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.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Berea Bench Installation and Indian Fort Exploration

Friday, I was scheduled to deliver and install a bench that had been sold from the garden shop at Yew Dell Gardens to a couple who lived in Berea.
 The bench was chosen as a memorial for the wife's mother - to be sited in their private garden.  I was honored that they chose my work for this purpose.
 This is a top view of the bench that is titled "Pathways" and is carved from Indiana Limestone.  It has stippled textures on the 'pathways' which are in complement to the polished outer forms.
 After the installation, we went to the Indian Fort Amphitheatre which is the location of an annual art fair. (I was a participating artist in 1990 - seems like another life-time ago....)  A trail leads up from the Amphitheatre to "Indian Fort".  I'm sure that the Hopewell culture used the site (as the sign suggests), but that's only a small part of the story behind this place...I was drawn to this location because of a recent obsession with hilltop fortifications that have (or had) dry-laid stone walls.  Indians in this region didn't use dry-laid stone construction techniques.  So, who else lived up here?
 It's a beautiful wooded area to explore.  I love this image that Meg took of this Puffball nestled in Lichen and ferns.
 After a steep, uphill trek, you'll come to this breath-taking vista.
 You have to watch your step up there.
 We found that we could climb down one of those crevasses.  Meg took off her sandals, and trusted in her bare feet for the climb down.
 Some of the sandstone cliffs have these pure, white quartz pebbles imbedded throughout.
 There are also weird, eroded shapes to be found.
 It's easy to let your imagination run wild...
 We'd heard that there were "tunnels" as part of the fortification's features.  (we didn't find anything manmade, though)
 We eventually made our way around the base of the cliff to a big rock shelter that has a natural chimney in the ceiling.
There's lots to check out - I totally recommend a day trip to Indian Fort in Berea.  I know that I'll be back...

Return To The Ecliptic

Temperatures have taken an unexpected and pleasant turn from heat indexes of 103 and 106 to highs in the 70's and low 80's.  This is not typical for Kentucky in late July...but, I'm not complaining.
 This is the image that I last posted of the pre-form for the left arm of Meg's "Discovery" commission.
 She took it over and made GREAT progress during this cool weather.
 That pretty much "opened the door" for me to return to my own work.
 Earlier in the year, (when we had a crane out for Meg's commission) I'd stood up the block for my sculpture "Ecliptic".  I haven't worked on this piece since December.
 I went at it with a vengeance!
 This is an alternate view of the piece before I resumed work...
...and here you can see that I'm using a plywood template to create the largest sphere in the sculpture.  Temperatures are forecast to stay moderate and comfortable - we both plan to make the most of it!