From the Artist…
The cross is made from Old Growth Western Red Cedar taken from the coast of Oregon. Each beam was freehand cut at approximately 8″ x 8″ thick. It was “aged and weathered” by scarring with a saw randomly, burning it black with a torch, brushing away all the soot and then repeating the burn and brush sequence four times.
The likeness of Jesus is sculpted from Sequoia Redwood. This log was from a tree removed from a residence in Tacoma and was 42 years old at 6′ in diameter!!! Very fast growing trees… Jesus was said to be approximately 5’10” tall so each feature goes off of that dimension. I recruited one of the employees at the Edgewood Fireplace Store, where I have my shop, to lay down and let me trace the pose onto the wood. Strange, he wouldn’t let me just do it with the saw… It would have saved a step. Anyway, I only had images I had witnessed in the past to go by as a stereotypical likeness of Jesus. Along with some other tidbits of information regarding facial features and such, I began the rough out of Jesus. You know what? I am convinced that I had enormous help from the subject because I just started carving away and He essentially carved himself. Sure, I would stop occasionally and look at my arms, hand and try to contort my feet (ouch) into that position to get it right. But it all just came to me. He was carved and sanded, ready to mount to the cross in 3 days.
The thorn crown was made from limbs of a plant for which I don’t remember the name. But they were sent to me from Pennsylvania after posting (on the Carving Post Forum) a request for very evil looking spiked branches much like Jesus wore.
This sculpture invoked a lot of emotion both from myself as well as a daily parade of curious onlookers driving by just to “see how it’s coming along.” All the while carving it I couldn’t help but wonder just how He felt, what He felt and how awful it must have been.
Curiously enough, a few weeks after installing it at Parkland Lutheran School, “The Passion” movie was released. I had no idea there was such a film in the works. Timing is everything I guess…
You all need to know what a great honor it was to have been requested to sculpt the image of Jesus. I am simply a chain saw artist. But I have a certain passion for the art form and I hope my gift is reflected in my work. I hope people will be touched by the work for years to come. As you know, it was all for us and this sculpture is for you.
It is my hope that anyone viewing this cross also read Hebrews 4:14 – Hebrews 5:10, it’s all in there.
(The crucifix is on permanent display in the gymnasium of the School.)