Cross Collaboration
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

  Cole Community Church in Boise, Idaho participated in the Cross Collaboration project.
  Twelve volunteer groups or individual artists were given the opportunity to create a cross.
  Each month a different cross was displayed. During Easter season, all the crosses were displayed.

  When we saw the Cross Collaboration video at church, we signed up right away.
  We were excited to be able to use our talents for the Lord.

Our project is a hybrid of stained glass, mosaic techniques and lighting.

This is the original design.

cross sketch

workbench The cross is 8' tall and 6' wide.

The project was so big, we had to move the big work table out into the front room and raise it up on blocks.

Hootie the dog was not amused.

The project has gone through MANY changes and has evolved over the 2 months we have worked on it.

We put the cross together with glue and an air nailer. air nailer

tinfoil We glued tinfoil on the inside to help reflect the light.

designing PJ hung a big piece of paper on the wall and started laying out the design.

After transferring the design to the wood, we cut out the holes for the see-through pieces.
layout with holes

One of the first glass pieces she made was the crown. You can see the fine soldering detail in the picture on the right.

crown crown detail

We didn't feel confident enough to properly create a realistic face out of glass so we decided to go with an illusion.

No man can look at the face of god - Exodus 33:20

One of our ideas was to use different glass
for the face, hair and beard.
three glass samples

The first face that she made had an unexpected appearance.
The beard looked more like a bandana.
We didn't like the 'Stagecoach Bandit' look so she made another face without the beard.
We think it looks better.

masked bandit no mask

Normally stained glass is held together with lead which is soldered together.
We needed something to hold the glass to the wood.
We decided on silicone caulking and made a test piece which worked out great.
The normal procedure for filling in between the glass pieces is to use a cement type grout which cures very stiff.
I was concerned that if the cross flexed, it would crack the glass.
We solved this problem by using more silicone grout between the pieces, in two contrasting colors.

Here's the detail of the hand showing the light and with notes on caulking.

hand with light hand detail

I had planned on using rope lights to illuminate the see-through pieces but they didn't have the punch I was looking for.
Next I tried using 60w chandelier bulbs but they gave off too much heat and looked uneven and spotty.
I finally settled on fluorescent bulbs.
I used a 4' shop light for the vertical part of the cross and 3 smaller units for the hands and feet.

The lighting fixtures are mounted to the back.

center fixture right fixture

Using the bigger units meant that I would have to make the cross thicker to accommodate the fixtures.
This led to a concern that it would be too heavy to hang on the existing hangers.
We were relieved to discover the load bearing capacity was 100 pounds.

The finished cross weighs sixty pounds.

I was pleased with how good the flourescent lights looked.

upper cross

Cole Lobby Cross        Cole Service

  PJ has been a Stained Glass artist for over 45 years.  
  Her work appears in various Las Vegas churches and in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and over 30 projects in the Boise area.
  Her husband, Pat, was a stagehand for 30 years. He was the Head Lightman at Bally's when he retired.