Sunday, September 26, 2010

Installing sculptures from Yew Dell show, Art in the Highlands show

The third Yew Dell show has come down and we are removing the sculptures. Some to return home with us, others will be delivered to their new homes. The Mechanical Hand has been at Yew Dell for three years and now it's time to move on.

Demeter will be loaded onto the crane truck as there is not a lot of room on the flat bed truck because of the Hand. Derrick Sheroan of JBB inc. of Hardinsburg operates the crane.

Nexus is going to a new home too. The hook of the crane is lowered into place.

Don steadies Nexus as it is loaded onto the truck. All the sculpture will be strapped down, then we can head out to deliver the work.

Demeter has the shortest path to travel and so she is delivered first.

A footer was prepared for her by Mark Foster. It is slightly raised as there will plantings around her base and I don't want her to be overwhelmed by the plants.

Demeter installed.
The Nexus installation was a bit tricky. It went into a cool old cemetary, but the site was under a tree which made it a little difficult. Derrick and Don looked at how to approach it - there was a gap in the limbs - and slowly and carefully the sculpture was lifted up and over and then down to the site.

This is Robert Maddox, he and his family bought the sculpture as a monument for their parents. He is pictured here on the left, a passerby is standing next to him, his daughters are on the right side of the photo, petting the dog.
Talk about a small world, he is one of the donors that contributed to the commission of the sculptures I did for Home of the Innocents in Cave Hill Cemetary.

Here is nexus with a bench in the foreground.

Nexus installed!

I stopped by Art in the Highlands to check out the work of Jenni Pollard. She is the daughter of the woman who is commissioning the Grizzly for Norton Children's Hospital. I believe that this is Jenni's first weekend Art and Craft show, but she sold $1,000.00 in work. Way to go Jenni!

I ran into BobLockhart at the show too. He's a great sculptor with a number of public commissions. His animal sculptures are wonderful. In this photo he is reading my shirt, it says "Louisville Leopards". They are a percussion group which performs a great deal around Louisville and beyond and has been on HBO. My niece was in the group - kids can be in the Leopards up to the 7th grade or so.

I found this spider under the wheelbarrow. I'm pretty sure it's a black widow - so I moved her to a safer spot for her and me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer's End

Tomorrow is the official equinox, and the start of the fall season.I am appyling hair texture to the Grizzly Bear stone sculpture . As I apply a finish to a sculpture, it helps me to see areas that are still high. The mother's left side is high, and I am shaving it down with a diamond wheel on a 4" grinder.

Here, I am working on the mother bear's left side - I have shaved off the area that was too high on her hip and leg and am working around towards the cub. The shoulder area is heavy, I have crayoned in the area that needs to be removed.

Meanwhile, Don was involved with 'crating and freighting' the molds for the Terre Haute commission. The first step, which involved my help, was duct taping the molds together.

Don built the crate, using a standard pallet as the base. He uses 2x4 braces with a 3/4" plywood skin. He is installing a deck mid-way up the box, so that the molds aren't lying on top of each other.

He gathered a pick-up load of carpet padding scraps from Fashion Floors of Brandenburg, and wrapped up the plaster and rubber molds. It's a long, bumpy ride to Art Castings in Loveland, Colorado.

Last night, we received the freight truck from R&L Trucking. The loaded crate is on our crane truck - rigged up and ready to go.

It was a happy moment to see the crate of molds, safely loaded and on their way to the foundry.

Yellowbank Creek wraps around our home property, and as I walked the banks, I spotted this carp feeding up in the shallows.

As soon as he saw me...SPLASH!!!...and he (or was it a she) was gone.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bear Modifications and the finishing of the molds

I wanted the hips to be lifting more, to give the movent that I wanted. She is using her back foot to restrain her cub that she is cleaning. I felt that she looked a little heavy at the base, so I colored in the area beneath her shoulders and beneath her hips with lumber crayon. After stepping back and taking pictures, thinking about it, I decided to remove that area.
I used a 4 inch angle grinder and a hammer to remove the stone.

Here she is with the stone removed. I am much happier with the form now.

I have a similar view in the previous post. Here, I have removed the stone between the mother's back paws and have refined the cub and the mother's head. I have carved the mother's left shoulder much farther in, where her left front leg crosses her chest to hold the cub that she is cleaning.
Meanwhile, Don is applying the plaster mother mold to the last of the molds. Soon, they will be packed and shipped to the foundry.
After a thin first layer of plaster is applied, a layer of hemp saturated in plaster is applied to the mold surface. This gives the plaster a great deal of strength.
Additional layers of plaster are added and the form smoothed.
When the plaster is thoroughly dry, it is pried open. The plaster mother mold pieces are carefully set to the side, leaving the rubber coated piece.
The rubber mold is then opened by gently separating a layer of rubber on one side of the shim. An exacto knife is used to cut the little bit of rubber, below the shim, which were the first 2 layers that were applied over the clay.
When that has been done all the way around the piece, you can lift the rubber mold pieces from the clay.

The plaster and rubber molds are then reassembled (without the clay), and labeled. They are now ready to be packed and shipped to the foundry.
Bird n Claws - I thought it was interesting that the branches resemble bird's feet.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Grizzly Bear Days of August

My main focus of energy, during the month of August, has been the carving of a mother Grizzly Bear and 3 cubs for the Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

I continued to carve the forms of the baby bears that are on their mother. This area is particularly tricky - the bear cubs playing have to relate, somewhat nose to nose. The mother bear's front foreleg is under the right paw of the cub clinging to her back leg. I want the mother grooming the cub clinging to her right forepaw, but I also what a good view of her face on the left side, so I can't turn her head in. (A lot of things to consider in a complicated piece like this.) I have to be careful when I am carving one paw not to take off someone else's. I write "mother's leg" and "cub's paw" on various parts in crayon, to keep myself out of trouble. Also, I am using a hammer drill to open up the negative space under the mother's head, as a grinder is difficult to get in there.

This is the progress of the baby on her belly, that is play fighting with the first cub.

Here is a view from above that shows the 2 front feet and the head of the 2nd cub with a bit of the standing cub's face, mothers face and bottom of mother bear's paw.
This view shows the 3rd cub, that is getting cleaned by his mother. The black marks are lumber crayon. These are areas that I am considering carving further.

Meanwhile, Don continued the mold process for my Terre Haute commission. Don used clear plastic, rather than bubble sheet, to make the part line for the hands. Here, he is drawing the outline with a marker, so that he will get a tight fit with the clear plastic shim.

He uses pins to hold the shims in place until he fastens them with a bead of rubber compound stiffened up with Polyfil 2.

He has finished applying the rubber mold compound to all 17 pieces. Next, he trimmed the edges of the molds so that they would register well inside the plaster mother molds. This trimming process also makes it easier to demold the pieces and make the wax castings.

We attended the "First Friday" series of gallery openings in Louisville. This is Max, a budding artist who had set up on the sidewalk. I hope we see more of Max and his work in the future.
An art appreciator, enjoying the perfect weather.

Hot glass was being manipulated at Flame Run Studio on Market street.

...and, away from the intense pace of the city art scene, life goes on as usual for this resident of Paradise Bottom.