Side crockets: Gothic ornaments for the Utrecht Cathedral

Reconstruction of gothic ornaments

weathered old crockets in Ettringer tuff at the cathedral in Utrecht

weathered old crocket in Ettringer tuffstone

The Cathedral in Utrecht is partly covered in scaffolding at the moment. Specifically a large part of its stonework is being overhauled, and part of this project are 16 large tuffstone crockets, or Gothic leaf shapes adorning the frames of the lancet windows. After several centuries of copying there was not much left of their original shape. That was reason enough to request a reconstruction of their original shape. My colleagues Stide Vos and Serge van Druten have remodeled those crockets and with four sculptors we started sculpting the sixteen flowers in new Weiberner tufa.

Incidentally, just like with the Eusebius Church in Arnhem and St. John's Cathedral in Den Bosch, a captivating, weighty tome recently appeared about the sculptural work of the Utrecht Cathedral: "The Dom Cathedral in Utrecht. Construction Sculpture and building history 1250-1550’.

Weathered tuff

facade of the Dom Cathedral in Utrecht with the old crockets

One of the facades of the cathedral being restored

Not the design, however, prompted their replacement, but the condition of the stone elements. The original flowers were carved somewhere in the middle of the last century, in the infamous Ettringer tuff stone, and they began to crack and lose parts. Everywhere in the Netherlands constructive sculptural works and stonemasonry parts from Ettringer tuff are being replaced for this reason. On this blog I previously wrote an extensive story about the background of these restorations.

Stides model

copying crockets in tuff for Domkerk Utrecht

Stides model and my start in new stone

copying crockets in tuff for Domkerk Utrecht

Precarving

copying crockets in tuff for Domkerk Utrecht

new large crocket in Weiberner tuff

Stide had sculpted a clay model for some of these crockets, and carved this mainly along with Serge in new tuff. Of these sixteen I've only carved one, because meanwhile a whole lot of work for the Eusebius Church in Arnhem had arrived as well: I had at one point as many as fifty large new stone blocks in my yard. More on that in later articles on this blog.

Beeldhouwerijblog.nl is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well: beeldhouwerijvanvelzen.nl

A monkey in a wig (flying buttress figurine)

flying buttress figurine Monkey, Copying from tuffstone into Muschelkalk

copying the Monkey

The old Monkey from tuffstone

One of the nicest flying buttress figurines from the series 'Noah's Ark’ by Theo van Reijn was now ready to be copied: a Monkey. The creature has an endearing belly, skinny legs and a Big Smile on its snout. And a wig.

That my sawing machine after all of the welding- and tinkering can now cut so accurately is also clearly visible in the pre-cut block. It saves quite a bit …Read the whole article…

A Razorbill without a head (flying buttress figurine)

Presawing in the snow

Van Velzen sculptor overlooks snowy fields this winterThe next flying buttress figurine for St. Eusebius's Church in Arnhem is ready. I've been busy presawing all the blocks that I had lying around for flying buttress 4 and 5 (read here more), before maybe a real frost period got in the way. Because my saw sits outside, I cannot use it during frost, because then …Read the whole article…

Noah fleeing the rising waters (flying buttress figurine)

Old tuff flying buttress figurine. Noah fleeing the water that is rising up around the arkIn the nearly endless series of flying buttress figurines for St. Eusebius's Church in Arnhem, I again arrived at carving one of the topmost pieces, on which always Noah's Ark is depicted. On this one, this time the ark is shown with swirling waves around it, and Noah climbed into the boat before everything …Read the whole article…

Flying buttress: dog, lion, naked woman, fat man and bird

Sorry, proper translation later this week! These past few weeks I've continued carving for flying buttress 6 and 7 of St. Eusebius's Church in Arnhem.

A short video from the church as the crow flies, with the flying buttresses. As a bonus, a short performance by my colleague Stide Fox copying a corbel.

Flying buttress 6 and 7

flying buttress figurines from flying buttress no. 6 and 7 of St. Eusebius's Church in Arnhem

A photograph that I was sent by Slotboom Stonemasons. The Sad Badger in the foreground was carved by Stide.

It was a motley collection I received at my yard: the Noah and his ark I described earlier, a dog, a naked lady with big feet and a broken neck plus a bird, a very happy lion with his paw in a strange position, a fat man drinking from a large pot, and a bird which we suspected could be a Capercaillie. …Read the whole article…

An interesting gable stone

A plaque in the making for the Blue Tram street in Haarlem

Last week I started on a very interesting challenge: the carving of a new gable stone relief. The project deserves some explanation, because it includes a lot more than just this one relief. …Read the whole article…

Noah and his ark: from tuff to limestone

…to the first post about this project↑

Noah new in MuschelkalkAfter the previous series of flying buttress statues for the Eusebius Church in Arnhem (read here more) it has been quiet at my studio for a long time -with regards to the work on the Eusebius church at least. Funding had been allocated for its restoration, but before it's finally on the bank account of the church, apparently a lot of water first needs to pass under the bridge. But now that all suffering is over with, I can speed along with the work on a series of flying buttresses on the north side of the church. …Read the whole article…

Noah's Ark, up in the air

flying buttress figurines with theme Noah's Ark-1

flying buttress figurines with theme Noah's Ark-new blocks ofMuschelkalk limestone

new blocks of Muschelkalk limestone

Yesterday I received a new batch of stone again: seven new blocks of Muschelkalk limestone and seven old flying buttress figurines from St. Eusebius's Church in Arnhem (the Netherlands). This series has Noah's Ark as its theme. …Read the whole article…

Four grotesques in Amsterdam-1

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Reconstructing and copying

Four grotesques in Amsterdam, lion's head 1, weather-beatenFor a building in Amsterdam, I am currently carving four grotesques: ferocious sandstone heads. All four are severely damaged, which was the reason for choosing to replace them. …Read the whole article…

Some odd jobs

Radio silence?

Dismantling  the bronze sculpture by Inka Klinckhard (various jobs)

a sculpture by sculptress Inka Klinckhard disassembly

It was very quiet on my blog for a while, but I've still been busy doing some odd jobs. After the placement of two Hercules statues in Barneveld I disassembled and reinstalled another bronze sculpture quite nearby, in Museum Nairac. …Read the whole article…