Wednesday, February 24, 2010

quarrying Indiana Limestone

It's been so cold and snowy, that I haven't had much to share on this blog. I was asked about quarry blocks by a fellow sculptor, so I decided to post an illustration of the quarry process for getting blocks of Indiana Limestone. These pictures were taken by Meg White at Reed Quarry in Bloomington, Indiana.

This is the quarry. You can see that they cut out the stone in 10 foot ledges. The white box is a diamond belt saw that moves down the track. They have cut along the right hand edge and are now making other cuts, about every 50 to 60 feet. These are the end cuts for the 250 ton ledges that they quarry out.

They use the cranes to move the heavy sections of track.

This is a better view of the saw - you can see the 10 foot blade. It will now make a series of parallel cuts about 4 feet apart and 10 feet deep.

At the bottom of the ledge, workers have drilled series of holes, hammered in wedges and have broken loose the large stone ledge. Here, they are gathering up the wedges before they turn the ledge over.

A loader makes a bed of loose rubble, to cushion the ledge when it is turned over.

This quarry worker has secured 2 pieces of specialized rigging into the 'channel' cut.

They have secured 2 other sets to the quarry floor below the ledge.

They rig the crane cable thru the series of removable pulleys.

Now, when the crane pulls up, it will pull the ledge sideways because of the pulleys. They are using the "mechanical advantage" of the extra pulleys - making a 4 part line, which gives lots of extra power.



BOOM!!! A 250 ton ledge lays over onto its side. Now they can drill and split it up into sizes that they can handle.

These workers will fasten the "L" shaped metal pieces, called "dogs", to lift the blocks. They had already drilled "L" shaped holes in each end of the block.

This works like a set of tongs. As the crane lifts, it pulls the dogs inward, where they grip the block in their pre-drilled holes.

...and up it goes, to get cut into slabs, blocks or carved into sculpture.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cold, Snow & Ice

I've been working on a 6' tall, 3,000 lb. limestone sculpture called Nexus (when the temperatures are above freezing).

Not a lot of progress pictures to show, because it's been cold and snowing.

Our house...with one cat in the yard...

This is my 'design studio', where I spend cold winter days. I also spend a lot of time on the computer...(but don't we all).

The rest of the post will show photographs that Meg took. She got some great images during a freezing fog last weekend.

A Turkey take-off snow print.

Ice crystals.

More ice crystals.

Ice crystals that look like trees.

Ice crystals that look like butterflies.

Ice leaves.

...and the hint of a new season, soon to come.