Monday, August 29, 2011

A 7-foot tall statue of me?

friend: Are you serious, you really want a 7-foot statue of you?

me: I'm dead serious, standing with my right arm extended upward and my hand pointing to the sky and my left arm folded on my chest with a clenched fist, like a dictator in the middle of a pompous and lengthy speech.

friend: And where do you intend to put it?

me: At the highest point in the farm so everyone passing by can see it.

One day, while flipping through the pages of a magazine I received from the Columban Fathers I saw a picture of a statue of Christ the Good Shepherd. I was so enamored by the serenity and kindness of his face. From this encounter I had another aha moment --- since we have a small flock of grazing sheep why not build an open air chapel dedicated to the Good Shepherd near where they graze.

I thought a 7-foot tall cement statue standing on a 2-foot tall base would be tall enough. I mentioned this idea to my parents and they could not agree more. Without my knowledge, they erected a 9-foot wooden board where I said I plan to put the statue. They covered it with white sacks just to see how it will look from afar. Although thousands of miles away, I think I could feel their muted excitement.

The wooden plank around the area where a religious statue will stand as seen from afar.

And so the hunt was on to find a good sculptor who can create a custom-made image of the Good Shepherd based on a magazine picture. I asked some friends if they could recommend one. Then I enlisted the help of a good friend to do the legwork for me. He even went all the way to Paete, Laguna (known for its locals' great carving craftsmanship) in search of an artist to take on this project. But the project stalled for several months because my friend had to concentrate full time to some important family matters.

I thought maybe the time is not yet ripe for this project to commence.

The wooden plank still visible from the driveway near the entrance to the farm.

While this project was floating in limbo, another good friend was under the impression that my search for a sculptor was just a joke because when I was asking around, I jokingly said I would like to have a 7-foot statue of me. Eventually, when he learned of my true (and noble?) purpose he mentioned his colleague, a fellow art instructor at the University of Santo Tomas, College of Fine Arts and Design. He came highly recommended by my friend who is also a talented painter. Since I trust my friend, I commissioned his colleague to create an image of the Good Shepherd based on the picture that I saw in a magazine.

The scaled down clay model of the Good Shepherd in its early stage of carving.

After a brief chat with the artist over the phone, he accepted the project. The steps to take in making the concrete statue are as follows:
  • Create a scaled down model made of clay.
  • Upon my approval of the scaled down model, a 7-foot tall model will be created based on the smaller model.
  • The 7-foot tall model will be used to create a mold.
  • From the mold, a cast will take shape using wet cement reinforced with iron rods and chicken wires where needed.
From the steps I mentioned above, we're still in the first step, create a scaled model. I was told it will take a month to finish the project once I give my approval to the scaled model and pay the 50% down payment. Upon completion, the remainder of the balance must then be settled. The finished product will then be delivered to the farm, a travel by land of about 200+ miles.

A 7-foot tall statue of me? Nah, I'm much too insignificant to be glorified with a statue plus nowadays only martyrs deserve a statue and I don't intend to be one.

to be continued... (click here for the continuation)
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