There are fourteen relief sculptures being produced for the Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Solomons, Maryland by my studio. These are known as the "Stations of the Cross". "Relief Sculptures" are three-dimensional sculpture forms that when viewed from the front look deep and fully dimensional, while viewed from the side, the truth is found- they are compressed and are only 3" deep. All Stations are of original design, incorporating 24" high human figures into the design and depicting the different scenes of The Passion and Death of Christ. Interpreted by the sculptor, these compositions are based upon the narrative consistent within all the "Stations of the Crosses" found in Catholic Churches world-wide. To achieve greater detail in this particular project, various perish members of the OLSS church have consented to devote their valuable time to pose for various characters within the compositions, making this artwork truly original and personal to the Church. This is an ongoing project. Please check back with me regularly to see the latest of the installments.
This design was produced to compliment the foyer of the newly built Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, located in Solomons Maryland. The church itself is located by the water's edge in Solomons which is a small, picturesque community nestled on a peninsula in Southern Maryland. The surrounding nautical vista inspired the idea of having Mother Mary sitting upon a column of stone with her feet braced against its rough surface, barely touching the ocean's shoreline. The wind is blowing hard and the waves are lapping up at her feet. Carefully balanced in her raised hand is an oil lamp with a gold gilded flame, lighting the way for souls that may have lost their way in the dark. She is grasping her shawl, holding it against the force of the wind. While her hand is placed over her heart, she looks earnestly into the distance, hoping to achieve her objective- to be a beacon of hope. The finished sculpted composition is cast in Forton, a highly durable gypsum/polymer material, polished to a high shine with wax and mounted on a rose colored marble pedestal. To keep within the nautical theme, seashells are carved into the four faces of the stone base.
• Enter Our Lady Star of the Sea Gallery
General Description- The St. Mary’s Ryken High School of Leonardtown Maryland acquired a new sports field for their school. To adorn the gateway into this new facility they asked of my studio to design two sculpture pieces that would be placed atop of the gates’ piers. The design chosen is of a knight’s helmet, reminiscent of the school’s logo. The first step for me was to make a 1/6th scale model of the proposed project to calibrate the sculpture’s appropriate size to suit the scale of the eight foot pier. Finding the satisfactory proportions, the model is developed at full scale with much more detail and refinement to the design. After the approval by the client of the finished clay sculpture, it is shipped to the foundry to be cast twice in bronze. These pieces find their way back to me and I install them, assisted by professional masons.
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This project was commissioned by Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Southern Maryland whose Pastor had envisioned a crucifix that would be uplifting and inspirational for his parish. After a few design conceptions, I presented the idea of a “Rising Christ”, where the Corpus Christi figure is lifting up off the cross and rising toward the heavens. With the design approval, I chose the materials for the wood cross and INRI plaque to be African Mahogany and Walnut respectively and a lightweight material called “Forton” for the figure. The final assemblage is suspended by aviation grade cable, floating slightly above and in front of the altar. It resides in a newly built Catholic Church in Solomons, Maryland, designed by architects Larry Cook & Associates.
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Designed by Freiderich St. Florian (Architect) and Ray Kaskey (Principal Sculptor), this project took five years and three sculptors to complete. Every phase of this enormous project (7.2 acre site) was revisited and often redesigned. Many elements were left to the sculptors to add, delete or improvise designs to enhance the ongoing architectural changes. All bronze installations and some stone designs were the responsibility of our team. The following pages highlight some of the Studio’s contributions.
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When pursuing a career in sculpting, the sculptor wishes to tackle the most formidable sculpture subject there is- the human figure. By mastering this elusive and somewhat complicated subject, he or she will have the ability to portray any subject represented in the three-dimensional world with any chosen medium they wish to use, whether it is to be clay, stone or metal. True success comes when the sculptor can represent the figure as a symphony of precise forms, coaxed and pushed to their limits, to create a dynamic design, tell a narrative or to have the rhythm of soft beauty. This strength of design is what I aspire to represent in all the works of figurative art I create, whatever the medium.
I take a meticulous approach in creating my sculpture portraits. Careful, precise measurements are important methods for making a true likeness of a person. But, inspired by the techniques and passion of the Great Sculptors such as Bernini and Houdon, capturing the essence and spirit of my subject is what propels a successful sculpture bust above and beyond that of just merely creating a mechanical copy. Therefore, each work of art that I create gets its own careful attention and consideration specific to my client’s needs.
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