Our Customer's Challenge
A Mid-Michigan Church supply business we work with approached us to build a custom cross for a Catholic Church in Grand Rapids. The church's original sanctuary had been destroyed by fire and a new sanctuary was under construction. A 7 foot tall corpus carving of Christ was being supplied by the church supply company to hang from the cross. The new cross we were commissioned to create had to be made from oak and be 16' tall. The new cross and crucifix of Christ would be placed in the front of the new church. There were a number of challenges that had to be addressed to assure the combined structure of crucifix and cross would be solid and secure when put in place.
The new 16' tall cross was fabricated from both solid oak and oak plywood to fit the dimensional requirements of the corpus that would hang on it. The cross would be installed on a square steel vertical tube coming from the floor, which would hold and support the entire weight of both the cross and corpus. It was crucial to design both a way to attach and support the cross and secure the hanging bracket to hold the corpus on the cross. Simply relying on the wood frame of the cross and wood screws wouldn't work. To support the weight of the cross with the corpus, the internal structure was constructed to reinforce the structural integrity of the cross. We designed a steel attachment bracket and had it custom fabricated to fit inside the cross and go over the top end of the steel tube. When installed, the bracket would secure both the cross and corpus support bracket as one solid piece and hold everything together securely on the steel tube. The final touch to the completed oak cross was finishing it in a dark oak color.
The completed cross and corpus of Christ were installed in the new sanctuary. It stands prominently behind the altar and in front of a beautiful new stained glass window allowing light rays to radiate out behind Christ. It is a very striking and powerful image. Both the church supply company and church were thrilled to see this fantastic piece come together and the absolutely beautiful result.