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?)

Cougar Installation

My Cougar sold at the first annual sculpture show at Yew Dell Gardens and made a trip from the gardens to his new home. I have a bare patch at the studio where he used to reside. Ah well... Here is the cougar when it was still at the studio...

Bramer Crane Service moved the cougar, first loading it onto a flatbed truck from Penske Truck Rentals. The crane is preparing to lift the cougar while Don sets the rigging.
This is a choker hitch, where each strap is wrapped around the sculpture.

The cougar is lifted up. The cougar is strapped onto the truck and departs Yew Dell Gardens for it's new home near Lagrange, KY.
Here is where the Cougar is now residing
The crane moves into position and Don backs the truck so that he can get along side it.The cougar is rigged up again for it's final move to a 24 inch deep footer. The footer will keep the sculpture from leaning.In this photo you can see softeners that are placed between the straps and the stone. This helps protect the strap from edges on the stone.Here is the cougar is his new home. I need to get back on an overcast day for a good pic.
This is Ophelia. While she is upright and dry in this photo, she also leans back and fills with water (she is created from a triangular shaped stone with two stones for supports).