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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

French Lick, Indiana

Today is my 55th birthday.  Meg and I decided to make a day trip to French Lick, Indiana since I'd never been there before.
 Our first stop was the French Lick Resort and Casino.  But, since we don't gamble, we didn't stay long.
 The foyer is nice with ceramic mosaic floors, Italian marble columns and frescos on the ceiling.
 But the real gem is down the road another mile at the West Baden Springs Hotel.
 The driveways are 100 year old brick roads.  On the left is the station for the train trolley between the 2 hotels (to take guests back and forth to the casino, no doubt).
 When you walk into their atrium, you're blown away!  The 200' dome was the largest in the world when it was built in 1902.
 It also has mosaic floors, but they're real stone - about 2 million pieces.
 There's a secret room 100 feet above, where the roof supports come together.  There are frescos painted inside and you can only access it from ladders on the outside.
 It's hard to get a sense of perspective as the place is huge.  Someone was playing a harp which sounded wonderful with the acoustics of the round, open space.
 They have established gardens that are over 100 years old.  The place has a good 'feel', both inside and outside.
 There are acres of manicured lawns which would make a great place for a sculpture show (hint, hint).
 Spitting turtles - I'm glad that real turtles can't do that.
... and closing this post with a nature picture... a pair of Osprey have taken up residence on a nesting platform at the nearby Patoka Lake.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rolling on the Floor

I've spent all week making progress with the Cincinnati Virgin Mary sculpture.  I've rolled her around at least 6 times, in order to get to the side that needs work.
 This is the picture that I posted last Sunday...
 ...and this is how she looks today, 1 week later.
 This is the view of the other side...
 ...and this is the front view.  It's hard to get perspective with the piece lying on the floor.  I'm going to figure some safe way to stand her up for the final thinning. 
 Tomorrow, I plan on refining her hands.
 This is a comparison between the sub-base last weekend and today.  It is now 11-3/4" x 11-3/4".
 I've also made the first of 4 sanding passes and have added the chamfers and bevels.
 This is a view of the halo last Sunday...
 ...and this is the halo today.  It's much better, but it still has to be thinned to the final form.
Then, ending today's updates with the obligatory nature picture.  I've lost my fountain to the cat tails and coons (...but hey...they can have it...)