Sunday, September 27, 2009

Roanoke, Virginia Commission

I began work on the 2 functional sculptures that will be installed in Roanoke's Highland Park.

I drew the design onto the 4,000 lb. block of Indiana Limestone with a china marker. I transferred the design by gridding a scale drawing.

I lifted the block onto the cart-and-rail system, so that it could be moved into the studio.

I cut the bottom flat with a diamond saw. I constantly checked my progress with a straight edge and level.

I cut off the extra stone around the outline of the design with the diamond saw.

The preformed sculpture was moved inside and stood up, using the gantry crane. I have begun to form some of the intertwining shapes using a smaller diamond saw.
This was the progress by the end of the week. You can see some of the basic shapes emerging from the block.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1984 Centre College

I just got these images from Tom Mitts. These were taken over 25 years ago. Most were taken at his senior art exhibit, the rest were taken at the apartment on 2nd street that we used to share. He scanned them from old 35mm negatives. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have.

From left to right: Kris Scheeler, Tom's uncle Dick Usleaman, Tom Pisano, Angela Reynolds and Topie (Utopia)Conger.

Robin and me.

Sarah Appel.

J.P. (John Pierce) and his wife, Shannon.

Cait McClannahan (she is on crutches because of a sprained ankle during an episode of the "ass biting" game that was in vogue. Rough housing always leads to tears).

Bush Beans, Paul Breslin and Tom Mitts.

"Say Cheese!" Hell Fire (Tom's dog) and Steve Kottkamp.

Tom and Topie.

...and I included this one for the title that Tom gave it: "Little Tommy before it went all so wrong". Check out Tom's artwork at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vine Bench and Miss Jessel installed

This week we delivered and installed 2 more pieces that had sold in the Yew Dell Gardens Outdoor Sculpture Show.

We rented a flatbed truck from Penske to deliver the pieces. Every Penske truck comes with a liftgate, and that's what we used to unload the pieces.

I leveled the ground where the legs would set.

This young guy was in the right place, at the right time. It made it much easier to position the top piece with his help.

The Vine Bench has a new home in the Merhoff's beautiful and shady yard.

After the installation, the Merhoff's took Meg and I over to the Duncan Memorial Chapel. The exterior is made with natural Kentucky stone, gothic arches and trim in cut Indiana Limestone and a slate roof.

The interior is a real treat - White oak beams and cut stone. It has a real nice feel to the space.

This view shows the green slate floors and the oak pews. This intimate chapel hosts over 350 weddings each year.

Next, we delivered Meg's sculpture 'Miss Jessel' to Sissy Nash. No single image can capture the extensive gardens that she has created.

The sculpture had to be moved thru this long grass tunnel. (too cool!)

Remember, nothing is easy...especially if it weighs several hundred pounds.

'Miss Jessel' really looks good in the site that was chosen for her.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Sound of One Hand ....

The main event for this week was the installation of my functional hand sculpture.

Bramer Crane Company sent a 60 ton crane to Cindy Cunningham's house on Friday, around noon.

I delivered the sculpture on a rented flatbed from Penske. After the crane got into position, I backed in.

Caren Cunningham's sculpture looked over to where the crane was setting up. Caren, Cindy's sister, is head of the art department at Bellarmine College.

There was a brief huddle so that everyone knew the game plan. David, on the crane, is the operator. Phil will relay the signals to David, who will not be able to see where the sculpture will sit. This is a tricky installation, and it had me worried.

The sculpture is rigged and ready to go.


The operator smoothly moved the 3,500 lb. sculpture over Cindy's House.

Phil signals to Dave where to move the load, avoiding tree branches and a phone line.

"a little bit to the right..." (stage right)

Cindy has a new sculpture in her courtyard. (But the slings don't come with it).

My sculpture shares the courtyard with another of Caren's stone sculptures and this bronze and steel sculpture by Brad White.