Oblate "Mace case"

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Project by Arthouse posted 07-07-2012 04:38 PM 1820 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My good fathers at Obate school of Theology ask me to design a structure to hold their processional “Mace ” when not in use. They opened the gates of creativity to me giving me artistic freedom. I build everything they need all across their southern providence; so their confidence in me meant no rules and higher levels of creativity. I summoned my courage and chose to fly with a round case patterned after the Pantheon in Rome but cut short a full circle round to have a flat facade of columns and ornaments like a church. With a round base I began to assemble the high arching ribs to the roof center to carry and hold the laminated curved walls and curved roof section all connecting to one center post or keystone with a finial on top. Bewilderment was abounding trying to figure the connections of curved sections to angled ribs using only 45 degree stop dado’s to accept angled curved walls . I then assembled the door to the arched opening using a slight bevel for a 1/16’‘clearance to open without rubbing. The next step of adornment was to show strength by using tall columns and sectioning them in two at the center to break up the tall length with matching base capitols . This was intended to break the mass with proportioning . The front arched facade was a tricky one for I couldn’t figure out what would work to compliment all the element for I was designing as I went at this point. Like all problems they swirl around in my hopper until all the answers finally drop and problem solved. I made a 3/4’‘thick arch free standing landing on top of the columns with a turned round capitol underneath . I felt I needed texture so I devised a router gig with a v groove bit that rose up so I had a 1/4’’ groove on the inside arch that faded down to a 1/2’’ v groove cut at the back arch so it looked like a sunburst to catch your eye and bring it down to the center of the case where the Mase was sitting inside on a turned wood base. I then used gold gesso for accent on several rounds to pick up the gold on the Mace for balance. Sometimes working on this I felt like a spirit was working thru me for the working flo I felt was unbridled . The Oblates said when I delivered ” Let the community rejoice ” because “Its all this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

9 comments so far

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2833 days

#1 posted 07-07-2012 06:18 PM

Great solutions, good design, clean (very ‘ecclesiastical’) concept.


-- Stephen Mines (

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2627 days

#2 posted 07-07-2012 06:19 PM

Very impressive! The architecture of the whole piece is really nice.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2835 days

#3 posted 07-07-2012 06:44 PM

Goodness, you picked about the most difficult route you could go! It’s really beautiful and it must feel nice to know that it’s now a piece that will be prized for generations. I absolutely love it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Arthouse's profile


250 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 07-07-2012 06:55 PM

Bertha , thanks for your blessing, I dare myself to have the courage to build outside the mainstream . Creativity is boundless when there are no rules and when connected to nature.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View Gary's profile


9351 posts in 3575 days

#5 posted 07-07-2012 07:07 PM

That is one major impressive piece of work. Beautiful

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View rdlaurance's profile


367 posts in 3489 days

#6 posted 07-07-2012 07:15 PM

Fabulous design and execution, Dan! Absolutely beautiful!

The case, aside from its task as a sheltered enclosure, exquisitely mirrors and amplifies the vertical lift of the mace’s shaft through its own simplified elegance, while the additional textured adornment of the upper section crowning the mace’s headpiece with ‘rays of illumination’, does indeed draw our visual attention to the staff’s ornamentation.
The two items fit together as a hand within a form fitting soft leather glove.

Kudos for the elegant incorporation of the gothic arch, as well.

Well done!

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Oldtool's profile


2723 posts in 2333 days

#7 posted 07-07-2012 08:03 PM

Beautiful work, very nice design and craftsmanship. Excellent, love it.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View luv2learn's profile


2848 posts in 2445 days

#8 posted 07-07-2012 09:30 PM

Truly inspired craftsmanship and elegant design.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3950 days

#9 posted 07-07-2012 11:46 PM


-- Max the "night janitor" at

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