Friday, December 23, 2005

Toledo man makes Chalice to honor JP II

From The Blade :

The work is tedious, but John Ziolkowski is slowly coaxing the image of two doves to emerge from a hard block of cherry wood to form the focal points on a chalice he is making for the anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II in April.
There's time, Mr. Ziolkowski said, but he's beginning to feel some pressure because he has already spent about a year on the project.
Much of the work is being done with hand tools at the woodworking shop at the Sylvania Senior Center.
The work is slow, because he is fashioning the chalice from cherry wood, which he said is one of the hardest and most difficult to work with.
For the 86-year-old Mr. Ziolkowski, the chalice is just the most recent in a string of projects he began to take on back when he was a youth.
He has a number of newspaper clippings, some of them yellowing with age, which his sister has kept.
The first in which he is featured is from 72 years ago when he was a 14-year-old from Lagrange Street displaying a model sail boat he constructed. Another newspaper picture a year later shows him with an operational motorboat he made of wood.
His general ability in woodworking won him a trip to Washington, and there is another newspaper article with a photo of him and other youngsters on the trip.
Among the highlights, Mr. Ziolkowski said, was a visit with J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI.
Most of the articles are from the 1930s while he was a student at the former Toledo Vocational School.
After his schooling, Mr. Ziolkowski took a number of jobs in pattern making in Michigan and the Toledo area.
He said there were occasions during which his wife would come home and find him there.
"She'd ask if I quit a job again, and I'd tell her I had. I wanted jobs with challenges.''
He eventually opened his own business, Precision Pattern & Model Corp., which he operated from 1956 to 1976.
He has continued woodworking projects, many of which he now does at the senior center with tools and saws once used at his own company.
For a time they had been used in a business operated by one of his sons, but when that closed, Mr. Ziolkowski donated the equipment to the senior center.
He said he is unsure of where the chalice may eventually be used in a Mass, but said that for now, he will concentrate on finishing the project.

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