New Baptismal Font

May 12, 2016

 

 

◦       About a year or so ago, LouAnn approached me with the idea of creating a baptismal font, joining her skills in glass forming with mine in metal working. She planned to create a series of vessels in colors that matched church seasons and wanted me to create a base for them. Her first vessel was a flowing blue with rippling edges, simulating the water of baptism. I immediately sketched out a rough draft of a stand that, with very few changes, became the reality.
◦       After the sketch was completed I thought about why, of all possible forms, I chose the one I sketched: a circular base on the floor with six upright supports and another circular base to hold the vessel. I felt the circle form was important to me as a symbol of the cycle of life, beginning, we often think, with birth but really having no beginning or end.
◦       The uprights represented the support of the congregation for the newborn. I like space in sculpture and they provided a clean, light look. The upper circle represented, to me, the child's life cycle and here I made my first change by creating gaps representing times when life proved challenging and the support of people was not enough. Although still powerful, the supports could be pried apart at the upper circle if they came under enough stress.
◦       The final step was to determine how a greater support could return the strength of the upper circle. I have always been inspired by the cross at the front of the church and it occurred to me that the promise of the cross really held everything together. My first cross was of steel and it felt cold and presented some structural issues, always a consideration when working in three dimensions. I then designed a much warmer appearing wooden cross that references the one in our sanctuary and joined the central uprights with the strength of the cross, preventing the possibility that the upper ring could be pried apart. LouAnn's lovely, liquid vessel provided the dash of color and light the steel and wood base needed to catch the eye. The project was our first joint effort and we sincerely hope our church family finds something spiritual in it's presence.
 

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