Stations of the Cross

first series, 2008

The Project

This project began in February of 2008. It started with digital photographs of live models, then progressed to drawings, patterns, wood panels and finally the carving of each station. Finally, all the fourteen stations were carved.

Each carved panel is 12” x 18” and two inches thick, carved in northern White Birch which is indigenous to Saskatchewan. Birch is a lustrous and reflective wood, light in color and fine grained.

The hardest part of this project was the design stage. Each carving had to be unique yet follow a template that lent continuity to the series. Before any drawing started, before even the photos were taken, a master pattern was created that set limits to the size of each station, and identified the features common between them. Common features included a small cross a numeral, and a supporting background.

Then came the photography. With the help of family and carving friends who modeled for me,  I was able to create images that would serve as the basis for my initial drawings. The idea was to take photos that  captured not only a specific posture or mood, but enough clear detail to make the images appear real, not contrived.

As the photos were being traced to line drawings, each pattern was composed on my light table. The results were 14 full-scale master patterns showing every detail that I intended to include in each station.

With patterns set aside, 14 wood relief panels were assembled, using northern white birch. The patterns were traced to each panel, and the panels were then trimmed on the bandsaw. It was at this point that I was able to router and carve each of the stations in turn. Then the carving began.