• 1992-present: Proprietor and Sculptor, "Axis of Hope Prayer Wheels" and "Dancing Dog Clayworks," Bellingham, WA

Work's Focus

  • Christopher Moench sculpts contemporary prayer wheels from porcelain and stoneware with scenes inspired by nature, world events, and personal stories. Each wheel is mounted to a sturdy cast-iron turntable so it can spin with the push of a hand. The prayer wheel lid lifts off so the hollow vessel can be filled with an individual's written prayers, intentions, or drawings. Prayer wheels are an ancient concept. Is is said, by turning the wheel, you send all the prayers inside out to the world. Chris's prayer wheels are meant to encourage hope, healing and peacefulness.


  • 2003 and 2000 Workshops: "Ancient Clay," Vince Pitelka

  • 1999 Workshop: "A Life in Clay," Paul Soldner and Peter Volkus

  • 1997 Workshop: "Architectural Clay Work," Peter King and Marnie Jamie

  • 1997 Western Washington University, Fairhaven College, B.A.

Selected Commissions

  • 2009 City of Bellingham and Pipeline Safety Trust, "Whatcom Creek Pipeline Explosion Memorial" Prayer Wheel

  • 2009 Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, prayer wheel (in process)

  • 2009 Bellingham, WA Martin Luther King Committee, "Presidential Prayer Wheel Project" for President Obama.

  • 2008 Prayer Wheel for "Seeds of Compassion" Event, presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and City of Seattle at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. I co-designed and built the prayer wheel.

  • 2008 Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, "Ancient Earth" Prayer Wheel for chapel

  • 2008 Northwest Dental Hygienist's Office, Bellevue, WA, "Healing Earth" Prayer Wheel for lobby

  • 2008 Dr. Paul De Jong, Naturopathic Medical Office, Bellingham, WA, "Healing Earth" Prayer Wheel

  • 2008 Sister of Saint Joseph of Peace Convent, Bellevue, WA, Memorial Prayer Wheel

  • 2008 Bay Side Montessori School, Bellingham, WA, Memorial Prayer Wheel for student lost at sea

  • 2007 Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Wheaton, IL, "Celebration of Prairie Restoration" Prayer Wheel

  • 2006 Hospice of Providence Hospital, Everett, WA, "Leaf Swirl" Prayer Wheel for staff

  • 2004 Bellingham Physical Therapy Office, Bellingham, WA, "Healing Earth" Prayer Wheel for patients and staff

  • 2004 Faith Lutheran Church, Bellingham, WA, "Metamorphosis" Memorial Baptismal Font

  • Created by three artists in honor of a parish teen who died in a drive-by shooting. I co-designed the font, built the porcelain basin, and selected a woodworker and glassblower to construct parts of the font.

  • 2003 Brett & Daughert Law Firm, Bellingham, WA, "Honey Bee Hive" Prayer Wheel for meeting room

Selected Solo Exhibits

  • 2009 "Presidential Prayer Wheel Project," Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham WA

  • 2009 "Presidential Prayer Wheel Project," Martin Luther King Celebration, Municipal Court Building, Bellingham, WA

  • 2005 "Reaping the Whirlwind": 11 Large Prayer Wheels, Mindport Gallery, Bellingham, WA

  • 2003 "The Axis of Hope: Contemporary Prayer Wheels for Our Time," Allied Arts Gallery, Bellingham, WA

Selected Group Exhibits

  • 2009 "Presidential Prayer Wheel Project," Blue Horse Galley, Bellingham, WA

  • 2009 Selected Prayer Wheels, Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Annual Group Exhibit, Allied Arts, Bellingham, WA (since 2001)

  • 2008 Three, Large Outdoor Prayer Wheels, Westcott Bay Institute for Art and Nature, Sculpture Park, Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA (since April 2006)

  • 2006 "Tree of Life," Prayer Wheel Urn, "Ashes to Art exhibit at Crane Arts," Philadelphia, PA

  • 2006 "The Crossing" Prayer Wheel, "Art and All That Jazz," Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA

  • 2006 Selected Animal Theme Prayer Wheels, "Bless the Beasts and the Children", East Shore Gallery, Bellevue, WA

  • 2006 Selected Prayer Wheels, Allied Arts Members Show, Allied Arts Gallery, Bellingham, WA (also 1999, 2001, 2005)

  • 2005 Selected Prayer Wheels with Nature Themes, "Found in Translation, Contemporary Works Inspired by Asian Traditions," TORA Gallery, Mount Vernon, WA

  • 2003 "Ashes to Art," Funerary Art, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA

  • 2001 Selected Prayer Wheels, Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Group Show, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA

  • 2000 "Healing the Heart of the River: Memorial Prayer Wheel for the Whatcom Falls Pipeline Explosion," Big Rock Garden, Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, Bellingham, WA

Awards & Affiliations

  • 2009 Governor's Appointee to Whatcom County Boundary Review Board (since 2000)

  • 2009 Board Member, Whatcom Land Trust (since 1999)

  • 2009 Chair, Whatcom Artist Studio Tour (since 1994)

  • 2008 Mayor's Art Award, accepted award as founder of Whatcom Artist Studio Tour, Bellingham, WA

  • 2008 Guest Speaker, Contemporary Prayer Wheel Uses, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA

  • 2008 President, Whatcom Land Trust, Bellingham, WA

  • 2007 Guest Artist Presentation, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA

  • 2005 "Best of Show" Award, Anacortes Arts Fair, Anacortes, WA

  • 1994 "Best of Show" Award, Art Ala Carte, Tacoma, WA