Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Crucible" installed at University of Indianapolis

Thursday, July 28, I installed my large stone sculpture "Crucible" at the University of Indianapolis.  All photos on this post are by Meg White.
 We arrived on the site at 1 p.m. to meet the crane.
 There were TV crews from the local stations. (no pressure... )
 Jim Viewegh, professor of art at U of Indy, was giving an interview nearby as I prepared the site.
 I drilled 3 holes and cleaned them out with a vacuum.
 Next, I rigged the sculpture for lifting it over to the site.
 Dave from R.H. Marlin was great - and when we're lucky enough to get a great operator, I sing their praises.   
 We did a 'dry run' to make sure of the orientation and that there were no problems with the 3 pins and their holes.  Then, I mixed epoxy and set the piece on short boards to get the slings out.  Last, I used choker hitches, first on one side and then the other, to get the boards out and lower it onto setting cushions.
 Relief !!!  It's set safely where it belongs.  The last thing to do was put a bead of caulk around the bottom.  I want to thank Jim Viewegh (on the right) and many others who helped me through this tough installation.
Here's the finished piece in its new home as part of their Fifth Third Bank Sculpture Walk.  The outdoor sculpture collection at the University of Indianapolis is far, far larger than any college or university collection in the state of Kentucky. 

"Crucible" Loaded Up

Wednesday, July 27 was the day that was scheduled for loading out my large stone sculpture "Crucible".  All photos on this post are by Meg White.
 In the background, you can see a large thunderstorm that just missed us to the north.  The weather has been crazy all summer - I wasn't sure that we'd be able to load this piece out because of all the rain.
 I rigged the sculpture up...
 ...then, Dereck loaded the 6,800 lb. sculpture onto the back of his truck to take it over to the studio.
 I liked this photo by Meg as it gives comparison between "Crucible" and "Ecliptic" in the foreground.
 We set the piece on the ground and then rolled it onto its side.  I'd been dreading this part for months - rolling over something that's heavy, fragile... and sold.
 I drilled 3 holes in the bottom and epoxied 3 stainless steel pins into place.  Next, we stood it back up.
 The last move was to load it up on the 24' flatbed truck that I'd rented from Thrifty that morning.  After some power washing, it was strapped down and made ready for the trip to Indianapolis the next day.
While Dereck and I were out in the sun loading up the sculpture, Meg (over in the shade of the woods) photographed these cling pads on a Virginia Creeper vine.  Pretty sculptural, if you ask me.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"Now" ...and again...

Since I finished the private commission, I have returned to carving on the 30,000 lb. pair of hands.
 In the front corners, you can see that I've cut some huge notches.
 I'm trying to simplify the composition by making the surrounding matrix into pure rectangular forms. 
 This view shows how much work remains to be done (makes me tired to look at it....)
 It's brutally HOT and I've been trying to get up before dawn and work in the cooler mornings.  ("Try" is the operative word here - I'm not a morning person).
 This is the first fawn this year to make its appearance at the studio - hopefully, we'll be seeing many more.
Speaking of deer... can you see the doe camped out in the shade behind the feed table?  She's peering out between the 'V' shaped trees.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cincinnati Virgin Mary Installation

Monday, July 11 was the date for installing my Virgin Mary commission at a private residence in Cincinnati.  Meg drove the piece up on her crane truck - and all the pictures on this post are by her.
 I met Jeff Payne (far right) who is with Architectural Landscape Design, Inc.  I'm shaking hands with Paul who helped me with the installation and behind him is the Lull operator, Romero.
 First, we unloaded the piece from the back of the flat bed truck.
 On the right is Bill Ripley of Architectural Landscape Design, Inc. who was my initial contact for the project.  Andy Corn, who was the architect on the project, was also there briefly at the beginning.
 We stood her up with a choker hitch, but we also had 2 safety slings under the base.  We added a ratchet strap around everything as another layer of safety.
 We had an audience, although I was too busy to notice.
 In the foreground is Jeremy Hensley of Hensley Services, who was involved with the project all the way through.  We slowly moved the piece over to the site.
 A square concrete socket had been prepared ahead of time to hold the square sub-base.  The 8' height made me uncomfortable with the thought of relying on pins to hold the tall, thin sculpture.  We did a dry run... and it was too tight...
 I'd made the sub-base too big for the square socket ( I should have known better...).  I used my grinder to make the inside of the socket bigger.  Nothing is easy.
 It fit like a glove.  We set it down on short boards to get the safety slings out from under it.
 Then, we applied a thick, inner seal of silicone.
 Next, we lifted it with the choker hitches to take out the boards and set it on some monument cushions.  We're checking to make sure that everything is plumb, level and that it is firmly in position.
 This is the final piece in her new home among the roses - from her right...
 ... the center...
 .... and her left.
 I gave her an outer bead of silicone caulk around the bottom and applied a breathable sealer.  That's it - signed, sealed and delivered.  The only thing left was the 3-1/2 hour trip home.
While I finished up, Meg explored the rock wall and found this pocket of Bryozoa.  The upper piece looks like an arrowhead... if you use your imagination...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival

Yesterday was the last day of the KY Renaissance Fair in Eminence, Kentucky.  Meg and I had never been to it, so we decided to go check it out.
 Most of it is under trees (Briarwood Forest), which makes it pleasant to browse through the booths.
 Plenty of people in period costume.
 The booths that were selling leather goods had an intoxicating aroma (love that leather smell!)
 Of course, my eye goes to anything stone...
 ...and there's also wood carvings.
 Speaking of Dragons, I thought this copper and brass sculpture was stunning!
 Meg bought a hand-made item from these working blacksmiths.
LOTS of stuff for kids.  It's very family oriented.
The main attraction was the jousting (although I, personally, want to give honorable mention to all the beautiful women in corsets...).  We had a great time and will probably go again next year.  I highly recommend the experience.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Virgin Finished and a Couple of Shows

 I'm basically finished with the 8' tall Virgin Mary commission.
 This is another view.  I'll be making arrangements for delivery... after I've lived with it a bit to make sure that I can't make further refinements.
 Saturday, June 26, Meg and I went to Hidden Hill Nursery to see a show of artworks by Caren Cunningham and Al Gorman.  I'd only been there once before about 10 years ago - and I remembered seeing this piece by Amy Brier. (photo Meg White)
 Nearby, they are about to complete the east end bridge. (photo Meg White)
 It's cool to see the work-in-progress.  (photo Meg White)
...and Friday we went to Bedford, Indiana for their annual rock and mineral show.  This was my favorite purchase - a sparkly group of Calcite crystals from Mexico.