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.
(Place funny caption here)

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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Granite Hand Sculpture Progress

Outside, there's a wind chill in the teens with snow flurries, so this is a good time to sit inside and update progress on things.
 After the last post, there was a 2 day gap while I was waiting for this new order of diamond blades to come in.
 That gave me a chance to make repairs on "Newborn Crescent" from Bernheim which had been hit by a falling tree.  (The dark places are moisture from being freshly power washed).
 This is the side view.
 Then, back to the granite hand.  I moved the piece off the table and onto the floor - to safely roll it over. 
This picture was taken when I first turned it over. I made a flat place on the bottom to make the sculpture stable, add visual interest and help drain rain water out of it.  I made what improvements that I could and then flipped the 1,000 lb. stone hand over to put it back up onto the table.
 Here's how the sculpture looks today.
 ....and as you walk around it...'s getting very close to the final form.
 ...still walking around the piece...
 ...the back side...
 ( obviously, the red color on the nails will be gone soon ...)
I've got about 1 more hard day with the diamond wheels, but then I'll begin grinding, sanding and polishing the piece.  It's getting very close to its final form at this point.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Granite Hand and a Falmouth Getaway

Whenever the temperatures have risen above 32 degrees, I've been in the stone studio.
 It was sub-freezing for the first week of January, which I spent inside making clay models.  This is a 1/8 scale plastiline model for a commission in Vermont Granite.
 This is the granite preformed sculpture - 4' wide by 2' high by 2' deep (and covered in limestone dust before work resumed after a 2 year hiatus).
 This is how it looks at the end of January.  Granite is HARD - the running joke is: what have you done?  It's hard to see the changes on a daily basis.
 The main changes happened in the overhead view.  This image shows the preformed sculpture (before work resumed), Meg's hand for reference, and the scale clay model.
 Here's today's overhead view.  It's easy to see the changes from the top image (before work resumed).
 Granite is not for the feint of heart - these are the 'casualties' so far.  More than a dozen diamond blades have hit the dust.
 Last weekend, a red sunrise revealed about an inch of snow clinging to the trees and covering the ground.
It made for a pretty 3-1/2 hour drive to Falmouth, Kentucky to party with a couple of college friends; Tom Mitts and John Kaiser. This picture shows a large impounded pond on the 100+ acre tract of wooded property that belongs to John.  Looks cold? (It was...most of the time was spent inside by the fire).

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Cold ...and More Cold

I've had a cold;  I spent Christmas eve and Christmas flat on my back, blowing my nose and staring at the ceiling.  Between being sick and the incredibly cold temperatures that have moved into the region, I haven't been in the stone studio for almost a month.
 It's official... I've received a private commission to create a hand sculpture from this granite preform that's been hanging around the studio for a couple years.  It will be sited in Cave Hill Cemetery as the central feature for a family memorial.
 Meg gave me a box set of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit for Christmas.  I had a dream after reading about the adventures with Tom Bombadil.  This drawing is based on Tom's "significant other", Goldberry, as what I saw in that dream.
 I made a 1/8 scale clay model to work out the composition in 3D.
 Then, I made this life-sized clay model for working out the head portion of the sculpture.  I'm considering the idea of buying a quarry block to carve the design life-size.  we'll see....

 The 'Literate' Mermaid? (...just goofing on a snow day...)
Speaking of Literature...Meg's sculpture "Awaking Muse" was recently featured in the newest novel by Paulette Oakes.  We both got mention in the dedication.  I love the cover illustration by Stephen J. Catizone! This book is a fantasy / romance that brings the stone sculpture in Schaumburg, Illinois to life.  It was made by 2 "Halfling Elves"...(I've been called worse...).