Father McGivney Memorial Sculpture
As a memorial to her late husband, Fourth Degree Knight Raymond Pelishek, Peggy Pelishek commissioned a sculpture of Father Michael McGivney and donated it to his council — La Crosse (Wis.) Council 839.
The sculpture took a year and a half to complete. and it was crafted by Father Joseph Watson while he was in residence at Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey in Sparta, Wis. Father Watson began by making charcoal drawings of Father McGivney based on photographs, drawings and paintings he was able to find. His next step was to sculpt a three-dimensional likeness in clay that served as a base from which to make a mold. Father Watson experimented with a variety of materials (including plaster, dental stone and gypsum products), finally settling on using orthodontic stone — a material that is used by dentists to fabricate models used when straightening teeth.
Father Watson originally intended to make a relief wood carving, but after determining that approach would not work, he decided to make a cast instead. Because a mold was used to cast the sculpture, additional pieces of the artwork can also be cast.
The cherry wood framework that encases the sculpture was created by a local woodworker.