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A font of knowledge

SCULPTOR Peter Schipperheyn, who created the baptismal font at St Stephen’s Cathedral, was back last month to give a special talk for volunteer guides.

Mr Schipperheyn, whose creations in the cathedral also include the altar, lectern and bishop’s chair, visited Brisbane on May 21 and was invited to give the guides an insight into his art.

The guides also had the privilege of meeting the woman who was the model for the mother in the baptismal font piece – Mr Schipperheyn’s wife, Cinzia Ruffilli.

They learned that as the Melbourne-based sculptor shaped the baby for the baptismal piece, he had his eye on the couple’s son, Amadeus, who was a newly born in 1989.

Mr Schipperheyn spoke of his inspiration, his passion, his technique and his search in Italy for the right marble for the work.

He said he went to the quarries of Carrara in Italy to source the marble, and lived there while he worked on the pieces.

The baptismal font came back from Italy in six pieces, and Mr Schipperheyn said he did not see it all come together until it was brought to Brisbane.

The couple’s sons, Art and Amadeus, were the first two to be baptised in the font.

Cathedral administrator Fr Peter Dillon, in thanking Mr Schipperheyn for giving the talk, paid tribute to his art.

Written by: Staff writers
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