Sunday, April 25, 2010


Besides making the trip to Roanoke, I've been working on a new functional (seating) sculpture called "Promise.

I designed this sculpture to fit into the half-circle shaped scrap that was cut from the Roanoke bench "Caring". (see posting below).

I removed large amounts of material with a 10" diamond blade. Then, I roughed in the shapes with a 4" diamond blade. First one side, then the other.

This was the progress on side A, before my trip to Virginia.

This was the progress on the other side at the end of last week.

This is how that side looks at the end of this week.

...and the other side...

Up at the studio, the locusts are blossoming, and everything is greening up.

Meg moves snakes out of the road, so that they won't get run over. But, this Racer had a serious attitude problem.

No good deed goes unpunished.

I had success making homemade Sassafras soda. I bought powdered sassafras root bark, sugar and live yeast from the local Mennonite store (Kountry Korner 270-547-2021). I brought the sassafras powder and sugar up to a boil, and then let it cool to room temperature. 1 tablespoon of sassafras and 1 cup sugar per 2 liter bottle. I added 1/8 teaspoon live yeast per 2 liter bottle, started in warm water (baby bottle temperature) for 5 minutes. I bottled it into 2 liter bottles for 7 days at room temperature (no direct sunlight) and 1 day in the frigerator. The yeast creates natural carbonation (Don't serve over ice). IT'S GREAT!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Roanoke Benches Installed

After months of delay because of bad weather, the Roanoke Benches were successfully installed in Highland Park on Monday April 19. Susan Jennings, the Arts and Culture Coordinator for the City of Roanoke, took the photos for most of this posting.

Sunday, I made the 10 hour drive with the sculptures, from the studio in Stephensport, Kentucky to the home of Frank and Primrose Eastburn in Roanoke. The Eastburn's graciously invited me to stay at their home, as we had a mutual friend in the late Don Lanham, a stone sculptor from Louisville. As fate would have it, the installation was scheduled on Don's birthday.

Frank rode over to the park with me, and helped me get set up for the installation. Holes were drilled into the pre-installed concrete footers for the stainless steel sculpture pins.

The City donated the use of their crane, which was operated by Robert. Wayne (in yellow), another City employee, was immensely helpful during the process. We set the bases first.

We rigged up the 3,000 lb. "Strength", so that it could be lifted by the crane.

It went right into place - no problem.

"Caring" in the air (and truck in the air).

The epoxy is mixed...

...and the sculpture set in place.

This is "Strength" in its new home.

The installation is complete with "Caring". I'm very pleased to have these pieces become part of the permanent public art collection of the City of Roanoke!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

St. Theresa bases and 2 heads (better than 1)

I spent the last 2 weeks working on the stone sculpture bases for 2 antique Italian marble sculptures that will be replaced in St. Theresa Catholic Church's cemetery.

I laid out the recurve pattern onto the block with a compass, square and china marker.

I beveled the bottoms before standing them upright.

I used the 10" diamond blade to make cuts for taking off the main area of waste stone.

I used a diamond wheel on a 4" grinder to shape the recurved shoulders - first one side, then the other. The final forming was done with a sander using 36 grit paper.

The entire surface was polished using a sanding schedule of 36, 80, 120, 220 and finally 400 grit - 5 separate passes. Then, I repeated the process for the 2nd base.

I finished this week out with 2 head studies. They were designed to lay in a garden looking up at the sky, but they can be stood upright, and could be pinned and mortared into an architectural facade. They are featured on my new blog

This sculpture is entitled "Watcher of the Sky", measures 28" long x 9" wide x 8" thick and weighs approx. 50 lbs. It sells for $250.00, which includes packing by a UPS store, UPS ground and insurance.

This sculpture is entitled "Minerva", and it shows her in a helmet with the stylized beak and eyes of a bird of prey. It is carved from IN Limestone, measures 16" high x 10" wide x 8" thick and weighs approx. 25 lbs. It sells for $250.00, which includes packing by a UPS store, UPS ground and insurance.

The mysterious rock stackings of the Breckinridge Co. Blair Witch.