Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 at a glance

2017 had some rough patches and one particularly big "Downer"; overall, it was fairly productive...
 During the cold months of January and February, I stayed inside and made "home improvements" (file this under "who cares"...)
I also made 8 photo books from Shutterfly.  They averaged 80 pictures per book and it is a decent hard copy archive of the first 23 years of my career.  I still have 11 years more to archive...(makes me tired...) 

 Between February and July, I carved a buffalo for Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY.
 Mid-June, I had a small bench commission.
 June, July and August, I created this "Daydreamer Bench" from a 6,000 lb. block of Indiana Limestone.
 This is the view from the other side...
 August, September and October, I made this "Magic Carpet Bench" from another 6,000 lb. piece of stone.
 ...and the view from the other side...
 Toward the end of the year, I carved this sculpture of "Kissers".
 ...and another view of that piece.
 I finished the year out working on "Hope" which is 4-1/2' in diameter and started out at 5,000 lbs.
This side view shows me how much more work it'll take to finish this piece...when the temperatures come back above freezing.... sometime next year...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

All Hallow's Eve

We picked Tuesday as THE prime day to move heavy stones and stone sculptures - which happened to be Halloween.  Dereck Sheroan of JBB, Inc. from Hardinsburg brought their 23 ton crane truck out to the studio early on the frosty morning.
 I've spent most of October trying to finish the "Magic Carpet Bench".  I love the variegated color in this 6 foot long functional sculpture.
 This is the other side view.
 I wanted to move the "Magic Carpet Bench" and this "Daydreamer" out into the sculpture garden with the crane, but the ground was still too soft - we would have made deep ruts.
 We spent the first 6-1/2 hours of the day moving sculptures and stone that belonged to Meg.  After a late lunch, we switched to moving my stuff.  The first piece to move was the 4,000 lb. preform for a sculpture titled "Hope".  Here's a short video that Meg took showing this piece being loaded up
...and another one showing it being stood up.
 This is half of the 10,000 lb. scrap piece that was cut from the side of the buffalo sculpture block.  The "Hope" preform was the other half.  Both were moved close to the studio where they could be reached by air and electric tools.
 Behind that piece is a 4,000 lb. block that will be a functional sculpture called "Throne of Measure".  Here's a short video that Meg took of it being stood upright.
 Then, we stood a 10,000 lb. block of stone upright, loaded it onto the crane truck...
 ...then set it onto the rail cart.  It will become a "Dragon Bench".
 The last thing left to do was move an 8' tall stone "Virgin" out of the studio.  We had to take the block and hook off the cable and attach a spreader bar to the nose end of the crane.  It required multiple creative rigging approaches to finally get her moved out safely.  File this under "Nothing is easy".  Here's a short video by Meg of that
and another
 Meg took this cool pic of the moon beside the Virgin's halo.  This was near the end of a very long day.
 The deer still don't know what to think about the new sculpture.  On the left is "Skidoo" with this year's fawn "Baby Boo" and her yearling "Goldie Fawn".
 Ending this post on a Halloween note:  this picture that Meg took - something she saw peering back at her from one of my sculptures...
...with temperatures expected to be mild-to-Armageddon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Buffalo Trace Commission Delivered and Installed

At long last, it was time to deliver and install my Buffalo for Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
 Monday, September 18, Dereck Sheroan from JBB, Inc. of Hardinsburg brought their 23 ton crane to the studio to load up the sculpture.  We had a very pleasant surprise when it was weighed by the crane - it only weighed 9,200 lbs.  That was a lot more stone removed from the 22,000 lb. block then I'd guessed.
 We had decided to load up the day before, so that we could get an early start to beat the forecasted afternoon rain for the next day.
 All 3 of the major weather forecasters on the web got the forecast wrong.  It rained even before we got there - and it's raining in this picture (which is why no one is smiling...).  We unloaded it into a gravel area near their maintenance shop at the distillery.  At least it was safely delivered: Step One.
 On Monday, September 25, Dereck and I drove back to Frankfort to try for the installation. There was a steep hill to go down (and get back up...) but there were no problems.
The people at Buffalo Trace gave a LOT of help getting the sculpture safely installed.  They used their skid steer to build a level site that would support the crane on the steep hill (and away from some overhead power lines).

 The sculpture is installed in its new home.  I hope that it will be a part of the Buffalo Trace Distillery for many, many years to come.

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.