So, some folks may be wondering why I have been a bit of a ghost lately . . . well, now that William E. Lori has been properly installed as the new Archbishop of Baltimore, I can reveal what has kept me strapped to the carving easel these last couple of weeks.
The pieces were carved from Swiss Pear wood, a particularly tight grained European hard wood, which can handle the degree of fine detail necessary to properly illustrate all of the heraldry present in the new coat of arms. The hexagonal one, approximately 12″ tall, fits into a slot in the Archbishop’s cathedra (or chair – this is where the term “cathedral” comes from) in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on North Charles Street in downtown Baltimore. The Other larger one (about 24″ tall) hangs above the cathedra in the Basilica on Cathedral Street in downtown Baltimore.
Each piece took over 80 hours to carve, paint and gild and to be completed under a tight deadline. so . . . lots of work and little sleep. A third coat of arms has been commissioned and will hang in the lobby of the Catholic Center across from the Basilica. It will be completed in the next month.