Transfigured Christ

Christ 01

In the 2011 I was approached by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster to design a statue of Transfigured Christ for St James’s Church in Spanish Place, Marylebone, London. The church is listed as Grade 2, one star.

I started my research and gathered much visual information as possible, then came up with a design (below)

Christ 02

After a lengthy process it was approved and I ordered a one ton block of finest Portland basebed limestone and set to work by squaring up in scale from the drawing onto the stone and removing the waste.

Christ 03

This was a lengthy process and a big challenge. Although I had carved faces and hands I had never carved a whole statue.

Christ 04

This is a later stage where I’ve peeled back the layers to reveal the face. It’s still quite rough but it is clearly emerging from the stone.

Christ 05

This is towards the end where the features are now quite clearly defined. Hands and garment are clearly distinguished. The hands still look a little glove-like so they need some work!

Christ 06

Pretty much finished apart from the feet.

Christ 07

Some of the best artists can’t do feet. I don’t put myself even in the category of artist, but I think mine turned out pretty well. I studied feet for a while – the subtle in-turn of the big toe, the way the rest curl inwards and downwards. I think I became slightly obsessed for a short while!

Christ 10

And here is the Transfigured Christ in situ. We had 4 days to install it which involved trimming approximately 1 ton of stone off the existing quatrefoil, lifting the half-ton statue and fixing it securely.

Christ 12

Another view from across the road.

Christ 13

Useful Links

St James’s Church, Marylebone

An article on Albion Stone’s website about my figure

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We hired Geraint to undertake a delicate Bath stone repair job as part of an extensive English Heritage external refurb. We required the job to be turned around quickly. He promptly attended site to measure up and take profiles of the decorative stone work we needed to match in and repair. Later that day I had a price which was approved. Due to his connections he managed to get the supplier to deliver and cut the stone in double quick time which was then worked quickly in his work shop. Lastly he attended the site and fitted all the stone work which slotted in perfectly and once painted you genuinely wouldn’t know the difference. All in all, top service, true professional at what he does and he will be first person I call if/when I need stone work done again in the future.
Patrick Steppel, Managing Director PML Construction Ltd