Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blackberry Winter

This week was the 'last blast' for winter. As there is a reoccurring cold snap that coincides with the Blackberry blooms, the 'old timers' have given it a name - Blackberry Winter.

One of the most exciting events of this week was the newspaper article that covers the commissioning of my stone sculpture for Ft. Nugent Park near Oak Harbor, Washington. You can read the on-line version at
The large amounts of waste stone have already been removed. This week's effort focused on blocking in the organic forms that are bursting forth from the seed shell. The 1st half of the week involved using a 4 inch electric grinder with a 4 inch diameter blade to roughly form the main shapes. This is the front side after Monday's effort.
This is what the back side looked like on Tuesday morning.
The first task was to lay out where the organic shapes will be carved. I use a wax china marker to draw the design onto the stone.
This is how the back side looked at the end of Wednesday. There's a little bit of 'roughing in' to do on the bottom forms, but basically the 'fun' part is about finished. So much for the Ecstasy, now comes the Agony.
I had to move the piece into the studio because of rain on Thursday. At this point, I have to switch tools. I'm using an air hammer to define the shapes of the organic forms. That small, unassuming tool is basically a small jack hammer that drives various shaped chisels that fit into its end. Don't let its small size fool you - it's powerful (and brutal on the user). After a full day of air hammer work, you'll sleep like a baby. After two days in a row of air hammer work, you'll get what we call 'the 3rd day blues'.
This is how the front side looked after Friday's effort.
This is the back side at the end of Saturday. All of the major shapes have been blocked in. Now comes the long slow process of refining and then finishing.
Sunday afternoon (about 2 hours ago), I dropped Meg off at the airport where she is flying out to Aurora (Denver) Colorado to give a public art sculpture presentation. She is one of four finalist for a $55,000.00 commission for a nature preserve. She will spend a couple of days in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, her favorite place. It kills my soul that I'm stuck at home and having to work while she's jetting off to a fun destination. O well, my turn is coming!

1 comment:

E said...

Very nice! The sculpture is quite beautiful. I am am artist in Oak Harbor. I paint, draw, sculpt a little too.