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Baptismal Font in Quartersawn White Oak and Glass

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Project by CharlesA posted 11-30-2015 07:44 PM 877 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a baptismal font I made for the congregation I attend. I did a few blog posts that explain the design and build. I’m thankful for all the help I got on the way, particularly for the idea and help in the three way lap joint.

I used leather pads prepared with mink oil for contact points between the font and the bowl.

The bowl and pitcher were made by Flame Run glass studio here in Louisville, and are just gorgeous.

I used a finishing technique for Arts and Crafts QSWO from Popular Woodworking topped with Arm-R-Seal Satin, dark brown BriWax and then Renaissance Wax (the reason for the this on top of the BriWax is that Renaissance wax is water resistant and BriWax is not—an important factor in a piece that will have water in it!).

Below is a bit of theological description of evolving font designs. Feel free to skip it if it is not your thing, but it may help to flesh out specific design decisions that some may find interesting.

In many churches, the baptismal font has been used only when an actual baptism has taken place, with the symbol of the water primarily focused on the individual baptized. For these and other reasons, fonts have been without water for most worship services, with covers to keep out dust and dirt, and the symbolism usually expressed in symbols on the font.

Over the past couple of generations, there has been an effort to recover the notion that baptism is at the heart of Christian life. More recently, water has been poured into the font and baptismal imagery used even when no one is being baptized. At other seasons we have had the font in the center of the sanctuary instead of tucked out of sight. We feature the font when we do confirmation. Many congregations now pour water into the font during worship every service and lead portions of the service from the font.

This has led to a change in the way fonts are designed. Rather than a closed construction where the bowl is usually dry, covered mostly, and where the water cannot be seen from the congregation, a new form is emerging where the base is open, the bowl visible, either in clear or colored glass, and where the water is visible to the congregation. Others keep a more traditional base, but put the basin on the top.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson





10 comments so far

View bkseitz's profile

bkseitz

294 posts in 769 days


#1 posted 11-30-2015 07:52 PM

CharlesA awesome looking piece. Turing green here as I haven’t had any time to work on developing skills to build such a beautiful piece. Last few months have been farm projects, barn cleanup and this month recovering from surgery. Really like the beautiful simplicity of the form. Really like the grain pattern

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1334 posts in 2473 days


#2 posted 11-30-2015 10:17 PM

Nice Font. Nice design.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#3 posted 11-30-2015 10:43 PM

Thanks to both of you.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2581 posts in 2420 days


#4 posted 12-01-2015 03:05 PM

Beautiful wood and finish. Used to live in Louisville about 38 years ago. Attended the Baptist seminary.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#5 posted 12-01-2015 03:15 PM

i use their library from time to time. Thanks for the kind words.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1036 days


#6 posted 12-02-2015 01:16 AM

Looks really nice, I usually buy my lumber right outside of louisville, but live down in Lexington.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#7 posted 12-02-2015 01:17 AM

Where do you get it? The lumber for this came from Bonesteel lumber in Sellersburg, In. I use him a lot, but in this case, it was the only place where I could find 8/4 QSWO locally.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

459 posts in 592 days


#8 posted 12-02-2015 02:44 AM

Looks like you changed from your original method of holding the bowl?
This design looks like it has better proportions when looking at the size of the bowl.

-- -

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#9 posted 12-02-2015 02:56 AM

The shape of the bowl changed the design. I didn’t have this in mind at the beginning at all, but I like the way the bowl kind of floats with this design. I was leery of having it just supported that way until I put the bowl on there and realized it was not unduly stressful to the glass

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1036 days


#10 posted 12-02-2015 03:56 AM

I use the same guy, usually has the best stuff/variety I’ve found. Wish he were closer, sucks driving like an hour and a half one way.

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