Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Nun to Deaconess..

It turns out that Sister Emily Cooper was a Deaconess, not a nun. So she would not wear a habit,
but working clothes. So first the sleeves, wimple, etc are removed, and the lower part of her garment is changed from the full gathered appearance of a habit to that of a skirt.
Her hair is now loose and flowing and I feel gives her a lot more life.

This outfit is based on a day dress from 1872.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Japanese Macaque in Georgia Pink Marble and a Christmas Card

This is a Japanese Macaque (or Snow Monkey) I am carving in Georgia Pink Marble. It is a juvenile monkey grooming it's leg. It was roughed out with an angle grinder using a 5" diamond wheel. It was then shaped using the same angle grinder with a masonry wheel. A large and small die grinder were used for shaping the interior spaces and detailing the fingers toes and face. A rolok (an air sanding tool) with a tapered cartrige roll is being used to polish the hands, feet and face. A bush hammer chisel is used for fur texture, though only as a light, final touch. The marble is too brittle to put up with much chisel work.

I will further refine the details of the monkey with fine die grinder bits and apply a fur texture to the interior sections with a channeling tool which is a type of chisel.

A side view....

This is the Christmas card that we will be sending out this year. The photo, poem and design are by Meg White Copyright 2008.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Article in Kentucky Homes and Gardens Magazine

My sculpture is featured in this months issue of Kentucky Homes and Gardens Magazine. The article was written by Albertus Gorman, an artist and writer who lives in Louisville Kentucky. The Cover of the magazine.

The first two pages show me working on the "Opportunity Portal" in the top picture and
the "Waking Muse" underneath.

On the third page is the sculpture "Connections", which was just installed at LSU Baton Rouge. On the left column of the right page is a bronze casting of "Ely".

Here is the female hippo from the group I did for the North Carolina Zoo and below is an Otter water feature.
You can get the magazine at bookstores in Louisville, Lexington and the Cincinnati area. You can also get them free at various art gallery locations in those cities. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Daphne a stone carving

This is a project I have been working on for some time. She is entitled "Daphne" and represents the Greek myth in which Daphne, pursued by Apollo, calls to the Gods to aid her and so they turn her into a tree. I'm not sure that's what she had in mind. She stands a little over 4 feet tall.
There is still a lot of work in finishing the leaves.
My favorite view of the piece.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Connections" at LSU dedication Cover of Journal of Veterinary Medicine Association

The bronze and limestone sculpture entitled "Connections" was dedicated November 6th at the
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine's Serenity Pavillion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This is the sculpture with the finished brick work and the fountain running. There is a copper pan between the woman and the animals to contain the water. Milton Womack Construction did the brick work and WHL Architects did the copper pan and plumbing. I am very happy with their contribution - really first rate!
The dedication turned out great, with a large attendence. Present were representatives from the Humane Society of the United States, the American Kennel Club, the International Fund for Animal welfare, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

While I was in Baton Rouge, I stayed at the faculty club on campus. There was not a hotel room to be found anywhere around Baton Rouge, because of hurricane Gustav, which did a great deal of damage to the area.

The inside of the faculty club, where I had breakfast the four mornings that I was there.The campus at LSU has live oaks everywhere. I took a stroll to see some of them. This one is in front of the Faculty club. (Really a great tree!)

In my stroll, I visited Mike the tiger. He has a large natural area with a pool.
Not far from Baton Rouge are Cypress swamps. I had to go out and see them, while I had the chance.

This is a rose mallow that I saw down there. They have a huge flower - a wild form of Hibiscus.

When I was on my way home, the plane was delayed getting into Chicago, which caused me to miss my connecting flight. I had time to kill, so I wandered around and took this pic of a Brachiosaurus from the Field museum. Pretty cool....

My newly installed sculpture, "Connections", will be on the cover of the Journal of the Veterinary Medicine Association. Photo by Harry Cowgill, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. The sculpture is dedicated to all those who give care to animals. It illustrates how people reach across the gulf that separates us from animals and that, by providing care, they "Connect".

Friday, October 31, 2008

Here is the Home of the Innocents sculpture for Cave Hill Cemetary.

I have worked a great deal on the skirt to give it movement.
Here you can see the twist in the sculpture. This is the angle at which she will seen when placed at Cave Hill Cemetery. She will stand on a 4 foot tall plinth.

My favorite view of the sculpture.

A detail of the sculpture. I will begin work on the second sculpture shortly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alpacas and 6,000 acres for sale...

Alpacas have moved in near our post office. They are raised for their wool (you can see in this picture that they have been sheared). They don't care for hot weather though, earlier in the year I'd see them sitting in the shade of their barn with big fans going. They're cute critters There is land for sale directly across the road from our studio. Though not over 6,000 acres, just 115. The rest of the land is in various parcels throughout Meade and Breckinridge County. Just thought it was kind of interesting, you don't often see over 6,000 acres of land for sale.....

While we were in Baton Rouge...

After the installation, Connie Anderson (on the left) bought us lunch at a place called Beauregards Gallery. It has the cutest location, tucked away down a narrow street in a quaint neighborhood.
They were actually closed, but the owner opened up just for Don and me. It was so cool to have the restaurant all to ourselves. The food was great. I had a crab quiche and salad which were both delicious, and Don had Gumbo which was served in a bread bowl. Great food and excellent presentation. I had a slice of decadent chocolate cake for desert. Don didn't order desert, but he couldn't resist what I got. The outside of Beauregards which used to be a fish market.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Connections" sculpture installed at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

The bronze and stone sculpture entitled "Connections" was installed at Louisiana State University in the Milton J. Womack Serenity Garden next to the Veterinary college, on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Don is lifting the dog onto the Penske Truck using the lift gate. The woman is already loaded in the far end of the truck.
A pallet jack (which was loaned to us by Frankie and Leon Vessels of Vessels trucking - thanks guys!) is essential to moving the sculptures around safely inside the truck. The woman is strapped on either side of the truck to prevent her from falling.
After the bronze is loaded, the limestone bases are lifted into the truck using our 2 ton truck and knuckleboom crane. They are placed on pallets and positioned in the truck using the pallet jack.
The stone is strapped down and then the pallets are also fastened so they can't move.
Don drove the truck and I followed in the car. We took two days to get the sculptures to Baton Rouge. We made a number of stops to check the load and make sure everything was secure. We passed this pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee.
When we arrived in Baton Rouge on Tuesday the 23rd of September, we discovered that there was not one hotel room to be had because of Hurricane Gustav. So I had to call David Senior, Associate Dean of the School of Veterinary medicine, the person I have worked with on this project , and tell him that Don and I had no place to stay. He offered the use of his guest room without hesitation. He and his wife have a really beautiful home and we were grateful for the accommodations.
The next morning we met the crew of MJ Womack and Rickie Vidrine of WHL Architecture. In most installations we use a crane, but we had to use a skytrack (a type of forklift), as the area where the sculptures are to be installed is covered. The stones are the first to be unloaded. Each has holes drilled in it, on top for stainless steel pins to attach the bronze to the stone and on the bottom to attach the stone to the concrete. Stainless steel is essential as mild steel will rust and cause problems later.
After moving the stone closer to the site (the covered area to the left) it's set up in a vertical position. At this point there really wasn't enough headroom to get the stone in. But after studying the problem a bit, they figured it out by repositioning the rigging and the boom so it could get in under the roof.
Don drills a hole for the stainless steel pin that will hold the pedestal for the woman to sit upon. "Flash" holds a square so that Don can keep his drill bit straight up.Here you can see how the stone (this is the cat's pedestal) is rigged in a higher position from the earlier picture so that it could be moved into place. The stone will be placed on the plywood next
to where it will be placed. John L helps steady the stone. Don has mixed epoxy and is guiding the stone into place. The boards will help in removing the slings.
Reminiscent of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. The Skytrack is getting into it too.
The woman's pedestal is set in place with great care as the copper tubing for the fountain comes out the bottom of the piece and to the side. There is a channel in the concrete over to the area where the pump will be housed.
After the dog rock is positioned, the dog is put in place. Don applies epoxy to the steel pins as the dog is held up.As we are right next to the veterinary hospital, people and their animals are coming and going all the time. While Don was putting the cat in place, someone came out of the hospital with a kitten that was mewing, really a good sound effect for what was going on. The woman is unloaded, cloth is placed between the straps and her to help protect the patina.
The tubing that runs through the stone pedestal is connected to the tubing that is inside the sculpture. A group picture of the guys who installed the sculpture "Connections". Most are employed by M.J. Womack Inc., except where noted. They are - Carl Lacombe, Martin Courville (of J&J Mechanical, Eddie Reynolds, RoyKnighten, John Browder, Elliot Hardin and Carl Lemoine. A very knowledgeable, professional group - couldn't have done it without them. Don Lawler (all the way to the right) did his bit too.
The sculpture needs to be finished off with brick. It will be the same brick as the floor of the pavilion. When the fountain is working, water will spill from her left hand into her right and then fall into the pool below.A side view of the sculpture...
Another view

I wrapped the dog's foot so that when the bricks are done, it will be protected. And then here comes a patient of the school. Strange coincidence that not only does this dog look like the sculpture, his right front paw is also bandaged. Is art imitating life or life imitating art? (what were the odds that this would happen, while we were there?)