Thursday, February 25, 2016

Texas Bench Installation

Monday, February 22 was the date set for the installation of my "Family Tree" bench in The Woodlands, Texas.  All of these pictures (except the last 2) were taken by Michelle Betcher who is the Project Manager for The Woodlands Township.
 I made the 900 mile trip down in 2 days with this flat bed truck from Thrifty Rental.  I'd loaded the 4,000 lb. sculpture the previous week with a 23 ton crane from JBB, Inc. and Dereck Sheroan as the operator.
 On the left is John Powers who is the Assistant General Manager for The Woodlands Township.  He made all the arrangements for the site preparation and scheduled the crane.  I love the name of this crane company:  Heave Ho Crane Co.
 This is a great photo by Michelle.  We're rigging up the sculpture for the lift.
 The operator, Mike Rasberry, was excellent to work with.  He was "spot-on" for the entire lift.  I totally recommend these folks for the Houston area!
 On the left is Brandon who was with me for the entire setting.  It's great to work with experienced people; it takes some of the stress off me.
 There was a lot of help from other City employees.  They anticipated my needs before I could even ask for help.  That just makes things go that much smoother.
 Will it hold me up?  You bet!  Installations are stressful and even after 33 years it never seems to get easier.  However, my experience with the people in The Woodlands was exemplary.  I wish that all installations would go this way.
 Burning Down the House?  I noticed this on the way down.
This close-up shows that it has lights as part of this ...public art?

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Small Stuff

With the Texas commission finished, I turned my efforts toward some small pieces - a way of "clearing my palate" before heading into the next large project, I guess.
 I started easy with this "Stairway to the Stars" bookend.  When I was making it, I was thinking about it being a monumental piece that someone could walk up.  I may do something like that - you never know...It's Indiana Limestone and measures 7" high by 8" wide by 4" thick and retails for $95.
 ...and speaking of stars...I did this "Shooting Star" vessel in a piece of Brazilian Marble.  It measures 20" long by 7" wide by 3-1/2" high and retails for $340.
 Then, I made a "Windswept Vase" in Indiana Limestone that will retail for $280.
 This is the view from the other side...  It measures 7" high by 7" deep by 16" wide.
 ...and the top view showing the complex interior.
 It's snowing again today...and freezing temperatures are here to stay for a few days yet (and more snow to come).
A crowd of Cardinals took over the feed table today.  I count 30, but there may be more as the females are hard to see.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Texas Bench Finished

It's been a while since I've posted....
 I've finally finished the bench for The Woodlands, Texas.  This is the view from one side...
 ...and this is the view from the other.
 My original proposal called for leaves to be polished, like the leaves in "Crucible" which will be installed at the University of Indianapolis later this year...
 ...or like the leaves on "Release" in Fort Nugent Park of Oak Harbor, Washington.
 This is a detail that shows how I finished these leaves.  I used a chisel texture to give more "life" to the piece.  I came upon this solution serendipitously as I carved the piece.  I think it's a HUGE improvement to what I originally envisioned.
 I had put in a lot of work during November and December because I knew that snow and freezing temperatures were inevitable.  We got several inches of snow between January 10 and January 25...and they're calling for more snow next week.
 A group of Grackles took over the feed table during the snow days...
...and the cat was stuck inside with me.