OKLAHOMA CITY – Carvers use their skills to transform a building into a masterpiece, but it’s becoming a lost art as cheaper techniques become more common.
It’s art you have to look up to see at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Jarek Sienkiewicz meticulously carved the last eagle’s head, which will sit atop the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Originally, Sienkiewicz was in the construction industry before he taught himself the art of stone carving nearly 10 years ago.
“It does start off as a rectangular block and then starts shaping it, so it starts to fit what’s there,” he said.
“He’s the only person on the crew approved to do this sort of work that he’s doing today,” said Julia Manglitz, preservation architect project manager.
Sienkiewicz previously worked on buildings in Wyoming, Kansas and Minnesota, but the style of Oklahoma’s State Capitol is a bit different.
“Generally, where you see the eagles here, you’d see a flower. Most every other Corinthian capitol has a flower,” Manglitz said. “One of the things about the work here at the state capitol was that all of these pieces were hand carved back in 1915/1916. There’s all Indiana limestone, and all of them have a slightly different personality.”
Each eagle head has a different scowl, stature and overall look.
“The eagles face different directions, so it’s important to make sure that we’re fitting into the pattern of which way they face,” Manglitz said.
Sienkiewicz worked on 100 pieces at the capitol with the eagle being his very last work there.
Part of the $245 million restoration project.
The Oklahoma State Capitol’s exterior will be complete in March of 2020, with the entire restoration project complete in 2022.