St. Joseph, the Carpenter - CODAworx

St. Joseph, the Carpenter

Submitted by Sarah Hempel Irani

Client: Our Lady of Mercy

Location: Potomac, MD, United States

Completion date: 2007

Artwork budget: $90,000

Project Team


Sarah Hempel Irani

Hempel Studios


Ugo Antognazzi

Studio Antognazzi


Andrew Logan

Canal Street Studios


St. Joseph, the Carpenter at Our Lady of Mercy
Larger-than-life-size Carrara marble

Our Lady of Mercy commissioned Sarah to create the Virgin Annunciate and St. Joseph the Carpenter for their new sanctuary. She had already sculpted the fourteen Stations of the Cross in bas-relief collaboratively with another sculptor for the parish.


The goals for this sculpture were to beautify the sanctuary and honor St. Joseph.


Sarah worked on the sculpture of St. Joseph, the Carpenter, first in clay, then had it cast in plaster. The plaster casts were sent to Studio Antognazzi in Pietrasanta, Italy to be carved in marble, per Renaissance tradition. Sarah worked with an international shipping company and an import agent to get the marble to the United States. Once it cleared customs, her installation crew was ready at the shipyard and we installed the sculpture at Our Lady of Mercy.