Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving week

Thanksgiving was this week, but these Wild Turkeys at the studio weren't on anybody's table.

This is the progress, as seen from the front view, of my granite hand sculpture.

This is how the back side of the sculpture looked at the end of this week. You can see the clay model in the top left of the picture.

The price of progress. Six diamond blades have 'bit the dust' so far. Granite burns them up fairly fast.

The temperatures have turned cold. Meg snapped this shot of frost crystals from a freezing fog up at the studio this morning.

Work continued on the addition to the clay studio. After JBB, Inc. finished roughing in the plumbing and putting in the septic system, it was Roofmasters turn to show up. They poured the concrete floor and have begun framing up the walls.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Granite hand-shaped bench and new septic system

I've spent most of this week working on the granite sculpture entitled "The Gift". This is a scale plasticine clay model (covered in granite dust) of what I will be carving in granite.

Granite is so hard that it burns up diamond blades like crazy - which is real expensive. I've been using a technique of sawing parallel cuts to move stone efficiently, maximizing the amount of stone that can be removed per wear on diamond blades. By doing this, I was able to get close to the finished form in a relatively short time.

Then, I use the diamond blade to shave off layers of stone to slowly form the sculpture. After 2 weeks of work, you can already see the shape of the design beginning to emerge.

Thursday, work commenced on the new bathroom and kitchenette that we're adding to the back side of the clay studio. This is Mike Mitcham, who works for JBB, inc. of Hardinsburg.

By the end of a long day, he had the plumbing roughed in and finished digging the hole for the septic tank. He's scraping a sandstone ledge - that'll be as far as we can dig (without dynamite).

The next morning, they put in the lateral line. B.J. is using a wood jack to hold the line in place while Mike places the large gravel.

The inspector came out, and everything passed. While Mike's lunch warmed up on his truck dashboard heater, he asked, "Want to see a trick?"

"Do you think I can pick up that quarter with the backhoe?"

We'll have to catch this on video, and post it on youtube. (All photos copyright Meg White).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

one thousand years: out with the old, in with the new

I finished the Trappist Monk stone sculpture entitled "One Thousand Years". I power washed the piece and moved it into the sculpture garden.

This sculpture sort of 'evolved' as I carved it. It ended up different from my original design, sometimes you just have to 'go with the flow'. I like the piece; I think it has a charm and appeal all of its own.

I also found time to create this floral birdfeeder. It is carved from 4 pieces of Indiana Limestone. The 2 flower-shaped vessels are held in place by fiberglas pins. They can be removed for easy cleaning. The stem is fastened to the base with a threaded stainless-steel pin. It can be unfastened, making it easy to move. It measures 29"H x 18" x 15" and sells for $800.00.

I've begun work on a large granite sculpture of a hand. It's called "The Gift" and could function as a memorial, as well as a water feature or garden sculpture. It will be carved from a single piece of Georgia Granite measuring 44" long by 24" wide by 18" high.

The first task involved drilling and splitting off a piece of granite large enough for the design. (photo Meg White)

Then, I moved the piece of stone into the studio.

Casualties of war. I've hardly begun the new project, and broken tools are already piling up. A hammer (made in China) and a carbide tipped drill bit have 'bit the dust'.

Tuesday morning, we noticed new aluminum power line had been rolled out along the 1/2 mile road leading back to our studio. (photo Meg White)

They had finished installing the new line by lunchtime. This new line is replacing copper wires (circa 1945) that used to supply our power. It's all good! (all photos copyright Meg White)