The Ongoing Evolution of a Newly Commissioned Traditional Altar

Early on in the new year we featured a new altar by Jasper and Scheer Liturgical Art at North American Martyrs Parish in Edmonds, Washington. We told the story of this project in that first piece so I won't repeat it here, but at that time only the altar itself had been completed. However, as we noted then, additional work was planned and today we are pleased to be able to show a bit more of the progress that has taken place -- this time in the form of a reredos that has been added to the altar.

Here too are some views of it undressed so that you can better see some of the woodwork:

Now if you are thinking, "something is missing," you would be quite correct. In point of fact the reredos is not yet finished. What you are seeing here are merely the basic bones of it without all of its ornamental details in place.

Here is a preview of some of the detailing still yet to come:

And here is where it is all leading, as seen in this conceptual drawing by Jasper and Scheer:

It's difficult to over-emphasize the importance of ornamental details. More than once I have mentioned their importance be it in vestment design, church painting (e.g. stencilling) and certainly in a case such as this as well.  Details are, perhaps paradoxically, the smallest components of a work, but they very often have the greatest overall impact. Details can make all the difference in the world.

In our third and final approach to this altar, we will look at it with its completed form and from there give more consideration to this question of details and their importance.  

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