Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Progress on "Ecliptic"

This week's theme was Astronomy. I watched the meteor showers on Thursday night. I saw about a dozen around 8 p.m. - half of those were pretty impressive. I went out at 1:11 a.m. into the breezy 28 degree temperatures to watch the peak of the Geminid shower. I only saw 50 by 2:45 a.m. when the cold wind finally drove me back inside. A few years ago, I saw over 100 in an hour for the same event.
When it wasn't raining, I resumed work on the monumental stone sculpture "Ecliptic".
Normally, I use the diamond wheels to form a sculpture. But, I started using the air hammer on this piece for the shear enjoyment of carving. This is the way that I used to carve, early in my career.
This is the progress on the other side. I need to stand this piece up so that I can get to this side and the one that is currently on the bottom.
The top portion of this picture shows the raw block on the morning of Friday November 30, before work started on the 7,500 lb. stone. The lower portion shows how it looked at the end of the day on Friday December 14 - exactly 2 weeks later.
...the girls...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Ecliptic" monumental stone sculpture

I've been making functional garden art pieces for the last 2 months. I felt that it was time to try something a little more ambitious.
I had started this large granite hand about 2 years ago. I dusted it off, put it up on the work table and went at it hard all Monday. After working all day, I stepped back and asked myself "What did you do?". Granite is so hard that progress is painfully slow. I decided to put this sculpture back aside, because I was in the mood to make some serious progress on a large project.
So, I turned my attention to this unassuming stone block outside the studio door. Don't let it fool you - it weighs at least 7,500 lbs. and measures 72" x 39" x 34".
I dug this drawing out of the archives. This is something that I came up earlier this year. It is a combination between two designs that I really liked: The "World Flower" and "Harmony". It's also a heavily influenced 'spin-off' from the "Tree of Life" project.
I tried to create a scale clay model based on the drawing. One thing led to another...and this came out at the end of the day.
The next day, I refined it and came up with this. It's title "Ecliptic" and is certainly inspired by all of the planet watching that I've been doing this year.
The first thing that I did was to make a plywood template for the 32" sphere at the top of the design. I will also have to make templates for the smaller spheres later.
I carefully started to lay out the design onto the stone block. I used a 4" grinder with a diamond blade to incise the lines made with a wax china marker.
This is the progress at the end of this week. It is wet from a pop-up shower that knocked me out of working on it today. Usually, I won't work on Sundays, but it's so exciting and fun to start a new project that I don't think of it as work.