Sunday, April 26, 2009

showing Mercy

Tuesday, we showed the studio and sculpture garden to 5 senior art students from Mercy Academy in Louisville.
Jennifer Pollard, their instructor, explained how the students had to produce 40 individual works of art during their independent study. I found that fact impressive, as producing work is the key to finding your individual 'voice'.
According to Meg (far right) , no visit is complete without climbing to the top of the caboose and looking around. I made a base for "Exodus", finished the piece and set it outside. This is the other side, with "Embrace" in the background.

I used the crane truck to get the block for a new project called "Uphold". I used the drill (foreground) to drill a series of holes. I put in 'feathers and wedges' and split the block lengthwise, to get the size that I needed.
The right half of the split block was laid down and then moved into the studio. This 1,500 lb. preform then had the design drawn onto it. It's exciting to start a new project.
Meg took this close-up of a Trillium when we were at Holt Bottom on Wednesday evening. She has other images on her blog.
Kentucky Cobra? Not hardly. Meg snapped this shot of a Hog Nosed Snake flaring its hood.
In the cliffs behind the house, Cliff Swallows take up residency in small caves. Photo Meg White.
In the swamp below the house, a crawdad dug a home. (free style adobe). Photo Meg White.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

artistic side trip

Work continued on my functional sculpture 'Exodus' for most of the week.

The main focus of my effort was carving the intertwining forms inside the center of the sculpture.
The forms were further refined and the edge of the bench was shaped.
The inside forms were roughed-in on the other side, as well. I have to use the air hammer to make these shapes. I'd been working hard in the stone studio for the last few weeks; it's only natural that I would take some time away from stone for a couple days.
So, this is where I took an 'artistic side trip'. I spent the last 2 days of the week on creating a design for a block of Alabama white marble that I have. The trapezoidal outline is the shape of the marble block, with the design drawn to scale.
I wanted to make a 1/4 scale model in clay. Meg showed me how to make a scale printout (on the right side of the table), which helped me to lay up the clay fast.
Jon kept me company during the process.
I thought that the model came out well. However, it is too involved of a project to have ready for the Yew Dell Outdoor Sculpture Show which opens on May 29. Therefore, this truly was a side trip, as it will have to be set aside until the time is right.
I usually like to do a little exploring this time of year, but it's been a cold and wet spring. Meg talked me into going down to Holt Bottom with her last Sunday evening.
Meg took this picture of Bluebells (?) that were blooming next to the creek.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Something old, something new...

In terms of something new... continued all week on my functional sculpture "Exodus". I cut the extra stone off the top to make the bench surface.
The next step is the removal of the extra stone along the sides, where I will carve in the intertwining forms. I have ground the surface smooth, to make it easier to draw the design onto the stone.
I roughed in the profile along the end of the sculpture.
The process was repeated on the other side. The outer form was refined, including the shaping of the edges.
The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife bought up 1,000 acres in Holt Bottom (not far from here). We will show more pictures in a later posting. Shifting the flavor of this post to something old...this abandoned house stands on that property. Whenever I see an old house like this, I can't help but think about a time when the new owners were so excited to move into their brand new house. They raised their family, the house knew good times and bad...and now its time has come and gone.
The house's job is not completely finished yet. It's the home for these bees (and who knows what else).
This is a portion of the old highway 259. The horses and wagons no longer travel this path (for now). It's amazing how fast nature takes back over. You have to ask yourself, "Will what I'm doing today, leave an impression 100 years from now?"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hand Finished

I finished the Hand Seat and moved it out of the studio.
This picture doesn't do this piece justice - I'll work on getting better images. I'm very happy with the way this sculpture came out. It will be shown in the Yew Dell Outdoor Sculpture Show opening on May 29.
I began a new project that will also go to the Yew Dell show. It is entitled "Exodus" and the raw block weighed in at over 2,500 lbs. It measures 5'-6"L x 2'-4"H x 1'-5"D.
The first task was to draw the design onto the block. Then I inscribed the lines with a small diamond saw. There's an extra piece on the end that is being cut off. I have cut all the way around with a big diamond saw. Then, I drilled 3 holes in the top for the 'feathers and wedges'.
The extra piece was broken off by gently beating on the wedges, and slowly building up pressure. The scrap will become a small sculpture one day soon.
The wildflowers are trying to do their thing, but it keeps raining. Photo by Meg White.
Wildflower with frost. Photo by Meg White.
Saturday, Meg and I attended a workshop, sponsored by the Louisville Clay Society, and hosted in the University of Louisville's ceramics lab. Beth Cavener Stichter demonstrated her technique for creating large clay pieces. It was a fantastic experience!