St. Elias Chapel
"This model was inspired by one of the many churches built at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. It is not an exact replica, but I believe the essence of the design was captured. When I visited the monastery and explored all the different churches there, St. Elias stood out to me. Compared to the other churches it was quite small, but it had a very unique design. The whitewashed walls and the blue dome reminded me of the traditional village chapels in Greece. The elegant curves of the roof really captured my amazement. Again these were subtle details, but they really complemented the overall simplicity of the church. Building the model was a challenge. I really had to think things through before I attempted to construct it. I put all my focus and attention into building it and by the grace of God the outcome was a success. St. Elias Chapel means a lot to me. Making this model was a way for me to give glory to God in my own personal way. It also gave reverence and veneration to Prophet Elias, the saint the chapel is dedicated to. This project was my offering to God. Giving Him thanks and giving Him back what He has given me."
St. Melchizedek Shrine
"There are many shrines that have been built and there have been many icons written to magnify famous saints. A great saint, in my opinion, that is mentioned very little in both the Bible and Orthodox tradition is St. Melchizedek. Melchizedek is first mentioned in Genesis 14:18 “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” Since the Bible give him the titles of king and priest, I feel that this saint is very special even though he is a bit obscure. I wanted to make a shrine dedicated to St. Melchizedek in order to bring his memory to mind in the hearts of the faithful. For this model I made the base in the form of a cross and three steps up to the shrine representing the Trinity. I also added crosses to the sides of the shrine to express that even though St. Melchizedek is mentioned first in the Old Testament, He is also relevant for the New Testament, by his mention in the Epistle to the Hebrews for example. I made the structure to house only one person at a time, that way there is a more intimate communion with the Saint. The colors I chose were intended to reflect the subtlety of the saint. If bright colors were used it would not portray the sanctity and solemness of such a holy man. The subtle colors were chosen out of respect. Again the intention of this shrine was to praise a holy individual that is seldom remembered, but as I believe, deserves proper recognition."
This piece was inspired by a Russian Orthodox Chapel that is located in Antarctica. I was amazed by the location and interested in the Chapel's design. It is not an exact replica, for example the colors are different and the window placement is also skewed. Since this structure has a relatively small footprint, but quite a prominent vertical quality, I decided to taper the walls to accentuate the building's height. This was a challenging project to construct, but the outcome was a success.
This design is an original work. The initial intention was to make a small barn with lightning rods on the top. However, placing two little needle like pieces of metal sticking out made me reexamine the idea. The solution I came up with was to make wooden crosses where the metal lightning rods would have been. This made the model safer of course, and also gave it a more aesthetcal appeal.