Friday, April 16, 2010

From Foundry to Church

In one of our shortest trips to change RV parks, we headed about 80 miles north from Phoenix on I-17 to Camp Verde, AZ.

From this base, we headed about 16 miles west to Cottonwood to visit a particular church. To explain why this was our first stop, we have to return to our tour of the Bronze Smith foundry in Prescott, AZ, (March 25 entry).

One of the special skills of the artisans involved "enlarging" small sculptures. The process of making large sculptures from small ones involved a computerized process.

At the time of our visit, the team was enlarging wooden carvings of the Stations of the Cross from a church in Jerome, AZ.

One of the original carvings is shown on the right in the photo above.

The clay model (right) is touched up and the surfaces smoothed over before a cast is made.

Each completed sculpture is the result of the abilities of a team of artists. Even after the mold is made, the bronze is poured, and the "raw" sculpture is finished, the product still requires an artist to paint the sculpture and apply gold leaf if required.

Two of the completed works, measuring about five feet high, are shown in these two photos.

We learned that the finished sculptures would be placed in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cottonwood, AZ, so we decided to visit the church, located on the outskirts of the town.

Ground breaking for the church took place in late 2008, and it was dedicated on December 8, 2009.

The interior was pure and unadorned.

The stained glass window behind the altar presented all the beauty that the interior needed.

The next three photos show three of the completed Stations of the Cross that are in the church.

Unfortunately, the sculptures were hanging about fifteen feet above the floor, so it was difficult to see the works close up.

We felt privileged to have learned so much about the creation of these works and to see them placed in the Church.

This dramatic placement of the three crosses left us with a meaningful memory of our visit to this Church.