Sunday, April 22, 2012

OPEN HOUSE in September

The biggest news for this week is that we have begun to spread the word about an Open House (actually, an open Studio) on the 2nd and 3rd weekends in September. We will post more specifics as plans firm up. We are also featuring the outdoor sculptures of other artists that we know. We will post a list of participating artists as we get committments. Please feel free to contact us, if you would like an invitation and directions to the studio. Also, any artists that have outdoor sculpture and would like to participate (it's free and we don't take a commission), please contact either Meg or myself. We encourage any artistic approach - traditional or contemporary. Artists handle their own sales and delivery. Meg will be demonstrating stone carving. It should be a great event.
I started a new sculpture, which is a variation on a theme of the Harmony Sculpture series. I don't have a title for the new piece, but it deals with the issue of balance between Civilization and Nature. This is the stone, after I cut the bottom flat and stood it upright.
In this photo, you can see the first forms emerging from the stone.
I have started to find more forms, as I work from the top downward.
I started forming the main portion of the sculpture by using an forked Italian pneumatic chisel.
This is the other side of the piece.

 I'm afraid that I don't have any extracurricular pictures to show this week - all work and no play. I hope to remedy that soon, as the weather is getting better - and it's Spring.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alabama Marble Leaf & Friday the 13th

I didn't get a lot of studio work done this week because I had to fill out 3 different public art opportunity applications.

But, I now have this piece to show. It is carved from some stone that I bought in Slyacauga, Alabama.

It is Alabama White Marble, 15" long by 8" wide by 4" high and weighs approximately 10 lbs.

It is for sale at $340.00, which includes free shipping within the 48 contiguous states.

...and speaking about Alabama Marble, here is Meg's sculpture that she has almost finished. But, that is not why I showed this picture. I have a design for the 11 foot long, 10,000 lb. piece of Indiana Limestone beneath it. I hope that I will be able to get it started soon.
Here is a picture that I took this week. It illustrates what I hate about diamond blades. When they fail, they will send off a piece of shrapnel - not cool, not cool at all.

Chris Mozier (in the red plaid shirt) had an opening at Pyro Gallery on Friday the 13th. I hope that it was lucky for him. His work is progressing at a rapid rate of ascension. We had a chance to talk to Mary Dennis Kannapel who had attended the Public Art Symposium at U of L earlier that day. We also had a chance to talk with Matt Weir and his girlfriend (far right). Matt recently sold a piece to 21C Museum and is on the brink of a very major commission. Without a doubt, I was very happy that we made the trip up to Louisville.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Revelation and The Tree of Life

It's been an incredible spring week in Kentucky. The locusts are now in full bloom which fills the air with a great fragrance. It has been so warm that we are already seeing fireflies and hearing Whippoorwills at night.

I've been frantically trying to finish this sculpture before Easter.

It is called "Revelation" and it is Indiana Limestone, 54" high by 40" wide and 24" deep. It has 4 different textures: polished, fork chisel, bush texture and natural rock pitch on the base.

I've recently received pictures of the Tree of Life commission that is being made at Art Castings of Colorado. This photo shows Rosalee and Mike pouring the wax into the molds. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

This photo shows the wax being chased by Paula. "Chased" means that the wax pattern gets cleaned up after they are pulled out of the mold. A good wax pattern will give you a good bronze casting. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

Then, the waxes get their sprues by Wendy. Sprues are wax pieces that become hollow after the wax is melted out of the refractory shell when it is hardened in the kiln. The sprues let the molten bronze flow to the sculpture forms. Some of the sprues act as "Gates" that let out trapped air and gases when the metal is poured into the hollow refractory shell. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

The sprued wax gets dipped into a refractory slurry. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

Jon and Jesse sprinkle silica over the fresh slurry. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

This is the sprued wax with a fresh layer of ceramic shell. When the ceramic shell is fired in the burn out kiln, it will withstand the temperatures of molten bronze that gets poured into it. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

...and speaking of trees... Here's a picture of a Free Tree (and by that, I don't mean free range). Someone has been mysteriously leaving things out at our front gate. First, some lawn ornaments and now a fruit tree. Strange, but cool.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bench Installation

The main event this week was the installation of my functional sculpture that I made this January and February (see archives for those 5 posts).

Early on Friday morning, Derrick Sheroan showed up at the studio with the 23 ton crane from JBB, inc. Meg's sculpture "Lilly" is watching the truck back into position.

Derrick set up the crane, I rigged the sculpture and we loaded it onto the back of the truck.

We made the 60 mile trip to the site. The weather was perfect and the Dogwoods were in full bloom. It was a great day for an installation.

Derrick got the truck into position and set up for the lift.

Meg is always on the look out for new photographic perspectives. Which reminds me, the sculpture is titled "Reflection".

John Naville, one of my main contacts for the project, is standing where the bench needs to go. It's a long reach, and it is everything that the crane can do, to get the piece over that distance.

Derrick floated the bench over into position and we set it into place - no problem.

This is "Reflection" in its new home.

Here is another view.

This antique stone gear was found on the property and used as a fountain element. I've never seen anything like this, and my preliminary google search didn't find anything like it either.

This was a fairly straight forward installation without any complications. However, all installations are stressful, and Meg and I will inevitiably head for water after one, to decompress. Meg chose the Falls of the Ohio, which was partially flooded. Even from 1/4 mile away, the power of the water churning through the flood gates was tremendous.

A view of the old stone and iron railroad bridge that goes over the falls.

The Falls are created by a stone ledge that is full of fossils. Fossil collecting is now prohibited. But, I saw a piece of this stone that had been collected years ago and polished. The matrix stone is shiny chocolate brown and the fossils shine up a milky white.