Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kentucky at its best

The weather has been exceptionally great this week. I was able to get in a full week's work to finish this stone sculpture entitled "Moments".
The sculpture came out better than expected, but it took a lot more time than originally planned.
When I say "Kentucky at its best", I'm referring to the abundance of flowering trees like redbud and dogwood which are at their peak. The wildflowers are out and the leaves are coming out on the trees. You can feel Life returning from its winter sleep. It's hard to describe, you just have to experience it!
We had time to go exploring a little, as well as putting in full time in the studio. Meg and I went to Otter Creek Park because I wanted to take a look at this old stone furnace. It was built and used in the 1800's. Someone told me it was a lime kiln, but I'm of the opinion that it was an iron smelter.
Meg showed me this cave that she found when she and her sister Liz hiked the Otter Creek Trail around the park (8 miles). She can feel the blast of cold air coming up from the cavern.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll !!!

This week we experienced a 5.2 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter about 100 miles to our west. Meg was lying awake about 5:30 A.M. Friday morning and heard it coming from far off. Our underground house acted like a sound chamber and amplified the noise. It shook the house for about 30 seconds, long enough for Meg to leave the house. I was too lazy to leave the comfort of bed (shaken, but not stirred).
I had a small window of time between the Green Bay commission and the commission that will go to Oak Harbor, Washington. So, I began a project that will fit into this slab of Indiana Limestone.
This sculpture is entitled "Moments". I have described its concept and inspiration in last week's post, so I won't repeat myself. I have drilled off the extra piece on the end. The design has been cut into the top surface and the outline is nearly complete.
The sculpture was moved into the studio after removing the bulk of the waste. I have begun to shape the major forms and have opened an interior negative space.
By the end of the week, the design is emerging.
Last week, when I went out to get some extracurricular pictures for the blog, I came home with a stray kitten. I thought that it might be safer to stay home, this week, and post something from the archive. Here's a picture of a rock climber, about to camp out for the night half way up a shear granite cliff in Yosemite Park, California. Can you see the climber in the center of the picture?
There he is! I'm guessing that the black-and-white thing is to help people keep track of his position. Photo by Meg White. She took this picture when she was in California a couple of years ago to give a sculpture proposal for the City of Oakland. We spent some time in Sequoia park, as well.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Devil is in the Details

Actually, the saying is "God is in the details", but the effort that goes into creating the details is other than heavenly. For instance, Take a simple phrase like "I crated and freighted a 3,000 lb. sculpture at the beginning of this week". Sounds easy enough, but the devil was in the details. I'll spare you.
The work on the Green Bay commission focused on the detailing of the intertwining forms on both sides of the sculpture. The "clean-up" phase of finishing a sculpture is the hardest. The initial enthusiasm of any project wears off toward the end. There are endless hours of work that go into the craftsmanship of finish work. In short - it's fussy and meticulous.
The sculpture is nearly complete. There are some minor "tweaking" that I'd like to do before pinning the sculpture to it's gray/blue granite base.
It will be at least 2 weeks before the base arrives, so I will leave this sculpture alone till then. It will give me a chance to "live with it", which will help me to decide about any changes or improvements.

This is the sculpture that I will make over the next 2 weeks. It is entitled "Moments" and will be carved from a slab of Indiana Limestone approximately 6' H x 4'W. The polished ring represents 'Here and Now', the large circular form rising from the bottom is the next moment (the future) that will be the new "Here and Now". The other forms are old moments, receding into the past. Every evening, I read before going to sleep - and I can't help but think that those stories work their way into my sub-conscious, and then into my work. I just finished a book by Isaac Asimov titled Nemesis, that features someone looking from an observation dome of a space station onto a habitable world that is the satellite of a gas giant that orbits a red dwarf star. Can you see the influence?

I've been too busy this week to have any fun pictures, so I took a quick drive 2 miles down the road to snap a shot of this roadside spring. We jokingly call it "Hepatitis Spring" because years ago it was closed for use because of contamination from a nearby elementary school. While snapping shots, we heard a meowing coming from... somewhere. But from where? We walked this way and that, having difficulty pinpointing the source of the noise.
Eventually we discovered it was coming from inside a hollow tree. Someone dropped off a kitten - I guess they were thinking that someone else would take it home. I wish that I could only show you "Waterfalls and Wildflowers", but there's another side of Kentucky country life that's not so pretty. There's a type of people who will dump garbage in the prettiest places - and give no thought to dumping off unwanted animals. Over the past 14 years we have had to deal with countless drop-offs. We currently have 8 cats - all 'road waifs', and all of our friends and family have their fill, too. I will lose most of a days work tomorrow and $25 to take this girl to the Louisville Humane Society, 75 miles from here where she'll have her best chance of getting a good home.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April showers...April flowers

On Tuesday April 1, I cut my hair and got a job....not!

The sculpture for Green Bay is looking pretty good. The first half of this week was spent further refining the current forms on side B. There was considerable work on defining the outer geometric ring.

This sculpture has been fairly restless. It's being set back upright with the gantry crane. Meg does the work, while I watch.

By the end of the week, I have refined and polished the 2 geometric rings. This is side B.

This is side A. The sculpture looks like it is nearing completion, yet there is quite a bit of finish work to do.

Waterfalls and wildflowers are the theme of this weeks extracurricular pictures.

This is the first year that I've noticed these White Trout Lillies.

These Yellow Trout Lillies are only around for a short time.

We went exploring up in Yellowbank Wildlife Management Area on this sunny Sunday afternoon. We followed a stony bottomed creek.

A little further down, we found this little waterfall and a secluded pool.

Further down the creek was another waterfall and pool. This one has a live tree that bridges across the top. It'll be a great place to sit between slides into the pool when it gets hot.