Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm a finalist, a vet sculpture maquette finished, paper sculpture work

I just found out I am a finalist for a commission in Anchorage Alaska. It will be for the University of Alaska Anchorage Natural Science building.  I am excited about the opportunity to have work in Alaska, I've always wanted to go there.

I have finished the maquette of the vet with puppy and mother dog.  I plan to do a larger water clay version of this which I will then fire in my kiln.  I spent more time than usual on the maquette as I really like the feel of the piece and may cast it in bronze.
 A detail of the maquette.  It was tough getting the hands right around the puppies body.
 These are paper hairs I have made for one of my paper sculpture cats.  Recently I decided to spruce them up.  The black and white cat needed more sprucing, I removed some of the hairs and replaced them with new.  The larger hairs are for the body, the smaller are for around the face and toes of the cat.
 Attaching a hair with Elmer's glue. I have removed a lot of hairs around the back of his head and am filling back in with fresh.  The paper I am using is Canson Mi-tientes (an art paper that comes in a variety of colors).  I am replacing the hairs on this cat as the black paper used to be somewhat "soft" in comparison to the other colors and didn't want to hold a sharp edge (this sculpture was made over 20 years ago). I just didn't care for the way it looked and decided to remove the offending hairs. The black paper is greatly improved now and is much crisper - the new hairs look much better.
 I replaced some of the whiskers on the Grey Cat, again this is Canson Mi-tientes paper and Elmer's Glue.  Both these cats are over 20 years old and have held up quite well over the years.
 bubbles in a frozen birdbath...
My new holiday card.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reworking Don's Angel

 Don created an Angel sculpture and he just wasn't happy with it.  So he asked me to take it over and see what I could do.  This enters kind of a grey area, the piece will be a type of hybrid.  The basic design is Don's I am merely changing it as far as the detail. 

Don has asked that I do this in his absence, he just doesn't want to watch.
 I will work with no model or photographs, this will be direct carving - the most fun way to carve.  I begin with drawing on the piece with a china marker.  I note the areas that need work - the tip of the nose is too small.  In stone carving you can't do much about small - you can't add stone where it has been removed - so you have to approach it by proportion - everything must come down to the tip of the nose.  The areas that I will carve down are the bridge of the nose which is too wide, the cheekbones which are too prominent and the jawline which is too heavy.
 From this angle you can see how I will take back the nose, the lips,cheekbones and the corners of the mouth ( which are usually behind the nostril)as well as the neck and chin.
 I use an angle-grinder on the nose, cheeks and chin and a die-grinder for smaller areas around the mouth, nose and eyes.

I further refine the face and carve back the neck.
I mark the areas that need further refining.  The eyes are a little wide so I enlarge the eyes toward the bridge of the nose. I also narrow the nose at the corners of eyes.  I am very close to the sculpture and this photo has a lot of distortion, that's why the nose and chin appear to be so prominent.
I mark the new jawline with a china marker, the neck is wide as well. I will cut wide of my mark, I can always come back and cut again.
I further refine different areas of the face. 
I mark the areas that need refinement - eyes, nose and mouth.
The shoulders and collarbone are too prominent and these need to be moved back.

I decided to recarve the bodice starting with the placket, following the line of the collarbone. The placket ends up a bit lower than the cloth beneath it but I like the way that adds dimension, a bit of puffiness to the fabric.
I decided on short sleeve to show the arms.  The area behind the neck needs some deeper shadows, the chin is still a bit heavy.  All the areas I have taken down bit by bit, removing a little less than I think is needed.  This keeps me from taking off too much. 
A die grinder is slower and more easily controlled than an angle grinder and with it I remove more chin.  I have also marked where I will be defining the socket of the eye. I have just begun to create dark shadows beside the neck also with a die-grinder.
Hand sanding helps soften the features.  I use 80 grit paper
I need to do more work before she's finished but she's almost there.
Before.....  Don's forte is strong, sharp lines.  His original angel had real qualities but he just wasn't happy with the end result. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daphne Finishes and becomes a poster and Patinas on bronze

 Daphne is finally coming to a finish, just a few clean up areas to do, this is a shot of the interior, I'm using a die grinder to smooth out some areas.
 With her finish I have decided to make a poster of her.  I liked this image so much (this is from an earlier post) I thought it would make a cool poster on Zazzle, a print on demand company. It measures 16 x 20 inches.

 I have also created a 2013 calendar showing my works in stone, paper and bronze. The address to buy the poster is-
 And now for something completely different.  This is a life-size woman's face I created from wax and had sandcast years ago.
The sandcast process is very different from the lost wax process and is much simpler.  It involves sand acting as a sort of mold (it is pressed on either side of the original)  there can be no undercuts and the original must be fairly thin and uniform - this face (formed from Wax) is about 1/2" thick.
 The face then gets a light ferric patina. It is a chemical sprayed onto the bronze to give it a light gold color.  I will then apply a wax while it is still hot to seal the bronze and protect the color of the patina.
 This is a wolf head also created using the lost wax process.  Both these pieces were created a few years back and then I got busy and never went on to add a patina.  This is the natural patina that the wolf took on.
 This is how he looked after I sandblasted him. Sandblasting is a way to clean bronze of old patina prior to applying a new patina.
 Again the torch and some ferric is sprayed onto the bronze, next a coat of wax. Both the woman and wolf face will be for sale on ebay in the near future.
 I am experimenting with a patina for my sculpture Flight.  The figure is in light ferric, the uprights supporting him are in a powder blue patina.  I wanted the figure to have a feeling of being suspended and I think the contrasting colors of patina help give that feeling.
 And speaking of flight, I got this picture of an immature bald eagle soaring overhead.  At first I thought it was a vulture and I zoomed in and snapped this photo and was pleasantly surprised...
And this was a surprise - a bobcat in broad daylight and I had a camera with me, what luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Heron sculpture installed at Cave Hill, finishing touches on Daphne

 The heron sculpture was installed at Cave Hill Cemetery in the Scattering Garden.
 Lee Squires (who designed the monument) and I hold the heron.
 Ron readies the granite plinth for the sculpture.  Holes have been drilled in the granite to accomodate the stainless steel pins of the heron sculpture.  Billy holds the heron until Ron applies the epoxy to the holes and is ready to set the sculpture in place.
 Soon the heron is attached and is looking over the lake.
 Some views of the heron - sillouetted against the sky..

 against the fall color...
 The sculpture at a distance with one of the butterflies which will grace the monument.
 A guard watches the heron for the rest of the day until the epoxy has cured.
 I have been putting the finishing touches on Daphne, cleaning up some areas with a die grinder...
 hand sanding limbs and leaves...
 defining leaves and smoothing areas.... it just seems to go on and on and on.....
A picture of her with the fall color behind her...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Otter sculpture donated to Yew Dell Gardens, Heron gets a patina and something both otters and herons enjoy - fish

 Mr. and Mrs. Garrett  of Louisville KY have decided to donate to Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, KY,.an otter sculpture they commissioned from me.   The Otter has had a beautiful home with the Garretts for years.  It has had many vistors from local garden tours throughout the years.
Everett  and George of Charlestown Monument secure the rigging to the sculpture so that it can be safely lifted onto the truck.

 Everett operates the crane, lifting the otter onto the truck.
 The sculpture is safely deposited upon the truck and is strapped down.
 Next, the drive to Yew Dell Gardens.
 The sculpture is then removed from the truck ...
 and set into place.  This is a temporary home for the otter, it's new location is under construction and when that is complete the otter will be moved to it's permanent home.
 The otter taking in it's new home.
 The heron has received it's patina and is now ready to make it's trip to Cave Hill Cemetery.
 Another view.
This is something that would interest both Otter and Heron - fish.  There are huge schools of these fish (not sure of the species) in the creek.  They splash at the surface (spawning?) and there are so many it sounds and looks like rain.