Saturday, July 26, 2014

Monk Installed at Monte Casino Winery

I sold a stone monk to the owner of Monte Casino Winery, which  is on the site of the old Monte Casino Monastery.  The monks at the monastery created the first winery west of the Appalachians at this site in the late 1700's 
 This week, it was time to move the monk from my studio to his new home in Newport, Kentucky.
 Davy brought out a 23 ton crane from JBB Inc. in Hardinsburg. 
The first thing we did was to lay him down.
 Then, we loaded him onto the 24' flat bed truck that I rented from Penske.
 Early the next morning, I made the 3-1/2 hour trip to the site. 
A 14 ton crane met me there for the installation.
 No, I'm not "stringing up" the monk. 
He has successfully landed in his new home, reverently overlooking the site where the stone monastery used to stand.  I plan to go back in the future and check on the progress of the Winery, as Mark Schmidt, the owner, has great plans.
 When I took the exit for Bardstown Road to refuel the truck, and was about to turn south to go under Watterson Expressway, I noticed a mural in progress.  This is something that I'll have to check back with, as well.  Looks Great! 
 Now...for the Weird of the Week...
Ginger Ale, on the Bears.
(photo and concept Meg White)
A luminescent contrail, beautifully backlit by the setting sun.
(photo Meg White)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Craggy Bird Feeder in a Polar Vortex

A polar vortex has brought unseasonably cool weather to our region this week.
 This made great working conditions. 
I was able to finish this bird feeder.
 It's made from Indiana Limestone. 
It measures 66" high x 20" x 20".
 
 This is a side-by-side comparison of the view on June 25 of  my 8' tall sculpture, "Harmony", and what it looks like today.
 I also moved out 4 "personal" sculptures. 
This one is called "Almost Undamaged"
(named after a Ronald Jenkees song).
It is made from Alabama Marble, IN Limestone and NC Granite.
 This is "Needle"
(...and no damage done).
 This is the "Non Bench".
It is made from a craggy Stylolite seam
 - certainly not built for comfort.
 ...and the "Royal Flower Birdbath".
 Tuesday, Paul and Maggie Breslin brought out their daughter Sarah for an overnight campout.
 Everyone was bringing out their kids this week. 
This is the first fawn of the year to venture up our way.
Mother and Child.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July

I'm still getting up at first light and making the most of working in the shade on the 8' tall sculpture "Harmony"
 This is a side-by-side comparison of the progress from the last posting on June 25. 
It's coming right along - if I do say so myself.
The 4th of July fell on this last Friday. 
We had a visit from a new friend, Isaac.
 (shown here eye-to-eye with Oberon).
He brought along his Dad and Mom (Ben and Jessica), his aunt Josie and his younger sister, Grace.

All smiles when he discovered that the granite hand rocks.

No visit to our studio is complete without checking out the caboose.

This is the extent of my gardening skills - volunteers.
"Catrina, your hair is so soft.  What do you use?"
"Take a wild guess".

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

First Days of Summer

I have a big project started with a 30,000 lb. stone, but it's out in the direct sunlight.  I've started another project that is in the shade for the first half of the day.  That has me getting up at first light to make the most of things.
 This is the stone - 8' high x 3'-8" wide x 2'-4" thick and 10,000 lbs.  I used a railroad jack to level the stone which will help me keep some of the design elements plumb and level.
 This is the progress so far. 
It is called Harmony and it deals with the balance between Mankind and Nature. 
 This is the view of the raw block from the other side while I was still jacking around getting started.
 ...and this is how that side looks today.  The top left corner is what I'll address tomorrow morning.
 On my birthday, we found a bunch of fossils on a walk in the woods.  Meg wanted to go out and look for some more.  We crossed the bridge at Cannelton and checked out the new road cuts on highway 37.  It was the first day of summer and the heat index was a solid 100 degrees - but that didn't stop the fun.
 We found some Lepidodendrons, which are extinct tall fern-like trees from the Carboniferous time period.  We have these coming out of the soil and sandstone at the studio - nothing new to us.
 These were different - they are fossils of tree-sized giant horsetails called Calamites.
 This is a close-up of a piece of sulfur that was associated with a seam of coal at the first road cut that we checked out.
The last stop was at a popular hunting spot at the intersection of I-64 and 237.  I've seen these kind of things before: starting at the bottom, a piece of turtle shell, 4 blastoids, 11 segments of spiraling Archimedes Bryozoa, crinoids, horn coral and 3 brachiopods. 
 
Check out when Meg posts the picture of a well-preserved Copperhead skeleton that she found (complete with fangs).  The snake is not a fossil - so anyone deciding to climb those rock ledges, like we did, should be forewarned.  I'm sure it was not alone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fly Like An Eagle

For a couple weeks, it's rained every day.  It has now turned hot - like it always does in Kentucky during the month of June.
 I finished this Indiana Limestone sculpture that measures 44"W x 22"H x 14"D.  It's called "Fly like an Eagle" and it shows armor plating opening to reveal a spread of Eagle feathers.  It represents the delicate balance between freedom and security.  Every artist, writer or musician knows the thrill of creation, but the bills still have to be paid on time.
 I've also been laboring hard, trying to finish "Ecliptic" which I started in December 2012.  I've been pouring day after day into this thing - each day thinking "it just needs another day".
(photo Meg white)
 Meg found this shark's tooth embedded in Kentucky Limestone.  I'd heard that the Indiana Limestone we carve has them, but I've never seen even one in 30 years of working with the stuff.
 Last Tuesday, I went to Tom Mitts' house in Newport.  This picture shows his kitchen window.  We had an early celebration for our adjacent birthdays; we ate and drank (too much) and caught the 3D movie "Edge of Tomorrow" at the local Imax.
 Sunday, June 15 was my 53rd birthday.  Meg and I went for a walk in the woods (and we only found about 12 ticks each, way down from last year's score: Don 25 - Meg 125).
 Meg checks out the minnows - the minnows check out Meg.
 A rock loaded with fossils.  It's cool as it is - wonder what it'd look like polished.
...and here's another one that came home with us.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

It feels like summer...and time to turn on the air conditioner.
 I finished a fountain that I call "Been There and Done That".  A textured organic form explores the confines of the polished vessel, makes its rounds and flows on - I see this as an allegory for Experience (...and thus the title...).
 It is carved from Indiana Limestone and measures 36" x 30" x 16"H and weighs about 300 lbs.
 I will soon post this with a price on my "For Sale" blog (link in the right-hand column).
 Other news, I had an art collector make the trip down from Michigan this week to pick up the sculpture entitled "Accord".
 It is Indiana Limestone and measures 6'H x 3' x 2' and weighed approximately 1,500 lbs.
 His visit was the catalyst for moving sculptures out of storage and into the sculpture garden.  The first one out was my life-sized Monk.  His goblet has already been filled with seeds and the birds went right for it.
 I also moved out my life-sized nude girl.  I leveled the ground and set concrete pavers down for both pieces, and then I sealed them with breathable masonry sealer (Behr #980).
 I also set out 2 pedestals like this one - I put the granite companions on this one and my "Sail" stone vessel on the other.  I also installed a 3/4 life-sized female torso, a floral birdbath, and used Meg's crane truck to set out the stone trough and a sculpture called "Exposure".  All these pieces had the ground leveled, slate put down as a barrier to keep the limestone off the dirt and mulch put around every piece.
I also set out this experimental birdfeeder platform made from
Colorado Marble and Vermont Granite.
(No wonder I feel tired! Time to sit down in front of that air conditioner).