Sunday, December 8, 2013

SAIL !!!

Check out the video called "Grinding the Crack" on youtube.  It shows Jeb Corliss jumping from a very high cliff and sailing through a distant ravine wearing a wing suit.
 I was completely impressed - a modern day Icarus!  I made a thumbnail clay model for a sculptural vessel inspired by Jeb Corliss and base jumping in a wing suit. 
 I took the model outside to find a suitable stone.  I found an odd shaped piece, and made this quick sketch to see if I could modify the design to better fit the stone.
 I carted the stone into the studio, transferred the design onto it and...
 "SAIL!!!" 
 Here's a front view."  It's made from Indiana Limestone and measures 24" x 18" x 8".
 If nothing else, it works as a cat bed. (Which reminds me...watch youtube's "Kitty Corliss" after watching"Grinding the Crack").
 I delivered "Exposure" on Monday.  It has a beautiful new home near Brownsboro, Kentucky.  It is made from a particularly high quality piece of Indiana Limestone, measures 44" x 22" x 12" and weighs about 800 lbs!  Thank goodness that I had help from Tommy and Gabriel, 2 employees of the collector.  Without them, it would have been real tough for me.
 It's in excellent company - right next to this Barney Bright bronze.  Anyone who knows Barney would recognize this as a self portrait of him as a Centaur.  I was apprenticed to Barney in 1986 - another lifetime ago.
 The best money that I've spent all year was on this new wood stove in the studio.  I love it.  It also makes a great place to display my bronze "Sunrise" sculpture.
 Tie-Dye chimney, too (go figure).
Just in time before the first snow fall on Friday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shakertown in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 6th, Brian Rust (a sculptor and fellow finalist from Augusta, GA) and I had some time to kill before our meeting at 1 p.m. in Lexington.  We decided to visit Shakertown which is about a 40 minute drive south of Lexington
Main Street...
 ... and turning around...the view in the other direction.  It was a beautiful fall day and we had the place to ourselves.
 This is the largest building in the community.  It is made from hand-chiseled blocks of Kentucky River Marble.  The stone is 'flinty' hard and the corners of the building are still sharp after 150 years.
 The interior has that incredibly elegant simplicity; the hallmark of the Shaker aesthetic.
 They were also innovative craftsmen - way ahead of their time.  This efficient stove is an example of their beautiful solutions for meeting basic needs.
 Of course, my eye goes toward stone things.  This catch basin is carved from KY River Marble (and I would be hard pressed to duplicate it, especially if I had to use the tools that they had).
 On the back streets of Shakertown.
 This is a view inside the Meeting House (where all the spinning and shaking took place).  The girls came in through a separate door and sat on that side.  The boys came through their door and sat on this side....and well...this separation of the sexes isn't good for long term survival of a community.
 Brian and I made a couple stops down by the Kentucky River.  What follows is an amended description that was given to me by Walter Laughlin (Kentucky Covered Bridge Author / Historian) from a comment that he posted below. "This is Kentucky's first highway tunnel, built in the 1920's to remove a severe curve in the road".  It used to lead to an old iron truss bridge that was built in 1869.  The only thing left of the old bridge are the hewn stone abutments.  Thank you Walter Laughlin for correcting my first post - I remembered seeing a black and white picture of a covered bridge and thought that it was this site.
This is a view of the "Palisades" that line both sides of the Kentucky River (a great area to explore).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lexington Site Inspection with LexArts

Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday November 6 were the 2 days scheduled for the Eco-Art finalists to visit Lexington and look at potential sites.  After a brief meeting with Jim Clark (President and CEO of LexArts), Nathan Zamarron (Community Arts Manager for LexArts) took myself and Brian Rust (a sculptor from Augusta, GA) on a tour of prospective sites.
 Our first stop was McConnell Springs, which is a hidden jewel on the west side of town.  This is a stainless steel sculpture by local artist Erika Strecker.
 Not far away was a second site by this bridge.  This is a temporary sculpture by an artist who just graduated from the nearby University of Kentucky.
 Beside the bridge is a warehouse that hosts local bands.  This mural is a marker for the Distillery District.
 Directly behind the artwork that features a steam locomotive and across Town Branch Creek is the locally owned R.J. Corman Railroad.  Nathan explained that they may soon open passenger traffic with Louisville - I love it!  One of the things that also came out (when I mentioned that we have a railroad caboose) was Nathan's 5 year involvement with the Art Train.  He said that he saw most of the country while riding in a caboose.
 We stopped at Ashland, which is the historic home of Henry Clay.
 Tucked away behind a bordering hedge is this beautiful formal garden.
 We went to Jacobsen Park on the East side of town and then to Clay's Ferry.  This is the I-75 bridge as it goes over the Kentucky River.  It's interesting to note how the 3 major concrete pylons are distinctly different sculptural forms.  (Art is where you find it.)
Our last stop was Raven Run's new visitors center.  We got there about 15 minutes before closing, so we didn't see much of the park.  I plan to make a day trip out to explore the place thoroughly as I was told that it is a real picturesque part of the Palisades of the Kentucky River.

The day ended with a reception at the Mayor's house where we got to see an amazing art collection and meet some artists from Brazil who are creating a 60' high by 50' mural downtown.  We were treated to a dinner, a night's stay at Gratz Park Inn and breakfast the next morning.

I was able to experience a side of Lexington that I'd not seen before and was quite happy for the tour and the hospitality.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Finalist for a Lexington Public Art Opportunity

I haven't posted in a while because we have been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY !!! The most important news is that I have been chosen as 1 of 5 finalists to be paid $2,000.00 to develop a site-specific proposal for Lexington's Eco Art Program.  There were 118 applicants to the open national call that were screened to a 'short list' of 16 before selecting the 5 finalist.  I'll post more as information becomes available.
 Last Wednesday, we had a 23 ton crane come from JBB, Inc. of Hardinsburg to roll over the leg for Meg's Discovery commission.
 We also moved the dome from over the 2 arms - getting ready for the load out.
 While the crane was here, we had Dereck stand up a quarry block for me. 
 Out standing in her field - one of my stone sculptures watches as we set a 6,000 lb. cubic meter of Spanish Dendritic Marble.
 I'm creating an installation from several stone components.
 The blue granite hand will get a square limestone base under it.  Meg suggested that I put a small tree rising from the palm - I think that's a great idea!
 The next day, we took the afternoon off and drove to Bernheim Arboretum.  We wanted to see the finished installation of Matt Weir's "Earth Measure"  The large square element with the circular opening is 14' x 14' x 2-1/2'!
The Indiana Limestone is very "Touchable".  Matt has employed his usual 5 star craftsmanship.  This triangular form employs the 'whispering dish' technology of focusing sound in the parabolas.
This is another view...great job, Matt.
Meanwhile, back at the studio...Calico Cat meets Pole Cat. (all photos copyright 2013 Meg White)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ecliptic Sculpture Takes Shape

The summer is coming to a close...
 ...and work on my 6' tall "Ecliptic" stone sculpture is proceeding.  This is a side-by-side comparison of the last progress shot (August 11) and how it looks today (September 8).
 This is an alternate view.  This sculpture has opened dialog and awareness about our solar system among those who have watched this sculpture take shape.  Even my own mother pointed out Saturn which was in the night sky last Friday.
 Here is another view with "Crucible" in the background.
 "How much is that Mushroom in the window?"  I sold and delivered 5 stone sculptures to The Garden Place which is located at 110 Fairmeade Road in Louisville.  It is 1 block east of Shelbyville Road - easy to find.
 I'm catching my breath after unloading the other 4 sculptures (the Leaf is behind me).  Tim Boden is the owner of the store; if you're interested in any of these 5 sculptures, then he's the one who you want to talk to.  He also has several other stone pieces for the landscape - I actually ended up taking one of his antique stone vessel home with me.  The prices were very reasonable.
 She's so...heavy!  We went to Yew Dell on Friday and retrieved some of our sculptures that were in the 6th Annual Sculpture Show.  Meg and I entered 3 sculptures each - and each sold 2 out of 3.
 This is a stone vessel in the shape of a Mourning Dove that I donated to Yew Dell...
 ...and this is a close-up of the sign.
 It hasn't been all work.  We went to a neighborhood party where they served up the best fried catfish that I've ever had - it tasted like fresh Cod!  (The secret: soak the Catfish in salt and Baking Soda).
A pile of hemp fibers makes a great hiding place.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lawrence County Gem and Mineral Show

The weather has continued to be unseasonably cool, and our work has proceeded at a brisk pace.
 This is a side-by-side comparison of the change in 2 weeks with my 6' high 7,500 lb. stone sculpture "Ecliptic".
 Meg and I took Friday off to go to the Gem and Mineral Show in Bedford, IN.  There are quite a few Amish in that region, so you have to drive carefully.  (Actually, we bought vegetables from an Amish fellow on the way home).
 The show had moved this year from Bloomington to the Lawrence County Fairgrounds.  It's now in an air-conditioned building - a vast improvement from my perspective.
 I bought several specimens for my collection, including these delicate blue needle crystals of Cyanotrichite (a copper mineral).
 Usually, I buy rocks that weigh several tons when I go to Bedford (at least I saved on crane fees).
 Our real find was Sue's Thai Kitchen, just south of the Salem, IN courthouse.
 Meg had green curry, but I tried something different: Larb.  It's heavily spiced beef over rice, including lots of fresh mint and cilantro plus sides of fresh cabbage, cucumber and broccoli.  The real secret is the stuff in the small jars.  The vinaigrette sauce adds incredible flavor, but be careful with her home-grown dried pepper blend (the heat just keeps on coming!)  Be sure to try the Thai Tea.
 After eating, we checked out the classic cars that had gathered around the courthouse.
 It gave us an excuse to get a close look at the ornately carved stone fa├žade of the courthouse.  From the courthouse steps, we had a good view of this complex war memorial.  The pyramid-shaped kiosk explained the symbolism in this installation.  (Now...someone explain the symbolism behind the pyramid-shaped sign...)
A "Walt Disney moment" looking out the dining room window: a possum, a rabbit, a mother raccoon and 2 of her babies, a doe and a yearling buck in velvet.