24 July 2019

Silvano and the wooden altar frontal

Making a wooden antependium for an altar is a complex and ambitious project and Silvano is currently focusing all his energies on this project

But let’s start at the beginning, what is an antependium?
“The antependium(from the Latin pallium, ‘veil’) is the front part of an altar or a decorative panel that can be placed to cover it. It can be made of fabric, marble, mosaic, painted panel, carved wood, or worked with precious metals, such as silver.” (Source Wikipedia)

Now that we understand what an antependium is, let us explain a little about how such a sculpture is made.

First there are the studies and sketches, freehand, and here the imagination must combine with the symbolism necessary for a work of this kind. Each element inserted in an altar frontal has a precise meaning.
Once the idea has been defined, we proceed with the creation of a plasticine model, a material that allows us to modify, shape and finish what will then be sculpted in wood.
Finally, we proceed with the realisation of the sculpture on our material, wood. An initial roughing out is done with large gouges and as the design is defined, they get smaller and smaller and then finish by smoothing with rasps and sandpaper.
This frontal will then be gilded using the gouache gilding technique.

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