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St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Ojai, California
409 Topa Topa Drive
Ojai, CA 93023



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These vessels were made by parishioner Jock Van Dyke in March 1996. We use them during Lent and on other penitential occasions, instead of our silver set. Jock has made vessels, lamp bases and other items from found wood for many years. He only uses wood which is already dead, and often saves pieces which would otherwise be used for firewood. Many are old stumps, as the pieces have to be fairly large in order to be turned successfully. He uses a lathe to shape them and show off the grain, and finishes them very simply.

Most of his wood is local varieties, such as California live oak and valley oak, as well as wild ceanothus, a large, twisted shrub with deep red wood. When he got the inspiration to make a Communion set, he had a large stock of wood from an old orange grove. Ojai has many acres of oranges and other citrus, and the trees need to be replaced when they age too much to give good fruit. Orange wood is pale in color and has a fine, almost indistinguishable grain. Jock made the shapes of the Communion set very simple, to complement the wood and to be appropriate for Lent. He said that he often struggles over his pieces, but that everything he made for this set went, "...like greased lightning."

Clearly, he was blessed in the making of it, and we are blessed every time we use it.

    2002 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts