This is the process the artist and his wife use to make the pieces: He carves the original of each image in clay, using dental tools. Before making each piece he reads extensively about the saint, but once he begins carving he doesn't look at any other depictions. As to the statues, when the original carving seems to be finished, he makes a latex mold. Once the mold has cured, he begins to cast the pieces himself. He uses cast stone (gypsum with some metal powders and other materials), painstakingly working a slurry of the substance into each mold by hand in order to get all the details. Once the piece sets, he demolds it, trims it, and hands it over to his wife, who paints and glazes each piece by hand. All the statues can go outside. The process for the medals is roughly the same, though they are cast in lead-free pewter. Nicely gift packaged.
Catherine (1347-80), the
twenty-fourth child of a dyer and his wife, decided as a young girl not
to marry. She spent several years in prayer and virtual solitude in a
back room of her parents home. At the end of this period she
experienced a mystical marriage to Christ. She emerged from the room and
went into the world: nursing the sick in local hospitals and unceasingly
offering care during the plague of 1347. She also aggressively worked to
reform the church, cajoling bishops and popes to give their riches to
the needy. Catherine is often shown, as in this plaque, wearing a ring,
which symbolizes her mystical marriage to Christ, and carrying a cross.
The two symbols suggest that her work in the world to relieve suffering
had a basis in a powerful spirituality.
Dimensions: 6 (h) x 2.5 (w) x 1 (d) inches.