Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lessons of a Lectern

Lou Quallenberg peeks through the crack in the Mesquite Lectern
Each new  project usually brings with it a set of lessons and insight into an artist's ability. We always find that each new project helps stretch and grow us in both art and in spirit.  The clients for this project: The Mesquite Lectern, have played a distinct role in stretching Lou Quallenberg artistically as well as spiritually and for that we are so very thankful.

The Lectern was part of the original order for the Chapel with the Dancing Trees and Benches/Pews. Since there was no specific time frame or deadline for this project Lou was able to develop the piece while working on other projects. This gave him a chance to play with the piece and in doing so, add a pop up shelf and small fold down reading light.

Lou stands next to the face of the lectern to establish size for the client progress report.
The project began with a unique slab from the same tree that the Dancing Trees were cut from. Lou wanted to save the shape of his unique slabbed piece of mesquite but also make it "Dance" alongside the Dancing Trees
Sketch of Mesquite Lectern
Lou's work almost always begins with a sketch. He usually has an idea of which mesquite slab he will be working with. That helps to develop the sketch which then gives the client a visual confirmation that he is moving in the right direction. 

The YouTube video below shows Lou Quallenberg & Shawn Walker as they begin to carve the Mesquite Lectern with a chainsaw.

Lectern begins to take shape
Progress report photos for the client.
Lou Quallenberg's Signature Mesquite Bow Tie
Progress reports  and photos are regularly emailed to clients to keep them up to date on their special piece. This allows the client to help direct the design decisions that need to be made and gives them the feeling of participation as well as anticipation.

Lou Quallenberg's Signature Bow Tie  on the Lectern makes a  symbolic cross shape and holds the large crack in place.  We have several clients that request the Bow Tie even if it is not required structurally to hold their commissioned piece together. They like Lou's  Bow Tie purely as a design element. The  Bow Tie  on the Mesquite Lectern was also sculpted to add dimension and catch the light . This required an extra thick, BIG Bow Tie in order to to have room to sculpt it.

Lou with Lectern in the shop for @LAST Art Tour before the finish. 
Photo by John Hallowell - Highland Lakes Weekly

The Mesquite Lectern was in the shop for quite a while as Lou worked on other projects it even made an appearance, showing off its basic shape at the @LAST Llano ART Studio Tour.     

The Mesquite Lectern was professionally photographed by Lou before she was taken on delivery to her new home in the chapel alongside the Dancing Trees.  

Mesquite Lectern by Lou Quallenberg
Lou Quallenberg's Mesquite Lectern
Shelf DOWN Light UP
Shelf UP Light DOWN

Light from front in DOWN position.
Light side view in DOWN position.

Lou Quallenberg with his Mesquite Lectern
Many Lessons were learned as Lou Quallenberg stretched creatively and spiritually to create the Mesquite Lectern.

Arriving at the Chapel in the scenic Texas Hill Country
Entering the Chapel
Making its way into the Chapel towards the Dancing Trees
Mesquite Lectern in its rightful place alongside the Dancing Trees
The Dancing Trees and Benches admire their new friend the Lectern.
 A final touch goodbye