Local "Last Supper" sculptor touches up his masterpiece - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Local "Last Supper" sculptor touches up his masterpiece


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- It's been 18 years since sculptor Jerry Traufler donated a life-size piece of art to Siouxland. Over the last two decades, the sculpture has taken on some wear and tear, and that's what's brought Traufler back to his creation.

"It could have gone another 10 or 15 years, but I won't be here," said Jerry Traufler. "So I'm taking advantage of what I can do. I'm 75 so give me another 18 years and I'm getting up to the point where someone else will have to do it."

Traufler is taking apart the massive piece of work and re-varnishing it to stand the test of time. His Last Supper carving is 7 feet deep, 22 feet long and about 4,000 pounds. The faces of the 12 apostles and Christ are modeled after people from Le Mars, Iowa, friends and acquaintances from where Traufler calls home. However, the road to completion back in the 80s was not an easy one. It took Traufler seven years to complete the Last Supper, a carving he started and finished right in his own back yard.

"If I went out to the shop and it wasn't working, I'd quit," said Traufler. "That's something I learned. When it's not working don't keep going. Quit, go back in the house and forget it for that day. You go about it the next day and it just goes like nothing. I don't know what it is, I can't explain that some days you can do it and some days you can't."

Traufler says wood carving is a hobby... a hobby that got out of hand.

"When I started wood carving, I didn't intend on it to go this far but one thing led to another."

Traufler is hoping this new coat of sealant will help his hard work stand for hundreds more to see for years to come.

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