Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kentucky Winter: Cold, Dark & Wet

The weather has been miserable for the last two weeks. It's been either sub-freezing or cold and raining. I'm through with the winter; but, it's not through with me.
Half of the time, I've been working on two proposals inside, where it's warm. But, I've also managed to make some progress on the River Boat Bench. I started forming the 'river currents' with a 4" grinder and a diamond blade.
Then, I carved some of the cubic shapes on the top of the bench.
I continued on around the sculpture, forming in the currents with a grinder.
I refined the currents with a die grinder that had a mounted stone point. Then, I began to texture the currents with an Italian-made forked chisel.
I continued around the front of the piece; refining forms as I went.
This is the current progress on side A...
...and the status of side B.
"Yum...Crunch block on a snowy day!" At first, the deer were afraid of the new treat; instinctively, they were unprepared for food to suddenly show up in the shape of a compressed cube. It didn't look like food...but, it smelled like food. If in doubt, follow your snout!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

River Boat Bench

This is my 200th blog posting...and the first one of the New Year.
My main project is a 7,500 lb. sculpture that I am carving outside. However, an opportunity came up, and I've shifted gears temporarily to create a functional sculpture in this 2,500 lb. piece of Indiana Limestone. (That's snow on top of the rock).
I made a series of scale drawings - to figure out what direction to take this project. I considered an agricultural approach first, but then settled on creating a bench in response to the river boat history of the city that is offering the opportunity.
I made a small (and crude) "thumbnail" model in plasticine, to make sure that the sketches would translate into 3D.
I finally got the crane truck to start and moved the stone inside. The first task was to cut the top flat.
I used the gantry crane to spin the piece around and moved it into the center of the 'breezeway' so that the dust would clear out faster, with the cross ventilation. I cut the rough Stylolite seam off the side of the block.
I could easily draw the "river currents" onto the side of the cut block.
I cut the other side flat using a 10" diamond wheel on a large Bosch grinder. (Dusty work)
Then, I drew the river currents on the other side.
Last weekend, I went to Newport, KY to the home of Tom Mitts, my college roommate. We were joined by John Kaiser, another school mate, who drove up from Danville. Tom is an incredible cook. When I first got there, he had 6 kinds of dips: homemade salsa, queso and tomatillos.
Then, 3 types of slow-cooked barbeque with a variety of home-made sauces.
Then, at 2:30 in the morning: crabcakes, lobstercakes, oystercakes, and several pounds of Alaskan Crab legs. You can do this kind of thing once in a while - life's short!
Catrina's Christmas.