Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beginning to carve the right hand of Discovery, a few Nature photos

 This is the stone for the right hand of Discovery.  I need to remove some stone to get down to form of the hand.  I marke this area with a lumber crayon.  The dark line just below the hash marks is actually high of where I will end up but it's always better to cut off too little, you can always cut off more stone, can't put it back on though...

 This is the other side of the hand and arm.  I have marked the area that needs to be removed at the wrist and hand.  The pinky is also marked.
 I remove the stone from the wrist...(photo by Don)
 the stone from the wrist is partially removed using an angle grinder with a 10" diamond turbo blade.  Don works on the left arm in the background.
 Measurements are made from the model and then drawn onto the stone.  If you really use your imagination you can kind of see the hand in the rock...maybe.
 I have cut around the thumb and have marked the stone that needs to be removed to define it.
 I am closer to the form but not quite there, I always cut wide to be safe.  Here I am marking the edge of the thumb (edge) which will be cut off and the ridge of the thumb.  The ridge is the high point that runs along the thumb, I will bevel the stone on with side of the ridge.
 Removing stone from the index finger..
 I have roughly formed the thumb but it is still heavy.
 I have been cutting down the palm section and cutting around the fingers. I have marked the fingers with lumber crayon, not sure I'm happy with it, will measure once more before I cut.
As you can see,the wrist is really thick and needs to be cut down...
 Another view of the arm, lots of stone still needs to be removed.
 This bird (Thrasher) looks like it might be distressed but it's just taking a dustbath.
 A storm rolled through the area yesterday - it had some really dramatic clouds.
A possom and deer dine together.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

laying out the right hand, refining the face of "Discovery"

To layout the right hand, I made a template of the plaster model.  First, I measured and photographed the model.  Then, I put the photograph in Adobe photoshop program and blew it up to the correct length - 121 inches. I gridded off the photograph into 8 inch squares and numbered each square.  I cropped different sections of the hand, so that they overlapped the numbers.  I taped the sections into a window; the numbers acted as register marks.  I did the arm in three sections and then taped them together.  The last step was to cut around the edge of the arm.
The template was laid on the stone that will be the right arm.  A timber crayon was used to trace the outline.
Another section of the arm with traced outline.
I position the model at the same angle as the head.  I can compare the shadows on the head to the plaster model.  For instance, the hair is too heavy, the shadow of the hair is fairly wide at the top of the head compared with the model.  The shadow almost disappears at the top of the head.
I have been refining the face of Discovery, grinding down the brow on her right side.  I have also been refining the mouth and eyes.
While I was working, this butterfly alighted upon me and began licking the dust off my hand with its proboscis. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Work on Discoverys head and face

I remove stone from the top of the head of the sculpture and down the side using an angle grinder.  I mark out areas that need to be removed with crosshatched lines.  Toward the back of the head there are vertical lines.  These were made with the grinder, I will then either cut them off with the grinder or knock them off with a hammer.
I have removed the knot of stone from that was on this side of the head.  I have marked lines on either side of the face that need to be removed as the face is too wide.  This section will be angled back taking off the over-prominent cheekbones.  I also marked in the area under the chin.  This is a good way to check whether you want to remove a section of stone, kind of live with it before you commit to cutting it off.
I need to set the corner of the mouth back.   The x to the right is the corner as seen from the front, the x to the left is the corner as seen from the side.  Hope that makes sense.The line of the cheek is too sharp and straight up and down.  The area leading to the eyes needs to slope back more.  Also I need to set the corner of the eye, at this point it is far too forward.
I begin cutting the corner from the side.
Don takes a picture of me while I work.
Drawing a line from the center of the eye to the mouth helps confirm where the corner should be.  Also measure from several different positions to ensure the correct position.
I start to cut the eye in..
A father cardinal feeds its youngster.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

righting the arms of "Discovery"

 The left and right forearms of "Discovery" were roughly blocked while on their side.  This way the bottom of the stone could be made flat.  Now it is time to set them upright. 
The two stones were placed under the Geodome as it has a rain-proof cover which can be used for protection from rain or sun. In order for the stones to be turned upright, the Geodome must be moved. 
Dereck Sheroan with JBB inc. arrives with a 23 ton crane to move the dome.  A rigging device known as a 4-way - 4 wire cables with hooks is used to lift the dome, though it is hooked only at 3 points which makes for a more balanced lift.
 After the dome is moved, one stone is set upright.  The rigging is set around the stone using a choker hitch.  Don watches to make sure the rigging doesn't slip as Dereck rights the stone onto the waiting timbers.
 A section that was cut from the stone is loaded on the crane to be moved away from the work area.  The way this stone is rigged is called a basket hitch.
 The second stone is set upright. This is another view of a choker hitch. The rigging is looped through itself on what will be the top of the rock, as the crane lifts it turns the stone to desired position.
 Sections of stone that had been cut from what will be the two arms are removed as well.  These stones have sharp edges that can damage nylon slings.  Wire rope (which is exactly what it is, wire fashioned into a rope) is used to handle these sections.  It is fine for unfinished rock but it is best to wear gloves as the individual wires can fray and leave splinters in your hands.
 After the rocks were righted, scrap rock moved and the Geodome replaced, Don used the crane himself for "Seedling" a pink marble sculpture which recently sold.  It will be going to its new home at the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden in Dalton, Georgia.  You can see all about that at Don's blog
After he moved the stone up to the studio to make it ready for the trip to Georgia we went to the creek the photo about is of a backlit dragonfly swooping around catching bugs....