Monday, April 22, 2013

Work on "Discovery's" face

I am forming the face of discovery by working from the point of her nose back to her left jaw. I then will begin working over to the right side of her face. I prefer to work this way as opposed to cutting on both sides of the face.  This is from my early days of stone carving which were entirely direct - no model.  When I first started carving stone I was using a lot of cast off pieces from Don, some of it housing grade.  Sometimes as I got down to the form I would find a pocket of crystals and have to push everything back.  I learned not to limit myself by locking in the form too soon.  My method of working always drove Don crazy, but it's the way I most enjoy and am most comfortable carving.
I also begin defining the hair on the left side of her face.I use a small angle grinder with a diamond wheel to make a deep cut, angling up to maintain the fullness of the hair/skull.
This shows the excess stone to be removed from the forehead. With the left side of the forehead formed, it is obvious what stone needs to be removed from the right side of her forehead.  I use a small angle grinder with a diamond wheel to cut across in a technique called "shaving".
I have cut back the hair on the left side of the face and I proceed across the forehead.
This is "Lifting the Veil".  She is carved from Sylacauga White Marble.  She is an example of direct carving.  I have used photos of myself to get the right feel of the piece, I still need to work out her right arm and shoulder.  I have been working on her off and on, it will be a while before I can finish her. I liked the way the sun looked on her, thought I'd share.....
"Hey! You're on my nose!" A fox Squirrel sits on my wolf pups.
And this is an unusual sight - a male Ring-necked Pheasant - they were introduced last winter. They are, I believe, native to Asia.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Discovery" continues....

A section of stone is split from the stone which will be the right arm of Discovery by drilling and splitting the stone.
The basic form is carved from the stone using an angle grinder.
Slices are made with the grinder and then each slice is removed with a hammer and chisel. It takes several passes to get to...
the basic outline of the sculpture.  At this point the stone is on it's side.  You are looking at what will be the bottom of the right arm. The hydraulic chainsaw was used to cut off large corners of stone.
The stone that will be the lower leg is marked with the the outline and then stone is removed with an angle grinder.
The hydraulic chainsaw was used to remove a large corner of stone.
The top of the leg is too difficult to cut with the chainsaw and so it is removed in slices.  The angle grinder can cut about 4 1/2" deep.  Multiple cuts a couple of inches apart and 4 1/2" deep are made and then removed with a hammer and chisel.  The stone strips are then loaded into a wheel barrel and are removed.
I use a square (right angle measuring device) on the model measuring back from the tip of the nose to the top lip, to the lower lip and to the chin. Then I use a framing square and a ruler to be certain of the amount of stone I need to remove. I use a 4" grinder with a diamond wheel to remove the stone.

After cutting around the chin I continue around to the other side of the face. 
I recently went over to Bernheim Arboretum  to visit a piece I have there and saw Matt Weir constructing his sculpture. It is a multiple component piece and will be finished a little later in the year.  I'll post photos when he's done.  I have seen models of the work, it will be really cool when it's finished.
This is my piece, Emerging which was installed in 1997.  This piece and two other "stacked" pieces are the basis for "Discovery" as well as "The Muse"  By carving only small sections of the figure (head, hand knee and foot) I was able to create the illusion that the figure was within the three blocks of stone.  In the same way the head hand knee and foot of the "Awaking Muse" gives the illusion that her form is beneath the sod.  So effective that I have been asked if the stone continues beneath the grass.

It was raining and that is why the exterior and interior are so starkly different. Now it looks as if the figure is crouched in the stone, looking at the rain...

My twin sister and I recently turned 50.  That  would mean 100 candles on the cake.  But, it was decided to celebrate our birthday with our brother, his birthday is two days later and he turned 61. So we had a cake with 161 candles.
Here is the video of the flaming cake ....

These are Blue-eyed-mary plants, putting on quite a show....

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Starting the face of "Discovery"

After the stones are moved away from the block, work can begin on carving the face. At this point sections of stone have been removed using a hydraulic chainsaw.  Now angle grinders with diamond tipped blades will be used to remove stone.
The first thing is to be done is to find the tip of the nose.  This is the position furthest out on the face.  Measuring on the model (how high up and how far over from the left side) a mark is placed on the stone. The relative position of the point of the chin is also determined (though it is much further back from the nose) so that an axis can be determined and a line drawn to represent this axis. Measuring over from this line,another line, parallel to the axis line and just past the edge of the face is drawn.  From that line to the edge of the stone is a section of stone that can safely be removed and the side of the face roughly carved in.
A side view of the stone removal from the side of the face.
I measure the distance from the nose to the forehead on the model, this tells me I need to remove about 6 inches of stone. The line across the top of the stone and down the side is the cut I will make.  The marks across show the area I want to remove.
I use a 9 inch angle grinder to cut strips off. I then use the grinder to cut the surface flat.  The flat surface helps me to get a better measurement.
Some of the stone has been removed, there is still more to go...
The nose needs to be cut back at an angle, I have drawn the line to cut on the stone (it's a bit hard to see).

The nose is angled back, Now I need to taper the sides.
Lots more work to go, but she's on her way...
This is the bottom of the left arm.  An outline of the model was graphed out then that graph was drawn onto the stone.  Then the form has been partially cut out.  Eventually, a crane will be brought out to right this block so that the piece can be finished.
It's finally spring.  The winter wasn't too bad, not very cold or much snow it just seemed to go on forever.  Now at last temperatures are pleasant and flowers are blooming again.  This is a stand of  Henbit.
Deer come to eat the sunflower seed and cracked corn I put out for the birds.
I thought this halo around the sun was interesting.....