Thursday, August 31, 2017

Magic Carpet Bench

Labor Day Weekend is here... not that it makes much difference around here...
I'm making progress on the latest project called "Magic Carpet Bench" from this 7,000 lb. piece of Indiana Limestone. 
  It'll have a flying carpet floating over a rainbow with the Sun underneath and billowing clouds on either side. 
 The view from the other side - a long way to go before it's finished... Here's a short video of 800 lbs. being trimmed off with the hydraulic chainsaw:
 While I had the saw out, I cut a 1,500 lb. piece out of another block of stone.  This will be the next project called "Truth"  or "Throne of Truth".  Here's a video of that process reduced to less than 5 minutes:
 Stone is a good place to catch some rays...
... or catch some Zzzz's....

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017 was the Solar Eclipse that went across the entire country.  Meg and I decided to watch it from the Gardens of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest, Illinois.
All photos Meg White.

 We would never had seen this natural arch except that we had to walk up into the park for about 1-1/2 miles.
 We would check the progress of the eclipse through our 2x glasses as we made the trek.
 You could see the progress of the eclipse in the shadows of the trees - it was cool!
 Garden of the Gods has lots of strange rock formations.
 We joined a group of people on top of a large outcropping....
 ...and settled in as it started to get dark.
For about 2 minutes, it became night.  Lots of people whooping and howling from all the rock formations scattered around the forested area.  It was one big party.
 Some folks hung out even after the main crowds had started to leave.
Large telescopes and cameras everywhere - someone had a big drone.  We topped the day off with a stop at my favorite Owensboro BBQ place for a gallon of Burgoo, 3 lbs. of Mutton and a hickory-smoked chicken.  A long day, but very memorable.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Moving Heavy Things on a Hot Day

July 21, 2017 I asked Dereck Sheroan from JBB Inc. of Hardinsburg, KY to bring their 23 ton crane out to move some heavy stones and sculptures.
 We started the morning with my sculpture "Ecliptic".
Meg caught 67 seconds of this on video and I posted it on Youtube
 It was loaded up onto the back of the crane truck and moved out into the sculpture garden.
 We set it on top of a cubic meter block of Spanish Dendritic Marble.  It was a PERFECT fit.  The cube complements the large sphere in the composition.  I'm real happy with this combination.
Here's 46 seconds of this...
 Next, we moved the 8' tall "Harmony" sculpture out into the sculpture garden.
 The main purpose for calling the crane out was to move a 4,000 lb. piece in order to finish my functional sculpture "Daydreamer".  I had made (what will be) the bottom flat so that it could be set upright while I had the crane.  Like a chess game, you have to think a couple moves ahead.
...and here's 29 seconds of this part...
 I had also drilled and split a 7,000 lb. piece from another 10,000 lb. block of Indiana Limestone.  This will be another functional Sculpture entitled "Magic Carpet Bench".  I moved it to an area that remains shaded by the building until about 1 p.m.
The last thing to do before lunch was to get an accurate weight for a functional sculpture entitled "Get Moving".  This is the back view.  When this picture was taken the heat index was 102 degrees.
Here's 80 seconds of this - (you can tell that I've had just about enough...)
After lunch, when we unloaded the 2 pieces of Meg's on the back of the truck, the heat index was 116 degrees - we called it a day at that point.  I saw a heat index of 121 degrees on the weather channel a couple hours later - but, by that time, I was sitting in front of an air conditioner.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Calm Before the Storm

I know that August will be hectic, so I'm enjoying the "Summer Routine" while it lasts. 
 This is the progress on my Daydreamer Bench - it's in the home stretch.  I've been starting work by 8:00 a.m. to beat the heat and work on the piece while it's still in the shade of the building.
 This is the other side.  I've got to hire a crane to move the 4,000 lb. waste block so that I can carve behind the head.
The first fawn of the year is making a regular appearance with the rest of the herd.  I'm sure there'll be more coming out of hiding in the next few days.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"Daydreamer" Functional Sculpture

I'm continuing detail work on the Buffalo commission.  But, it's fast coming to completion and I'm "living with it" to make sure what it might need - if anything... .
 Meanwhile, I've began a new project - to give the old project some time for perspective.  This new project is called "Daydreamer" and it shows someone floating on a cushion of clouds.
 It fit perfect into the first 6 feet of this 10' block of Indiana Limestone.  I split off the 4 extra feet for another project.
 This is the progress after a couple weeks...
 ... and a view of the other side.
 On a personal note, I went to a Rock and Mineral Show in Bedford, IN last weekend.  This piece of Halite from Searles Lake, CA is my favorite acquisition.
The new specimens for my rock collection (such as this Wavellite from Maudlin Mt. in Arkansas) are cool....
but, depending on who you ask, the box they came in is even cooler.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Buffalo Commission - Month 4

4 months have passed since the 22,000 lb. block of stone arrived at the studio.
 I've made some major changes from the preliminary model.
The most noticeable, are the deeply carved plants.
Kentucky Bourbon is at least 51% corn with the remainder being a blend of wheat, barley and rye.  I decided to add this educational aspect as the diagonal lines on the model were... boring.  They made the piece look heavy and static. 
 Here's the views as I walk around the piece...
 ...from the front...
 ... and further around... his left side...
 ...and around the back.
 ...coming around full circle

Then, ending with a wildlife picture -  a mother Raccoon showing her 2 babies my fountain on a hot afternoon.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Birthday Bench and Birthday Waterfalls

The theme for this week was "birthdays"....
 Monday, Meg used her crane truck to deliver my bench to a private residence in Louisville.
 It was a commission to celebrate a milestone birthday - which happened to be the day before mine.
 This is the back view of the bench.
 Thursday was my 56th birthday.  Meg and I went to Clifty Falls State Park near Madison, Indiana.  This is Big Clifty Falls - 1 of 4 big waterfalls in the park.
 This is Tunnel Falls.  If you can see the 2 people at the left edge of the pool (1 has a black shirt, the other carrying a child), it will help you to get a sense of the scale.
 I enjoyed stumbling through the long, dark railroad tunnel near Tunnel Falls.

Afterwards, we ate at The Red Pepperoni in Madison, IN where we found THE best pizza; artichoke sauce with onions, sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella.  Unbelievable!
 Before heading home, we went north of town on 421 and stopped at a road cut to look for fossils.
These are the best from what I found in a short time: horn corals, a gastropod and a selection of brachiopods.  This is how I like to spend my birthdays!