Sunday, July 27, 2008


This week I began the 'Wave Vessel' commission for Chuck and Sarah O'Koon.

I needed a piece of stone 3' x 3' x 1'-6" and my only option was to cut into this block that is 3' x 3' x 5'-6". I needed to slice this piece lengthwise anyway, to get the block for my upcoming project "Nexus".

So, I got out my 'secret weapon', the hydraulic power unit and the diamond chain saw.

This is a closer look at the diamond chain saw.

I was able to make cuts on both ends and across the top 18" deep, but that left a section in the middle that the saw couldn't reach. I placed metal wedges in the saw cut and gently beat on them with the hammer. By bringing the tension up slowly on all 6 wedges at the same time, it set a crack across the remaining stone.

I used a pry bar and larger wedges to push the two sections apart and lay over the half that I need for the wave vessel.

I used the calipers to score the circular lines that will be the vessel edges. I used the other straight edge to lay out the cut to remove the excess stone (which will become another sculpture one day).

Using the hydraulic chain saw, I cut off the extra piece and then cut off the corners.

At this point, I have a rough formed block that weighs approximately one ton.

I placed the block on a table in the shade of the north side of the studio.

I'm removing stone from the inside of the vessel by making parallel slices with the diamond blade and breaking them out with the hammer and masonry chisel.

I've removed waste stone across the entire top and to a depth of 3 inches.

I removed stone around the outside of the circular edge and some of the larger corners. I wanted to flip the piece and get the bottom finished before I got too far ahead with the inside.

This will be a hemisphere 3 feet in diameter and 1-1/2 feet high.

This is the progress by the end of the week.

Meg snapped this shot of our neighborhood as we took a bike ride Wednesday evening. You can see the Ohio River between the soy bean field and the trees over on the Indiana side.

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