Carvings heading for Texas church

Jeanne Archambeault/Times

One of Jay Fann's carved panels depicts a verse from Psalm 23. The detail of the hands was a challenging part of the carving.

Jeanne Archambeault
Mancos Times editor

It's going to be a beautiful sight and Mancos resident Jay Fann will have had a lot to do with it.

Four panels, each depicting a verse from Psalm 23, are what Fann has been working on for the past year. He's carved them for the Broadway Baptist Church's chapel in Fort Worth, Texas. He will personally transport the panels to Fort Worth when they are ready to be installed.

The panels are made out of basswood with a walnut frame.

"This is the most difficult design I've ever worked on," Fann said. "And it's the most exciting."

Fann is known for his carved wooden doors and their hand-crafted simplicity and elegance. His doors can be seen around Mancos, from the library to Nathaniel's Hats.

Fann learned about the Texas church from his sister, Lark, who is a member of the church. Fann is also a member, having spent some time in Fort Worth.

"The people at the church have let me pretty much do what I wanted. They've been so good and patient with everything that I've done," he said.

The chapel where the panels will be installed has stained glass windows that represent the New Testament, with hands in each window. There are "niches," he said, that needed to have something in them, and Fann's panels will be the perfect thing. Each of the panels also have hands in them.

"Hands are quite difficult to carve," he said.

The carvings started out as drawings on paper, Fann said. "The carvings go much deeper in the wood than I usually do."

He said he normally carves about 3/8's of an inch while the new carvings will be 7/8's of an inch.

The panels can still be seen in Fann's studio between the Mancos Valley Bank and Becky's Salon.

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