Sunday, November 27, 2011

A departure

On rainy days when I can't work on Daphne I've worked on Ophelia. Now she is almost finished - there are just a few areas that need tweaking.

In the last blog posting I used the hydraulic chainsaw to remove sections of stone from a sculpture I will be working on in the near future, entitled Memory. As the weather will soon get cold I thought I should use the chainsaw as much as I can.

I have a sculpture planned for this stone and have roughed out a model for it. I have made marks (the white lines) with a small grinder on the areas that will need to be removed.

After I make a cut I put wedges into the cut and hammer them in until the stone cracks.

Then I use a pry bar to move them out of the way. Don took these last two shots.

I cut wide of the final form with the saw. I use the angle grinder to get closer to the form. It's not nearly as heavy as the chainsaw so I have a lot more control over the cut.

Here is a view from the side...

and from the front. Lots more work to go....

A wasp sippin soda...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finishing Daphne

There are many leaves to Daphne and I have been refining them. You can see that these leaves are too blocky and the edges are too hard.

I used a roloc and die grinder to refine them, this gives them more movement and a softer feel.

I use a roloc to finish around the base of the piece.

I begin putting a final texture to the Daphne's roots and bark.

I have been refining leaves as well as deepening shadows through the leaves. I have to go all around the piece looking for areas that need work.

Don used the hydraulic chainsaw to cut sections out of a block of stone for a new commission he is doing. He suggested I try the chainsaw to cut corners off of a block of stone that I plan on carving after I am finished with Daphne.

The saw requires water and so it's best to use it during nice weather. And the nice weather is running out fast, so I decided to bite the bullet ...

I have done a preliminary model of a woman 11 feet tall and laid out where it is in the stone. The section I am cutting is just above her head. It is best to leave too much stone than to risk cutting into the form.

I am cutting the section from behind the head to the shoulder, staying a few inches wide of where the shoulder will be.

The chainsaw is hydraulic. The power unit is gasoline powered, you can see a small part of it in the lower right corner. There are hydraulic hoses from the power unit to the chainsaw and a water hose which of course limits this tool to above freezing temperatures. The saw weighs 25 pounds and the hoses weigh a bit, but it wasn't bad at all.

Two cuts of stone. The chainsaw is an amazing tool. The cuts took about an hour total.
Now I'm looking around at other stones that need corners cut off....

A ladybug sippin' soda.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Daphne continues, a Halloween party and waterfleas

I use a die-grinder to start deepening the shadows in Daphne's hair. The piece sat for years while I finished public commissions. As a result, the sculpture became dark from grime in the air. The lighter areas are where I have run the die-grinder, getting down to clean (and lighter) stone.

I use a slender diamond burr to cut around and define the ends of the fingers.

I smooth out the branches using a roloc which is an air powered sanding tool. Sanding discs of various grits are easily interchanged. I am using 120 grit. I will then go back and hand sand to remove flat areas caused by the tool.

I am working up a model using castilene. It comes in several versions from soft to hard. I am using the hardest version, its melt temperature is 160 degrees, and so it has to be warmed to be worked. However, it is so hard at room temperature it can be handled without smushing the forms. I used a heat gun to warm up the clay so I could model a rough draft and then use a metal wax tool over a candle flame to smooth areas and work small sections.

Castilene was developed by a local sculptor, Barney Bright and is the best clay for small models. It can also be burned out for one of a kind bronze sculptures.

Don and I were invited to our neighbors for their annual Halloween party...

The daughter of our hostess holds the inspiration for both their costumes.

Black is in this year! Great costumes guys!

Jeff, a friend of Don's, paid us a visit.

I use various burrs on die grinders to put a leaf texture to the interior of the piece.
My sister came to visit with her daughter and little boy. We took a walk near the property. That's Don walking with them.
I use a roloc (air sander) with 120 grit to smooth the branches. I will then hand sand to remove the flat areas left by the tool.
What is this a photo of? Water fleas. I was trying to take a pic of something on the water's surface and when I got close enough I saw all these tiny creatures (the white specs) swimming around.