4m cross to be hung in cathedral
IN LESS than a month Grafton artisan woodworker, Jim Muldoon will see the culmination of more than three years of painstaking work, when his latest project, a four-metre high wooden cross, is installed in St Carthage's Cathedral, Lismore.
The cross or hanging rood as it's traditionally called, will be suspended nine metres from the floor of the cathedral, accompanied by the figures of Jesus, St Mary and St John.
“The work was commissioned by Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett and he commissioned me to design and make the rood for the Cathedral,” Mr Muldoon said.
“The cross itself is four metres long, two metres wide and it's made out of silky oak – there's a lot of work involved in the whole thing, a lot of traditional work.”
It hasn't just been the cross Mr Muldoon has lovingly crafted, it was a supporting beam and also the masterful engravings on the front and back which are inlaid with 24-carat gold leaf.
The oak figures to complete the rood came from France, hollowed-out from behind based on a traditional design but because they will be seen from the back in St Carthage's Cathedral, Mr Muldoon was also commissioned by the Bishop to fill them in and match the colours to make the alteration seamless – a task made possible by his 45-year background in creating and restoring fine furniture.
Mr Muldoon said he had a passion for woodworking and although it was his business, work on the rood really had been a “magnificent” labour of love.
The day in early June when he sees it installed, will be a special moment.
“To receive a commission to do something like this is a great privilege actually – an opportunity like this might only come up every second century,” he said.