The Form of 2008 plaque is now complete. The above photograph shows a sample of the color finish on the plaque, the top center element featuring the very grumpy looking stock market bear.
The completed framed plaque will be revealed on Anniversary Weekend on Saturday June 1st – at which time photographs of the finished plaque will be published online. Thank you to the representative from the Form of 2008 for your help with this project - I am looking forward to seeing members of the Form of 2008 at the SPS Anniversary event to celebrate your new Form plaque!
Above is a photo of the completed carving for the 2008 Form plaque. The carving has been sealed with an oil finish and is ready for the painting process to begin. The photos below show details of the finished carving:
The central design represents the 2008 recession with a bear holding a chart with an arrow representing the dramatic down-turn the bear market took. Here is a detail of the very grumpy looking bear.
In the background two crossed quash racquets represents the boys’ Varsity Squash Team winning the New England Championships. Shown above is a detail of one of the racquets.
On the left of the bear is a tray with the SPS monogram representing the end of using trays in the dining hall – an effort that significantly saved resources and cut food waste.
To the right of the bear is a SPS Waffle, representing the new waffle irons in the dining hall that feature the SPS Shield. Below the waffle is a detail of the winter scene of Millville covered in snow – representing the record snowfall that winter.
I will now begin the painting process for the 2008 plaque. Check back soon for a sneak peek at the finished product!
On July 23rd the plaque for the Form of 1996 was installed in the Lower Dining Room of Coit (Upper). This plaque is the first of seven plaques to be completed in the Lower Dining Hall – plaques still need to be created for the Forms of 1991-1995 and 1997 to fill the empty spaces there. Since there are other plaques already hanging in this room, completed by previous carver David Nugent, I have not done a full color painted finish on the 1996 plaque, but have used a natural colored stain finish to match the surrounding woodwork.
The picture below shows me and Scott preparing to hang the plaque:
Scott is finishing up with hanging the plaque:
And the plaque is in its place above the center name panel for the Form of 1996:
It is a very good feeling to see this plaque integrated with the other plaques in the Lower Dining Hall. I am looking forward to seeing more of those empty spaces filled as the project progresses.
A special thanks to Lauri West for permission to use these photographs.
On June 2, 2012 the first group of the new Form plaques were dedicated in the Upper Dining Hall of Coit (New Upper). There was a small display of information about the plaques, the carving and design process, and the history of the plaques at SPS. A large group of members from the Form of 2012 were in attendance, excited to see the first new Form plaque in over twenty years.
The display table featured information about the plaque project, drawings of the plaque designs, and the 1996 plaque in process.
The sketchbook I use as part of the design process. These pages are for the 1996 plaque design.
The 2011 plaque on display above the name plaques for the Form members.
The 2006 plaque hanging above the name plaques for all the Form members.
The following photos are of the carving process for the 2001 Form plaque:
This first photograph shows the prepared basswood carving blank ready to begin:
After using a router to rough out the background levels:
Cleaned up from the router and background levels established, with a little of the initial rough carving done:
The finished carving:
Detail of the Democratic donkey:
And of the Republican elephant:
The carving at this stage is ready for the final painted finish to be applied.
Note: Painting was completed during the second week of May, and now the plaque is drying and awaiting the final sealing finish to be applied in time for Anniversary on June 2nd. I will be posting photos of the finished plaque after that date – stay tuned!
The design stage is complete for the 2001 Form plaque design. After working with the Form Director and reaching out to Form members, a list of events was chosen to illustrate the 6th Form experiences of the Form of 2001:
- The design includes a central theme of the November 2000 presidential election, and shows a ballot from Florida – complete with hanging chads – being claimed by both the Democratic Donkey and the Republican Elephant.
- The shield in the upper center features an element from the coat-of-arms from the Henley-on-Thames Town Hall representing the crew’s trip there that summer.
- The crossed sword (William Wallace’s sword) and torch represent the Form’s senior prank, inspired by the movie Braveheart.
- The Blass Clubhouse is shown at the bottom center and represents the re-design of the original clubhouse that was built in 1893 . Lord Fermoy’s clock is in shown in front of the clubhouse.
I will now begin working on the carving process, with the plan to have the finished plaque to present at Anniversary weekend in June this year. Photos of the process will be posted on the blog, so stay tuned for more information.
The most recent edition of the SPS Alumni magazine, the Alumni Horae, includes an in-depth article on the history of Form plaques at SPS. Expertly written by Jana Brown, it includes information on how the tradition of the plaques began, a look at the first carver, J. Gregory Wiggins, and details of how the tradition is being carried on today.
Click the thumbnail to read the article:
The carving stage is now complete for the Form of 2006 plaque. Here are a few photos showing the finished carving:
In the center is St. Paul himself, with the elements of the School shield separated around him. The upper left corner has the open book, commemorating the beginning of Mr. Matthews’ tenure as Rector. The spiral form in the upper right represents Hurricane Katrina. The Sesquicentennial dates are shown in pencil on the ribbon behind St. Paul and will be painted in as part of the finish.
The detail above shows one of the waves created to represent the Mother’s Day flood of 2006. The Episcopal shield appears at the base as part of the Sesquicentennial logo.
The next stage of the process involves sealing the wood and adding the painted finish.
From here forward the project will go undercover: The completed plaque – with painted finish and mounted in its frame – will be kept a secret until it can be unveiled during the 2012 Anniversary Weekend celebration in June of 2012. Details to follow as we get closer to the date.
I will now begin working on the 2001 and 1996 plaques, with plans to complete them both in time for Anniversary 2012. Progress on those plaques will be documented here as with the 2006 plaque, so check back often to see how things are progressing.
In this photo the spirals of the waves are nearly complete on the left, and the flood waters are visible behind St. Paul. The right side of the waves are beginning to take shape.
Here is a detail of the spiral waves – what was a simple design on paper has proved to be much more complicated thing to carve. I am pleased with the effect, especially when the shadows are picked up in the texture of the waves.
The details have been added for two of the shields from the sesquicentennial logo – each individual element of the School symbol will have its own shield, the crossed swords, the book, and the pelican.
Here is another detail of the waves with the flood waters in the background and the sword shield above. The scroll is still being worked on, and will have the sesquicentennial dates carved into the ribbon portion.
This Saturday, October 1st, I will be setting up a display in the Upper Dining Hall for the Alumni Volunteer Weekend event. I will be displaying samples of my carving as well as the progress so far for the 2006 plaque. If you are an SPS Alum and will be attending the event be sure to stop by and see the display.
This year I will work with the Student Council officers from the Form of 2012 to design and carve their plaque and to continue the Form plaue project forward. Additionally, there are twenty years of Form plaques that have not been carved preceding the recently completed 2011 plaque. The first of the missing plaques to be carved is for the Form of 2006, and following that will be the Form of 1996 plaque.
Four design elements were chosen by representatives from the Form of 2006 to be incorporated into their Form plaque design: The Sesquicentennial, the Mother’s Day flood, the beginning of Bill Matthews’s Rectorship, and Hurricane Katrina. The final design sketch is shown below:
Here is a description of the design elements:
- Central Motif: I have adapted the SPS Sesquicentennial logo design with St. Paul in the center surrounded by the four shields depicted in the logo (pelican, book, sword, Episcopal shield). A scroll ties them together horizontally in the center with the dates: 1856 – 2006.
- Upper Left: The book symbol represents the Rural Record, a diary of day-to-day School life that was kept from 1857 into the early twentieth century. William Matthews’s initials are incorporated on the pages of the open book, symbolizing the beginning of his Rectorship and representing the recording of the event of the change in leadership into School history.
- Upper Right: The satellite view of the spiral of the storm – representing Hurricane Katrina
- Lower Left and Right: The flood waters of the Mother’s Day flood of 2006
Following is a series of photos documenting the beginning carving process:
This first photo shows the plaque after the background level has be cleaned out using a router. You can still see the rough edges that are left from the router bit.
This view shows the background after it has been cleaned up. The edges between the elements are trimmed closely using a variety of shapes of carving tools and the background levels have been further defined. The spiral shape of the Hurricane Katrina symbol has been added.
In this picture the scrolls are beginning to take shape, and the spirals of the water element are starting to emerge. The shield shapes have been brought down to their levels and are ready to have the emblems carved into them.
There will be more photos to follow as I progress – stay tuned!