I know a lot people come here to see more my tiny carved pencils, but I thought it might fun to show some other carvings I have done on a larger scale.  I’m a visual artist and love to work in a wide range of media.  I also love to combine different media to create something truly unique.

The first church pew I carved was eight feet long and included a back-lit stained glass piece.  It took me over 700 hours during a long Nebraska winter.  (I still have it for sale, by the way)

Here are some final images of my church pews.  At the end of the post you can see the ‘in progress’ blog posts for these projects.  Also, this work was featured in “Woodcarving Illustrated” magazine (Winter / Spring 2016) – read the article here.

Click any image to view it larger

“Crucifixion Pew”

This is the first one I carved, and the first wood carving I had done in over 20 years.  I used my old, cheap chisels on this one and didn’t know anything about sharpening back then!  I just muddled my way through it and learned a lot!  The pew I started with was water damaged and so I stripped it, carved it and refinished it.

Hand Carved Church Pew - Complete
Hand Carved Church Pew – Complete

I tried to tell the story of Christ’s crucifixion in three scenes. On the left is the town of Jerusalem where His trial took place.  The center scene is the crucifixion with three mourners and the right side shows the empty tomb with the rock rolled away.

On the bench area, I used a Dremel tool to hand carve the scripture:

Hand Carved Church Pew - Luke 23:34
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Here is a closer look at the crucifixion scene.  Using some of my jewelry experience, I made a wire ‘crown of thorns’.

Hand Carved Church Pew - Crucifixion Scene
Hand Carved Church Pew – Crucifixion Scene

This pew gained a lot of attention and led to a client commissioning two smaller pews.

“The Healing Pew”

Hand Carved Church Pew by Cindy Chinn

I really like it when a client trusts me enough with a large project to create a design without having to approve various steps or elements.  😀 This pew turned out to be exactly what she was after.  Using the knowledge I gained from the first pew and having better tools I found this pew much easier to work with!I added a glass mosaic this time instead of the leaded glass of the first pew.  I felt this gave the glass a lighter look as well as letting me add finer detail.

Glass Mosaic of dove by Cindy Chinn
Glass Mosaic of dove by Cindy Chinn

Here is a side view of the pew that shows the carving I did of the cross and robe in the inset.  The green oval area is made of glass chips embedded in epoxy (with my name ‘signed’ in copper wire.

Carved Church Pew
“The Healing Pew” – hand carved oak pew

“Throne of Grace” Pew

The second church pew commissioned by the client was to show the ‘Throne of Grace’.  After some research, I came up with a design I thought would give a good representation.  Again I incorporated a glass mosaic, I also built out the staircase to add a little more dimension to the piece.  I carved two marble columns to use a pillars on each side of the throne.  It’s hard to see in this photo, but words are engraved in each of them.

Throne of Grace Church Pew

Here is a view of lit glass mosaic.  Each of these pews have a custom lightbox added to the back of the pew.

Backlit glass mosaic on Church pew
Back-lit glass mosaic on Church pew

Finally, here is a closer look at staircase and columns.

Throne of Grace Church Pew
Throne of Grace Church Pew

To see how these projects came together, check out these older blog posts that show their progress.

Crucifixion Church Pew Progress Blog

Healing Pew Progress Blog

Throne of Grace Progress Blog

Thanks for reading, and if you enjoy my artwork, please share it!  😀

Hand Carved Church Pews
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One thought on “Hand Carved Church Pews

  • July 8, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Wow you are truly blessed you have an amazing skill and no how to use it. Truly amazing art. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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