Exploring the Sacred
Beholding the Sacred
I first encountered the work of Jordan Wanner in 2015 at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. Mark Marklin of Marklin Candle Design had several corpora sculpted by Wanner; he uses them in his design of processional crosses. Mark explained that the Wanners are a father and son team who work out of Milwaukee.
I took my time examining the contours and composition of the pure and inviting pieces. One particular corpus was especially engaging. The face of Jesus seemed to look back at me, not in pain and terror but peaceful resignation and hope.
David Wanner founded Wanner Studios in 1970. Through the decades he produced beautiful sculptures for both secular and sacred use. His son Jordan followed his example and joined him in the late 1990’s. What began as a modest studio in David’s garage is now a full studio and foundry in Milwaukee, WI, which now includes metal and woodworking. Their work is found throughout the country in both the sacred and secular setting. David, now in his eighties, is still an integral part of the studio and remains involved.
The art produced by the Wanners is very distinct and beautiful.
It’s modern yet timeless. Whether it be a statue of Mary and child or Jesus crucified it communicates serenity and gentleness. It inspires.
Good art is not only pleasing but should also stir the soul; Wanner accomplishes both ends effectively.
Jordan recently designed and provided the baptismal font for the newly built St. John Fisher Church in Rancho Palos Verdes. The footprint of the pool is an ICTHUS; the intersecting semi-circles echo and nest within the shape of the building. Water flows from a large bronze basin into a river rock lined walk-in pool.
Coincidentally, shortly after the installation of the font, Jordan stopped by St. John Fisher’s. He immediately recognized the statue in the Marian Chapel as the work of his father. The sculpture, however, was not signed by David. Mary stands quarter turned holding her child. She is tender, elegant and serene. Her expression inspires trust as she looks out into the distance confident in the future God calls her to.
He refinished the fiberglass statue in a bronze patina and signed the sculpture with his father’s name. The work of the Wanners, in a poetic way, comes full circle.
For more information on their art visit: