I shape the bears using angle grinders with diamond blades. I don't use air-hammers, except in areas where I can't get a grinder.
This is the rear-end view of the mother bear. This is where the third cub will be.
With the high temperatures, the bear needed to be moved into the new studio. But first, the rails had to be laid down properly. The weight of the bear would make this difficult, so the bear had to be removed from cart. A brick truck was hired to take it off, and then when the tracks were laid, the truck come back and returned the bear to the cart.
Don and the operator of the truck are pushing the bear into the studio where she can be worked on in relative comfort.
I make cuts where I will remove stone from around the standing cub.
I have removed some of the stone, and marked with a china marker, where the bears legs will be, though I always cut wide, to leave room if I need it. I use the maquette to eyeball points, and mark these as well. I draw on the mothers foot where different things line up - cub's belly, ear, etc. and mark a line, so I can be sure the cub is positioned properly. I do this from different angles to make sure of it's position.
The cub is beginning to be blocked in.
This is where the cub on the mother's belly will be. I use existing shapes in the stone to guide me in placing the cub. He will be on his back with his feet braced against his mothers legs, playing with his litter mate. This will be the slowest area to progress, as the faces of the two bears have to relate.
This is the sculpture from the right side. Next, I will be carving in the anatomical structure of the bear.
One of the snacks on hand is Cheezits. Each cracker has a hole in the center. This is Don as seen through a Cheezit.
Pine Ridge Road is a round about way to get home. It is a little rustic, going through three creeks - if the water's high, forget it. But it's a really pretty drive. These Swallowtail Butterflies were in one of the creek bottoms. After some mineral I suppose.