Monday, January 31, 2011

Rocks for Bob Lockhart and friends

Earlier this month, we had a visit from Bob Lockhart, who used to head the art department at Bellarmine College. He wanted a large stone to carve for this year's Yew Dell Outdoor Sculpture show. He brought out Chris Mozier, one of his students, who wanted a large piece of stone, as well. Chris came out to the studio this Saturday to drill and split a 7,000 lb. piece into 3 parts - one for him, one for Bob, and one piece for Mike McCarthy.

Chris drilled the 2 series of holes where he wanted to split the larger piece.

This was one of the first warm days of the year, and I'd been making the dust fly. (That would account for the 'Geisha look').

He set the rest of the wedges, hammered them to bring up the pressure and...

...split the stone into 3 pieces.

The next day he came back with Mike McCarthy (on the left), who brought his truck. It would have been simple to load up the stones, if my own crane truck would run - but I couldn't get it to start. A neighbor, Mike Hutchison, helped me out by bringing over his tractor. His son, Tristan, is guiding Mike to set his forks.

Many hands make light work.

The tractor couldn't load the 3,000 lb. piece into the truck, but it could move it under my gantry crane. Where there's a will, there's a way.

That's Mike McCarthy setting the rigging under the stone. Check out his art and fine furniture on his website

Up, up and....

...away. A 3,000 lb. piece of stone is on its way to Bob Lockhart's studio.

I'd been stuck inside a lot, doing computer work. It was good to get out and walk. Meg and I took a short hike to Big Cave Hollow in the Yellowbank Wildlife Management Area.

Confusing Turkey tracks. Is he coming or going? (all photos copyright Meg White).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ridiculously Cold!

... or, at least, that's the way that the Louisville-based WAVE-TV weather team called it. Temperatures have been a lot colder than forecasts called - starting the last 2 days at zero degrees.

Snow Trek, to boldly go..the 1/2 mile back to the studio because the snow is too deep for the car. (photo Meg White)

I worked on clay projects in the warmer clay studio, while Meg toughed out the sub-freezing temperatures in the stone studio, to finish up her Grizzly Bear sculpture. I made this stylized design of the Virgin Mary to be carved from a block of Alabama white marble that measures 40" high by 20" wide by 12" thick.

I also made a design for a limestone block that measures 72" high by 36" wide by 24" thick.

This design is tentatively titled "Against the Wind", and symbolizes the difficulty of succeeding in today's business climate.

A weird design in ice. (photo Meg White)

Some local Buffalo in the snow. (photo Meg White)

...and where there are Buffalos, there are Wolves. An Alpha and Omega face off. (photo Meg White)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Monte Cassino Winery

The highlight of this week was a visit to scope out the future site for my stone monk....but first, pictures of what I've made since the last posting.

There hasn't been a lot of days lately that have been above freezing. But, I managed to make this Limestone fountain "wrapped" bubbler. It measures approx. 12"H x 15"W x 8"D. It has a polished wrap, and a stippled bush texture on the inner seed form. It is priced at $350.00

I also finished this "Twisted" bubbler in Indiana Limestone. It measures approx. 22"H x 12"W x 5"D and will sell for $400.00.

During days when the temperatures are below freezing, I have been working in the clay studio. I made some improvements on the clay model of two lovers. They will be carved life-size from a block of Indiana Limestone.
This is the back view of the model. The base portion will have a spiralling pattern of chisel texture that fades into the smoothly polished figures.

This is a clay model for a design called "Testing the Water". I made a maquette-sized stone sculpture that was similar to this in 2007. I gave that piece away as a wedding gift. I'm trying to make improvements on that design, and carve it as a life-size version approximately 67"H x 30"W x 24"D.

Sunday, I drove to Covington, Kentucky to check out the site for my stone monk. The first thing that caught my attention was this stone cairn. It was constructed from small pieces of marble by Mark Schmidt, who is the property owner.

This is a picture of the original building that was a Benedictine Monastery and Winery from approximately 1863 through 1917. This was the first winery in the region, beginning its operation in the 1700's under private ownership before the monks bought it.

This is one of the bottles that came from this winery.

When Mark cleared off the overgrown vine terraces, he discovered a couple of large dry laid stone walls. On top of the wall is a table and chairs where he goes to enjoy the view...

...and what a view! This picture doesn't do it justice. This will be the first year that these new vines will be harvested. Let's hope 2011 is a good year.