Catholic Sacred Wood Sculpture

St. Joseph, Protector

St. Joseph, Protector

 My most recent wood sculpture, carved through the period of the hurricanes Irma and MARIA. Approximately 3 feet high, carved in Tropical Cedar because of the desired color and its resistance to termites here in Puerto Rico. For Capilla Maria Auxiliadora, a small chapel in rural Carolina, Puerto Rico.

I’ve carved St. Joseph as a protector and a traveler; a stand-up guy who was always looking out for his wife and child, ready to defend them along the way of life which was full of dangers. He was a man of deep Faith who received his revelations through DREAMS: that Mary was the mother of God and that he should get out of Bethlehem and go to Egypt to escape the danger of Herod who wanted to kill the newborn King. Of course, we know he was a carpenter and must have been a wonderful father.

St. Joseph, Protector

.

Upcoming Classes by AVonnHartung

A.Vonn Hartung will be teaching two dynamic workshops this Summer (Woodcarving and Mosaics) at the Sacred Art Institute at St. Edmund’s Retreat on Enders Island in beautiful Mystic, Connecticut on Long Island Sound.

Aerial view of Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut
Aerial view of Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut

July 24-29: Woodcarving
July 30-Aug 6: Mosaics

If you can make it, to start a new hobby or to continue more advanced study, this class is for you!

Although St. Edmund’s is a Catholic Order, it is ecumenical in spirit and outreach and all are welcome! Hope to see you there!

EndersIsland2
One of the breathtaking views on this 11 acre island

“Described as a ‘little known gem’ this 11 acre island is surrounded by beautiful gardens framing breathtaking ocean vistas. Home to St. Edmund’s Retreat, there is a soulful tranquility to this place that seems to hang in the air with the ocean breezes. There are plenty of garden paths to walk and seaside benches to soak in the sun and saltwater air. It is a short trip into the picturesque coastal village of Stonington, CT., one of the last remaining authentic New England fishing villages…” (Assisi Institute)

 

St. John Apostle and Evangelist

In celebration of St. John Apostle and Evangelist

St. John Evangelist high relief wood sculpture by AVonnHartung for St. Paul's Catholic Church (Pensacola, Florida)
“St. John Evangelist” wood sculpture high relief by AVonnHartung for St. Paul’s Catholic Church (Pensacola, Florida)

Today is the Feast Day of St. John Apostle and Evangelist.

He is shown here with St. Mary whom he cared for after our Lord’s crucifixion (Jn 19:26, 27) at Ephesus in Turkey, the Isle of Patmos on the horizon where he was imprisoned and wrote Revelation.
He embraces his gospel to his heart in a manner that brings to mind the Cross and Passion of our Lord. His crossed arms also define the shape of a chalice (the sacred blood) and an hourglass, reminding us that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega.

Above the saint flies the eagle, John’s symbol of vision and highest inspiration. It carries away a serpent. Legend has it that Emperor Domitian once had the saint’s wine spiked with poison which miraculously turned into a snake and slithered out of the cup.

High relief wood carvings of 6 saints by Vonn Hartung, in ambo at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Pensacola, Florida (photo by Steven Schloeder/Liturgical Environs PC)
High relief wood carvings of 6 saints by Vonn Hartung, in ambo at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Pensacola, Florida
(photo by Steven Schloeder/Liturgical Environs PC)

 

This high relief wood sculpture (12-inches x 33-inches x 3-inches) is one of six saints carved by A.Vonn Hartung for the Ambo of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Pensacola, Florida, commissioned by Pastor Doug Halsema through Liturgical Consultant Dr. Steven Schloeder of Liturgical Environs PC

The saints are all directed towards the center of the Ambo, as though they are again listening to and reliving the truth and reality of Christ Jesus, that because of them and through them the gift of the Holy Spirit continues to live in us in the Liturgy of the Word.

 

 En Español

Continue reading

St. Luke the Evangelist

Today October 18th is the Feast Day of St. Luke the Evangelist, patron saint of physicians and artists. And so I pay special homage to him with this wood sculpture.

St. Luke high relief wood sculpture by AVonnHartung for St. Paul's Catholic Church (Pensacola, Florida)
“St. Luke” wood sculpture high relief by AVonnHartung for St. Paul’s Catholic Church (Pensacola, Florida)

Artistically I have tried through composition and subject matter to place St. Luke in the center of his mission. I have also attempted, in the style of this wood carving, to give a feeling of the harmony brought to him through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Luke was St. Paul’s companion and biographer and author of Acts of the Apostles, a continuation of his gospel. A gentile from Syria of Greek lineage (as indicated by the style of his hair and garments), he is juxtaposed to the winged ox, symbol of sacrifice, patient servitude and strength, and to the Parable of the Sower from his gospel (Lk 8:4-9)

The tempestuous backdrop witnesses to his shipwreck with Paul (Acts 27:13-42) and the many trials and tribulations he experienced struggling to keep pace with him on his missionary journeys. Luke holds his written witness in a book (gospel) that looks much like we might perceive a paperback because of the dynamics of his perilous travels with Paul.

Luke “studied the life and words of Jesus with utmost care, knew and relied upon witnesses to the actual events–including Mary and St. John–and devoted some time to speaking with the women who had traveled with Jesus. The Gospel [of Luke] is thus especially notable for the respect and attention it pays to women in the Church, in contrast to the role of women both in Jewish and pagan society…Luke stresses the mercy of God, documenting the merciful acts of Christ…Luke also devoted much attention–more than his fellow evangelists–to the interior life of prayer…” (OSV’s Encyclopedia of Catholic History, by Matthew Bunson, D.Min.)

Continue reading

St. Peter the Apostle

“…and so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

St. Peter high relief wood sculpture by AVonnHartung
“St. Peter” wood sculpture high relief by AVonnHartung for St. Paul’s Catholic Church (Pensacola, Florida)

Artistically I have tried through composition and subject matter to place St. Peter in the center of his mission, striving in the style of the carving to impart a feeling of the harmony brought to him through the gift of the Holy Spirit. In his countenance as a man I have attempted to show his strength and vulnerability as well as the dynamic quality of his inspiration.

Continue reading