Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stone Bench Commission

I have now begun work on a new commission. This has turned out to be a mild winter, so work should proceed without any problems.

The functional sculpture will be carved from this 5 foot long block of Indiana Limestone.

Derrick Sheroan from JBB inc. of Hardinsburg uses their 23 ton crane to lift the 5,000 lb. block onto our rail cart.

It had extra width, so I drilled a series of holes to split off the extra stone.

We place 'feathers and wedges into the 1" holes.

Then, we hammered them to apply tension and set a crack.

The stone that came off the block is usable, and will become other sculptures.

Next, we got out the "secret weapon"; a water-cooled hydraulic chain saw with a diamond chain. I used this to cut out the notch for the seat of the bench.

The preformed bench was then rolled into the studio, where it can be worked on, rain or shine. At this point, the weight is already down to about 1,500 lbs.

This is the clay model for the bench. It is on a stand next to the stone, so that it can be used as reference at a glance.

These are the tools that I use to lay out the design onto the preform. I have printed out a scale drawing. The model and drawing are on an 8:1 scale. There is a round proportion wheel that I use to scale up measurements. For example: if something on the model is 1-3/16 inch, then multplying by 8 isn't a problem. You set the wheel at 8:1 and find the small measurement on the inside wheel and it gives you the larger measurement on the outside wheel.

I use a 4" grinder with a diamond blade to incise the design onto the stone. I have also made parallel cuts where there is a lot of stone to come off.

I break off the parallel cuts with an air hammer. The project is on its way!

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