St. Anthony of Padua Church
Mackinaw City, Michigan
Iron One Studio, an artist guild founded by Tom Moran, was recently commissioned by St. Anthony of Padua Church in Mackinaw City, Michigan to design and create a crucifix to be installed in conjunction with a recent remodeling of the church building.
The guild, led by artists Tom Moran, Ann Gildner (artist in residence) and Mary Zinke, were given the task of creating a design unique to St. Anthony of Padua, that no one else in the world would have. Once the design was approved by parish leadership, the artists developed a maquette (a small scale model of the artwork), to give a glimpse at the look of the finished product.
The finalized design includes polished textured stainless steel for the cross itself, with mild steel for the nails and crown of thorns. The completed sculpture weighs in at 850 lbs and appears magnificent behind the altar, standing 13 feet tall and nearly 8 feet wide. "The beauty of the design is that everyone who sees it has a different interpretation of its meaning." states Sister Chris Herald, Pastoral Administrator at St. Anthony of Padua, the guiding force behind the new cross.
In order to create the look and feel of wood, the stainless steel material was textured using a technique called air carbon arc cutting, or air arcing for short. This process cuts and melts surface metal by the heat of a carbon arc, then removes the molten metal with a blast of air. It is a rough-gouging process, which creates the texture needed to give metal the appearance of wood grain.
The finished cross was installed by MIW staff at St. Anthony of Padua Church in time for services on Sunday, June 12th, when it received a grand unveiling. Iron One Studio and Moran Iron Works were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this project.