our own English Queen will be singing your praises in Heaven, She will be delighted with your statue. Well done.
This statue of the Sacred Heart had long been a familiar presence at Mr. K's home. When an unruly breeze and a billowing curtain knocked it from the sill, the base and neck were snapped. Rather than discard this much loved piece, an attempt was made by a friend, to repair the head (1) but the glue had never set quite right.. and the base had been made stable with some (2) window putty - well, it is a type of modelling clay of sorts!
Mr. K. decided it was time to have the statue professionally restored; To do this successfully, first the head and the putty base had to be removed, and the areas of break cleaned up before the repairs could be done. (3)
Almost there, the Icon is near to completion; only another three months before I can add the gold filigree to the halos and mantle edges! Oil paints take some time to cure, one way God has, of teaching us artists patience...
Lewis and Lewis
is a Catholic family run business: specialising in statue restoration, and church interior projects.
Jeanette is a professional sculptor/fine artist and designer; husband David is a traditional upholsterer/technician.
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