Monday, January 28, 2013

Bright Lights exhibition I'm a finalist in Florida

I just delivered a couple of works to the Resch /Arts Council Gallery in New Albany, Indiana (my hometown). It is located on the second floor at 138 E. Spring St.  The opening will be 1-4  Saturday, February 9th. The show runs from February 1 - March 29th.
The exhibition is entitled "Bright Lights" and is comprised of various artists who worked with Barney Bright or had work cast at the foundry.  This piece, a mother gorilla and child is actually a maquette for a larger sculpture.  I is created from Castilene, a modeling material that Barney developed.  Castilene can be burned out of an investment or ceramic mold just like wax so a rubber mold is not necessary.  
The show runs concurrently with exhibitions about Barney's sculpture "The Search" located at the New Albany Free Public Library and an exhibition of his smaller works at The Arts Council of Southern Indiana at 820 East Market, New Albany.  Here is a link to information about the shows -

A variety of materials (wood and stone) will be on display.... well as bronzes - these are by Dave Lind.... well as plaster castings by Raymond Graf.
 I am a finalist for a $100,000.00 commission in Florida and have been working on a maquette for the past few weeks.  I had just finished the model and submitted the proposal to the committee and so I decided to treat myself and take a walk on the property below the house.  The property is bordered by a creek and periodically floods - the house is well out of the flood zone - thankfully. It has been pretty cold lately and the flood water froze, then the water levels fell.  The ice pictured here is actually held up by grass and weeds.
 This is a view across the ice, weeds and grass below, distant trees above.
 beneath the ice, looking at the sky....
The falling water left bits of ice in tree limbs.
An interesting pattern in the ice.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Redo on Flight's patina and his departure to his new home, Enid and Boblockhart Shows

I decided to redo the patina on Flight.  Here he is with a more gold ferric on the body and nice green on the supports which I see as symbolizing courage.  Flight is sold and his new owner has referred to him as Icarus which I can see, particularly as he is now gold.  The gold would reference the Sun to which Icarus flew.  Perhaps I'll call the piece Dream of Icarus in which he imagines himself as the Sun. Flight is the first of a limited edition of 6.
I'd like to do the piece large for a public site, say about 12 feet tall. That would be interesting....
Flight will be travelling via UPS to his new home and care must be taken so that he arrives safely.  First bubblewrap is taped around him.
Then various types of foam are taped around with extra wrappings on face and hands.  He is then placed in his crate with additional packing so that he won't move during shipping.
The wooden crate is delivered to UPS.  I was on pins and needles until I heard that he had arrived safely at his new home. Thanks UPS!
A group of woman sculptors has a show going on at the Cressman Center on Main St. in Louisville, KY. The name of the group is Enid for the sculptress Enid Yandell who lived from 1870 -1934 and created the Daniel Boone statue which stands at the entrance to Cherokee Park.  This lovely ceramic piece is by Mary Dennis Kannapel.
This wonderful torso composed of seed pods is by Suzanne Mitchell.
Ewing Fahey poses with one of her clever bone assemblages.
Bob Lockhart recently had a show at Bellermine College.  He creates these wonderfully rendered images that are sweetly sinister. They are reminiscent of Grimms Fairy Tales mix of the fanciful and macabre.
Bob Lockhart reflected in one of his works.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Carving a face using a model

I will be using a model to carve a face in this piece of limestone.  First I have to make the bottom flat.
I use the 4" angle grinder with a diamond wheel to make a flat surface at the bottom of the stone.  The plaster model I will be using is on the left side of the photo.  I will be working on a 1-1 scale (same size) using calipers and a ruler to check volumes.
By taking careful measurements I mark the areas I can safely remove from the stone.  I always cut a little wide of the mark, I can always come back and remove more stone, I can't add it back on. I am putting the face in the bottom of the stone as it is sufficiently thick there to accomodate the face, but narrows above it.  Time will tell what I will do with that area.
The first cuts remove the area in front of the forehead.

I draw a tighter profile on the rock.

I cut wide on either side of the nose and cutting the basic planes of the face based on measurements I take from the model - incidentally, this plaster casting is from the bronze sculpture entitled "Light of Hope and Healing" which I created for the Hux Cancer Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.
I begin smoothing the planes and start defining features.  The face is larger than it should be as I have cut wide on all measurements- Nose too big, chin too strong, etc.
I have given an indication of where the features are.  I use a 4 inch grinder with a masonry blade to define most large areas and establish planes.  The diamond blade is too aggressive for this work and leaves a rough scalloped surface.  A pistol grip sander with 36 grit paper would work as well.  A die grinder with a mounted stone is used for smaller areas around eyes and mouth.
I use a caliper to check the size of the chin on the model and then use them on the stone.  I shade in the area that is too heavy with black china marker. The china marker visually removes the stone so I check to see if I want to remove all that stone.  This is a photo of measuring again,after I have marked what needs to be removed, making sure I have the measurement correct!
With careful measurements the face comes into shape.
Now I have to figure out  what to do with all that stone on top of the head. Swirling hair it must be.  I decide it is a woman underwater, her hair flowing around her head.
I further define the features of the face while I try to figure out what to do with that hair.
I use use an angle grinder to create the main movements through the hair and a die grinder with a mounted stone to carve out deep areas.  Small burrs are used on the die grinder to define eyes nose and mouth.
She's getting there though she still needs refinement....I'm not trying to make a duplicate of the plaster original, it's just a good starting place.

Inside I mark the areas I want to define with black china marker and put her aside. 

carving a face the direct way

I am using a scrap of limestone to carve an emerging face in what is called direct carving.  There is no model involved, just carving straight into the stone.  It starts with a sketch on the stone to give me an idea of what I am going to do.
I then mark on the stone with a masonry stone on a 4" angle grinder.  I follow the lines I have drawn on the stone.
I begin by defining the nose and the area on either side of it.  The nose protrudes most from the face and once this is established it leaves little doubt as to where everything else (eyes, mouth, etc.) goes.
I further define the nose and the cheekbones and forehead.
I switch over to an die grinder (it's next to the stone) to form various features of the face - the mouth and just beginning the eyes.
I draw the center line of the face so that I can make sure the face is symmetrical. I draw on eyes, mouth, etc. with a china marker.
I define the areas with various sizes of burrs on the die grinder. Carving an emerging face has its challenges - overhanging stone obscures your vision and makes it difficult to see the profile of the face.
I sand the face with 80 grit closed coat paper.
I decide to carve a lock of hair in the top of the stone.  I use an angle grinder with a masonry wheel.
I have added a bit more depth around the mouth and jaw using a die grinder and then resanded those areas.  The stone still has tool marks from when it was cut from whatever sculpture it came from.  I'm going to leave those marks as I feel it adds a bit of energy to the piece.
Four Tom Turkeys on a winter day and some unidentified bird flying behind them.