[ENG] Construction 109: Polychrome Virgin with Child - figure carving

21/03/19 | ۩ |

When I built the niche in the entrance wall months ago, I didn't have a clear idea of what it could contain. One of the hypotheses was that it housed a statuette, or a candle ...
But it could also be two things at the same time: a sacred image and a votive candle, as if it were a small domestic altar.

I remember that initially the idea of inserting religious elements into the Domus did not particularly appeal to me. I preferred to concentrate on purely architectural and functional issues, avoiding direct references to any religious belief. However, if I wanted to give a minimum of realistic appearance to the project (even with all the exceptions and digressions of the case), it is inevitable to deal with this aspect, of such fundamental importance in medieval society.
Also another aspect that particularly intrigued me was the carving of a small wooden figure, that I would have the opportunity to finish in the way I will describe later...

Like many elements of the Domus, at the beginning it is a sort of test, carried out on a piece of wood left over from the cutting of the beams. As the work progresses, that piece of wood chosen more for its shape than for its quality, turns into the tiny figure of a Madonna with child, vaguely inspired by a statuette found on the internet (see photo below).



For the carving I use two different Dremel accessories: initially the wood cutter, which however is too big to engrave the details. Finally I rely on the diamond point and the manual awl.
Unfortunately, the dimensions are such that recognizing in that splinter some human features is a task that weighs more on the neurons of the brain than on sight.



To enrich the figure a little and make the seated position of the Madonna more evident, I hollow out the back side and insert a throne built with a strip of a darker wood.
I wanted to make the throne slightly higher than the figure, as seen in one of these images, but the height of the niche does not allow me to do it and I am forced to reduce it by a few millimeters.



Finally I add the crown, cut out from the metal cap of a famous brand of bottled water.



Curiously, while performing the first positioning tests inside the niche, some strange facts occur into the Domus.
Mathias, one of the carpenters who is working on the construction of the floor, claims he have seen a "light figure" stand over the unfinished walls of the entrance. Costantino, instead (another worker) is found by his companions in a state of trance from which he recovers with difficulty.
Later he tells about an apparition of the Most Holy Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms...


I do not give much weight to it at the moment, after all everyone is free to see what he wants. I hope, however, that the matter does not go further and that these supposed visions do not hinder the work on the construction.

But I have the feeling that it won't end here ...

MATERIALS:
wood, contact glue, metal cap

TOOLS:
Dremel with wood cutting wheel and diamond point, tweezers, awl, cutter

SIZE (in cm):
height (crown included): 1,9
base: 0,5 x 0,6


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