Sunday, February 27, 2011

A new sculpture, Ophelia, Daphne and University of Louisville talk

I have decided to make a stacked sculpture utilizing these 3 blocks. I will leave the shape of the blocks as they are, and carve a woman in the right hand side. Her dress and hair are blowing in the wind; blending into the stone.

I start by marking out the dimensions of the top block. It is missing stone on the left side, so I plan on having the woman's lifted arm in the right hand side. The measurement is 1/2 the size of the block.

I start the model by creating a head.

I work the figure up, checking my dimensions to make sure that she fits in the block.

Here she is with hair...

...and a dress...

I photographed the model and used the pictures to transfer the image to the stone. At this point, I am using the model as a reference, but if I can get a better feel by a freehand sketch, so be it. I cut sections of stone to be removed with a 4" angle grinder and a diamond wheel.

I cut the profile of the face with the 4 inch angle grinder and cut across the block, to establish the body and find the arm.

Meanwhile, Ophelia progresses...

Daphne has been patiently waiting her turn, and I will soon be able to finish her. We had to move her when work was being done on the new studio, and this was the safest place. But, she's too close to the building for me to work on the back of her, so I have to move her out. Which we will do shortly...

Don and I visited Dick and Ardi Wilson, who are interested in commissioning a couple of sculptures, though I won't be able to do anything for them until the end of summer. Don and Dick stand just to the side of a potential site...

Don and I gave a talk at U of L for the Public Art Class which is taught by Ed Hamilton, who created the Lincoln sculpture on the Waterfront in Louisville. This is Matt Weir, his assistant and a friend of ours, who did the tiger sculpture for Saint X High School.

Here we are - Matt, Ed and Don - after the talk.

Elwood by the creek.

A close-up of a tree's bark....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A new sculpture and the first signs of spring

I started a new sculpture of Ophelia. I have marked with crayon where the face will be, and the general pattern of the hair.

I have established the face and made general movements of the hair with a grinder and die-grinders.

I have further refined the face and am starting to make deeper cuts, to add shadows in the hair.

We have a pile of stone that have been cut off from various jobs by the chainsaw. I think there is potential in these 3 stones. But what, well, you'll have to wait for the next post.

Tristan Hutchison, a neighbor, directs his father, Mike, who is loading one of two stones for Chris Mozier and Mike McCarthy.

A deer is visiting our bird feeder.

A couple of weeks ago, we had temperatures below zero and the result were these frost crystals on a vine near the creek.

It has warmed up a lot since then, and I was out looking for signs of new life. These Springtail looked like pepper sprinkled on the water; they are so tiny.

This is a sure sign of spring, Daffodils pushing up through the earth.

And what's this? It's peach soda in a blue glass - see the unusual in the everyday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bears are finished!

The Bears are finished! The Bears are finished!
The sculpture was started back in 2002 and set aside. Originally, it was going to be a polar bear playing with its foot. Then, I thought I'd rather do a mother Grizzly with cubs. Mary Ann Pollard came out and saw the existing sculptural preform. When I explained to her how I'd like to finish the piece, she decided to commission the sculpture and have it placed at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, KY. What follows are before-and-after from various views of the sculpture.

It makes me tired to look at how much it took, to get a finished piece from the old preform.

A cardinal in the snow.

The morning sun over the frozen creek.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Finishing touches on the bears.

For the finish work, I employ halogen worklights. One pair is up on scaffolding, the other on the ground, to help me see areas that need just a bit more work.

I am nearly finished with this area, just a bit more cleanup necessary.

I use a china marker (basically a black crayon) to mark where I need hairs, and notes about what needs to be done in an area. The note says "edge" and has arrows pointing to the nose indicating the edge needs to be more rounded. Crosshatching means an area is too high.

I have marked where I need additional hairs with the black crayon and have further deepened the crease under the mother's chin and neck.

This is a small flat end burr that I use to create a deep shadow under the mother's chin and neck.

I use a point burr to add fur texture in creases.

I also use it to clean up areas around the eye.

It was a foggy day at the studio....

I feed birds, and today while I was putting out seed, I came upon this possum looking for snacks. I stayed very still - they have terrible eyesight -and watched him as he foraged for food. He would walk along, then suddenly turn to root around in the leaves and eat whatever morsel he found. He came very close to me (just a few yards) never realizing I was there.

And then, he wandered away.