Jim Thomas, Artist
Jim Thomas
(as seldom seen - in a suit)

  • Texas Society of Sculptors
  • Guild of Austin Architectural Artisans
  • Austin Diocese Fine Arts Council
  • Texas Society of Architects
 
 

MORE ABOUT LITURGICAL SCULPTURE

bronze art processional cross

PROCESSIONAL CROSS

The merging of contemporary and traditional values for the new Amarillo Cathedral was expressed by depicting the outline of a Risen Christ within the body of the Crucifix, which was produced in hammered bronze.

bronze art stations of the cross

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Using Biblical themes depicting wheat, bread, grapes and fish the "Stations of the Cross" were sculpted in the combined realistic and contemporary styles.

This piece serves as a votive candle holder.

bronze and stone art tabernacle pedestal

TABERNACLE  PEDESTAL

When St. Mary's Catholic Church in Lago Vista recently enlarged its building, some new art icons were used including this carved Austin Cream Cordoba Limestone Tabernacle pedestal.   Thomas Studio carved the pedestal with a grape leaf garland that is reminiscent of the carved limestone base of the Welcoming Christ bronze at the entrance to the church grounds. The tabernacle base also features the traditional biblical icons of the grapes, wheat, bread and fish.

ALTAR TRIM - ST. HELEN'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, PEARLAND, TX

bronze liturgical art St. Helens Church altar Thomas Studio also produced the hammered bronze trim to conceal the seams for the carved stone altar, the tabernacle pedestal and the baptismal fountain for St. Helen. The tops of the altar, tabernacle pedestal and the baptismal fountain are of smooth Austin Cordoba Cream limestone and the lower portions are Austin Coquina fossil limestone, both quarried near Florence, Texas, and carved by Texas Carved Stone of Florence.  Thomas Studio frequently does stone carving or works closely with other stone shops.

BAPTISMAL FOUNTAIN  - ST. HELEN'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, PEARLAND, TX

bronze and stone baptismal fountain The St. Helens Baptismal Fountain was sculpted and cast in bronze by Thomas Studio at its Jonestown, Texas location. The fountain is designed by Davis-Rexrode Architects AIA and Ben Eastman, liturgical consultant, both of San Antonio. The bronze infant baptismal bowl is fed warmed and filtered water from a bubbler in its bottom with the water overflowing through the scalloped edges into a second terrazzo bowl below. The water then overflows again in a gentle waterfall to the adult terrazzo pool below. The bronze bowl is textured with a hammered ball-peen finish, coated with clear ultra-violet lacquer. The bright finish will be stable for a year or two, finally slowly changing to an olive green patina, enhanced by the warm, chlorinated water.

Although placing a clear, hard finish on the tabernacle is the owner's choice, Thomas Studio usually recommends against it, especially for architectural artifacts which are placed in the weather or involve water, which by definition, receive constant use and are subject to abrasion and thus unwanted corrosion and patina discoloration. When the hard finish is disturbed, unwanted corrosion and discoloration of the raw bronze. The remedy is usually to disassemble the sculpture, strip the hard finish off and reapply. Damage to a hard finish is obviously expensive to repair so a better direction is to skip the hard, clear finish and apply a chemical patina and a wax sealer. Nicks and dings to a chemical patina are much easier to repair with a chemical touchup of the damaged areas and a reapplication of the wax sealer.

ST. MARGARGET MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CEDAR PARK, TX

bronze and stone ambo candle standsAmbo Candle Stands

The St. Margaret Mary Candle Stands feature bronze legs with a hammered finish and holding removable and adjustable candle holders and their attached bobeches (wax drip catchers). The removable feature allows the candle staffs to be also used as processional candles. The altar, ambo and tabernacle pedestal are all hand carved from Austin Cream Cordoba limestone, quarried near Florence, Texas.

bronze liturgical art paschal candlestandPaschal Candle Stand -- St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Cedar Park, Texas

St. Margaret Mary commissioned Thomas Studio to produce a series of fabricated bronze candle staffs for use at Easter (Paschal) and at the altar, ambo and as processional candles. Designed by Davis+Rexrode Architects ATA and liturgical consultant Ben Eastman, both of San Antonio, the candle staffs feature a sweeping profile. They reach upwards from the floor in graceful curves, topped with inserted wood staffs and supporting the bobeches (wax catchers) and candle sockets. The wood and bronze upper staffs are designed to telescope to varying heights and to be detachable for use in Processional.

Paschal Candle Stand -- St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Cedar Park, Texas

bronze liturgical art paschal candlestandTwo sizes of bronze holy water founts were also produced for St. Margaret Mary. They were designed by Davis+Rexrode Architects AIA and liturgical consultant Ben Eastman, both of San Antonio.

The main chapel entry doors feature four larger founts with 10" x 15" oval water bowls supported and wall mounted with brackets reminiscent of the curving candle stands. Four small fonts are located at side doors serving a smaller chapel and the exterior entry / exit doors. The holy water bowls are cast bronze with a hammered texture. The wall mount brackets are wrought sheet bronze. All are patinaed with the same red-brown ferric nitrate and sealed with hot carnuble wax. The holy water bowls all have slumped glass inserts produced by Kathleen Ash at Studio K in Austin, Texas.

 

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL - ROGERS, ARKANSAS

Tabernacle -- St. Vincent de Paul, Rogers, Arkansas

tabernacle liturgical art       tabernacle liturgical art    

The Holy Family sculpture by Jim Thomas
The Holy Family.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph meet at Joseph's carpentry bench.

This bronze was commissioned by Msgr. Joseph Schmitt, pastor of St. Mary Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church at Lago Vista, Texas.