We were contacted a couple of weeks ago by Father Martin Diaz of the Cathedral of the Madeleine. He explained to us that this year is the 100 year anniversary of the death of the first bishop of Salt Lake City (Bishop Lawrence Scanlan). The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City wants to commemorate this event with the commission of a Chalice.
To say we were honored to be chosen for this commission is an understatement. But our work was brought to Father Martin's attention because of the metal we primarily forge: Copper. The construction of the Cathedral of the Madeleine was funded by miners in the early 1900s. These miners were working in the famous Copper and Silver mines of Utah. Given this history, it made sense to include these metals in the creation of the Centennial Chalice.
If you have never set foot in the Cathedral of the Madeleine, I must tell you that it is exquisite. I won't try to describe it. Just take a peek...
The whole building is just beautiful, with too many handcrafted details to enumerate. Elaborate designs for the Chalice swam though our imaginations as we were brought face to face with the magnificent architecture of this historic place of worship. And then, we settled down.
We realized that in creating a commemorative centennial piece, we should be looking back at 1915 and not just be celebrating how the Cathedral now stands. The miners were the ones whose efforts allowed the Cathedral to be built and therefore, they are the ones who should be the inspiration for the Chalice.
And so, without further ado... these are the materials that are being used to create the Centennial Chalice: an antique miner's pick, a silver coin minted in 1915, a silver coin minted in 2015, and copper sheet metal.
We will talk more about the design later. But for now, enjoy this video with some short snippets of the initial steps taken to prepare the copper sheet metal to be raised into the Chalice.