Saturday, May 16, 2015

Plans Within Plans

The weather has been great and work proceeds. 
I've got about 5 big projects that I'm racing to finish up in the next month. 
The Granite Hand and Bubble Bench are inside the studio and waiting for me to move them outside for some finishing touches. 
 I've been working mornings on finishing up the Comet Bench.
 The Leafy Bench is real close to be finished. I'm considering a base for this sculpture and another called "Testing the Waters".  (Bases are my least favorite part of stone sculpting...)
 When I'm not working, I'm wandering around the studio property...usually staring at rocks...
But lately, my mind is turning to making some major changes to the Sculpture Garden aspect  (completely neglected from years of trying to meet deadlines).  There's nothing in the Northwest corner of the property after I moved my large marble Seedling to its new home in Dalton, Georgia.  I've got some strange ideas cooking for this site...I've got a huge collection of stone items (architectural salvage etc.) that I may try to assemble into a "Folly".  I'll use a 3D rendering program to see what I can come up with before I start moving tons of stone.
 There's a large area along the back of the property that is almost empty now, too.  I'm thinking about segregating out the figurative pieces for this area.  Other areas will have sculptures that relate to each other - I'm hoping that it will make some kind of sense, instead of being a chaotic mix (like it is now).
 Over 32 years of full-time sculpting, I've amassed a small collection of sculptures that have...problems: cracked, broken or too doggy for 'prime time'.  I'm going to put them off by themselves in the back North East corner...and call it "The Land of the Misfit Sculptures".  That will leave the huge front areas uncluttered for major new works.
This is one of the first additions to this area; my wire topiary frame "Tree of Life".
We'll see how many of my plans become reality...
there's a limit to time and energy....

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chasing the Shade

It's started to warm up...
 and it's no longer fun working out in the direct sunlight.
 So, with the morning sun in the east, I start work on the west side of the building.
 I'm trying to finish up my Comet Bench.
 After lunch, I switch over to the "Leafy Bench" which is then in the shade on the north side of the building.

 Derby Day, Meg and I went exploring.  First stop was the Cannelton roadcut where we collected fossils.  Meg found this Lepidodendron (a giant fern-leafed tree with scaly bark); it's covered with a coal surface. 
This is one of the Calamites, which is segmented like bamboo.
 We spent most of our time hiking in the woods of southern Indiana.  This is a White Trillium; very different from the red variety that we see around Yellowbank.
Paw Paw Blossom.
(photo Meg White)
There's some cool places to be found - if you just look.
(photo Meg White)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

All Work and No Play... not a phrase that could ever be applied to me.
 However...I've changed this... this - in a relatively short time.  (and my arms are sore as hell!)
 This is what the other side looks like, today.
 From the side, you can see that it's not as symmetrical as it looks from the front or back views.  I'm slowly carving it to have some nice sweeping curves.
 This was such a short post that I decided to pad it with a couple pictures from my trip to Dubuque earlier this month.  It took every bit of boom, jib and extension that this 50 ton crane had to reach my sculpture.
It was a very long trip home with this heavy, heavy payload - I never was able to get above 60 miles per hour.  Also, I stopped at every rest area...(to let the tires cool, rest my white knuckles and try to unclench my backside).  Not something that I want to try again any time soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Showers

It's rained more often than not, lately.
 This is how the north face of my large stone hands looked in the last posting...
 ...and this is how it looks today.
 I've been working out a new design for a functional sculpture, inspired by all the fresh new spring growth.
 Meg helped me to get the old crane truck started (it really was a 2 person job).  We moved this 4,000 lb. stone over near the shop where I can begin to block in this new sculpture.  The stone measures about 8'-7'W x 3'-4"H x 2''s a big project.
The last rays of the setting sun really help get the feel that I wanted with "Invocation.
 Tribble door.
St. Francis and Skidoo.
(yep, you cross a line when you start giving wildlife names...)

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Good, The Bad ... and The Ugly

 The Good...It's official!  My sculpture "Crucible" will become part of the permanent collection of the University of Indianapolis!
 The Bad...I leave tomorrow on a 1,200 mile round trip to retrieve my "Riverboat Bench" from Dubuque, Iowa.  It was (at one point) to become the first public art acquisition for the City of Dubuque in the 21st Century.  It had a donor and had been approved by both the Art Advisory Committee and the City Council.
 The Ugly...the General Manager of the City of Dubuque put a stop to the whole affair.  According to an article written in the Dubuque newspaper, "The Telegraph Herald", the G.M. managed to get a contract drafted and approved in a meeting (closed to the public) where he (and he alone) had the sole power to remove the bench as soon as ownership was transferred to the City.  His intentions were clear from a letter to the council wherein he demanded that they not accept the donation. proceeds slowly on the large granite hand.
 It's basically finished, but I continue to refine it.  I keep finding things to improve - just making for a better sculpture.
 ...and speaking of large stone hands...I'm slowly making improvements on this 30,000 lb. stone sculpture that is outdoors.  The weather occasionally has some great days for climbing up on the scaffolding and having a go at it.
Cat as the Hat.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First Day of Spring

It's Spring - the snow is gone and the grass is turning green.
 The last post on this granite hand said, "about one more hard day to finish the carving...".Well, I've put in about 3 more days so far.   I need a bit more fussy tweaking before I'm going to call it finished.  It's good to get away from a piece for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes.
 With reasonable weather, I jumped back on this 30,000 lb. sculpture that's been waiting patiently outside for me to come back to it.  The intense work on the granite hand made it easier for me to get focused on what needs to be done to carve these big limestone hands. 
 This is what it looks like today.  I've spent a few days up in the palms thinning and refining the shapes. (Hard to tell what I've done).
 This was the view on the back side, which was completely unconsidered.
 Here's what it looks like today.  I've opened it up around the thumbs and beginning to define the large block shapes.  (Lots of work to go)
The Magical Mystery Great White...Turkey.
 (The dust from the thundering herds obscured the sun).

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I'm happy that I made progress in the first 2 weeks of February, because everything in the stone studio came to a halt for the last half of the month.  Monday, February 16, saw 7" of snow with extreme cold ...and ...there's still snow and they're calling for more.

In fact, I have only left the studio property one time in the last 2 weeks - that would give most people 'cabin fever'. This is my stone sculpture "Fly Like an Eagle"...somewhere under that sparkly covering of snow.
 I've been working inside by the woodstove.  This is today's update on a life sized concrete sculpture of "Goldberry".  I created a small sketch and scale clay model in the first week of January that was based on this character from "Lord of the Rings"; Goldberry is Tom Bombadil's 'significant other'.  After I detail her out, I'll probably try airbrushing some color to the piece.  Everything that I create is usually the monochromatic tone of stone - it might be fun to try something different.
...and this is her back view.  I really don't have any plans to exhibit or sell this piece - she's going to join last years concrete pieces and 'people' the landscape around the studio.  These concrete pieces are fast ways to produce a life sized figure - and they are for fun (and practice) while it's too cold to comfortably work outdoors.