Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cathedra

At the moment I have six sculptures in various stages of completion. None of them actually are completed as I spend a little bit of time on each. They are to be carvings mounted in boxes and there is to be a painting or sometimes a construction forming a backdrop to set the theme for that particular piece. One of them is a reaching figure I featured earlier here.
Most of them have been fairly straightforward, carve the figure, design the backdrop and paint it fit it all in the box. But one in particular offers up a challenge at every stage. As each snag comes up I have to put the work to one side and let it stew for a while. The answer always seems to come up at three o'clock in the morning! But so far each obstacle has been overcome in this way. The piece is to be called "Cathedra" when its completed. Shown here is the working drawing I have up on the studio wall.


A cathedra is the bishop's throne in a cathedral which is why the building is so named. There are similar thrones in monasteries for the abbot or prior. As the drawing shows, I have a figure seated on a throne (cathedra) in front of a backdrop of Gothic arches.I got the idea from visits to several cathedrals, especially Exeter with its high ornate throne. Strangely the one at Canterbury is quite a plain affair. There is a very old example, the Frid Stool, at Hexham Abbey in Northumberland.
Making this should have been quite straightforward and probably would have been had I decided to simply make a painting as a backdrop. But this is a sculpture. I want to show this in 3D and am constructing the perpendicular style arches.Getting each component to fit properly has not been without its problems. It is all starting to come together now but has taken far longer than expected. I sometimes think it might have been easier to do a construction of a complete cathedral rather than just a component of it. The whole thing is to fit inside a box whose internal dimensions are 4" (10 cm) wide by 32" (80 cm) tall. The entire piece to be wall mounted. I'll post a picture of the completed work when its done.

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