Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The American Lion sculpture is loaded and takes a trip on the Alaskan Highway.

The rigger with Padgett Crane service readies the straps to move the Lion.

The lion will be lying down for the trip, yes I know I could have used a pun about "lion down", but I won't...

The crane operator checks how the sculpture is rigged to be sure it can be turned on it's side safely...

After lots of adjusting, over it goes...I can't watch....

This little guy has lived under the stone for months... now he's trying to figure out - what happened?  I of course caught him and put him under another rock so nothing would happen to him.

Mercer Transportation was selected to move the Lion - they moved my work to Orlando Florida as well so they have delivered works for me to the northern and southern extremes of the country, pretty cool.

Up goes the Lion...

Over to the truck..

A sky gazing cat...

The vibrant yellow straps set off the sculpture - wish it could ride this way but as it is going thousands of miles and the last are fairly rough....

The lion gets a protective tarp.

8 days later, just north of Anchorage Alaska we go to see the sculpture.  Is it all right?  Did it make the trip safely? 

Yes! The sculpture made the trip safely - the strap slipped but was checked by the driver and retightened to the new position.

And the tarp is put away, tomorrow the Lion will be set in it's new home.

The truck arrives at the UAA campus....

The Crane sets up at the site, ready to go......

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I'm finally back to posting, here is what I did for the Yew Dell sculpture show...

I have had an idea about doing a predator and prey sculpture for some time, years in fact.  In the right block would be a big cat, in the left block a hooved animal evading capture.  The sculptures would be emerging with stone supporting the more fragile areas - legs, tail, etc.

This is my original model for the sculpture - it is a cheetah - the front leg fell off the model, but I know generally where it is.  I use the model to start the profile of the big cat.

I begin by cutting the profile then carving around the head.

after the head comes the front leg and paw.

I determine the other front leg of the cat roughly (just barely carving into the stone) being careful to stay off the final form of the leg until I am sure of what I want.  I hold a wax model of the fleeing deer (this is called sight sizing) against the stone to see how it will fit.  This sculpture was originally going to be a cheetah and gazelle as there are so many videos of cheetahs pursuing prey, but I reconsidered mid carve and changed it to a cougar and young deer.

The deer is partially carved, I start by cutting down to the profile then working out where everything (legs, tail, etc.) is.

This is Leda and the swan another sculpture for the Yew Dell show.  I started this piece with a sketch directly on the stone. Leda looks down at the swan (Zeus in disguise) her hair cascades down at her side and splits across the swans back.  This alludes to their union which results in the twins Helen and Polydeuces.

First I cut the lines in with a four inch angle grinder...

I also use the grinder to shape the form...

I work from the top down beginning the neck of the swan.

A die grinder is used to define clothing and the profile of the face.  These photos are from a partial time lapse on youtube -

I also have some real time videos of predator and prey on youtube here -

KYANA Geological Society will have its annual show this weekend - the photo above shows a small sample of the crystal samples that will be for sale.  Also fossils and hand made jewelry will be available. The show is at Camp Crestwood, 7206 Clore Lane, Crestwood, KY
Here is a link with more info -

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Finishing the Lion and nature pics

I am coming to the finish on the Lion.  I have gone over the stone around the Lion smoothing out the tool marks from the grinder.  I don't plan to sand those areas I want that to have a bit rougher surface.  On the Lion I have been going over the entire cat refining areas, cleaning up rough spots, etc.

I decided I didn't quite like the hip area and have re-carved that area, the tail had a couple of areas I wasn't happy with and I worked that out as well.  Now I just have to sand out and refine what I have done.
At the beginning of a sculpture you cut a lot and look, at the finish you look a lot and then carve.  I look at it as the sun goes across it seeing if there are weak areas I need to address.

I have been smoothing out the grinder marks on the ledge over the Lions head - there is still more to go, though.

Rain water was running down the back of the stone as I intended but it was also running around the side.  I have cut slots in the stone to direct the water away from the Lion.  The dust from the top of the sculpture runs down with the rain and helps me to judge how this drainage design is working.  It seems to be working pretty well.

I have cut in the eyes and teeth though a little refinement on the canines is still needed.  I'm really happy with how it looks.

These are balls of dust formed by the wind.

Pretty deer.

There was a lot of rain this spring, I photographed this after a downpour, the white is stone dust.

Sunset in Yellowbank.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cutting the bottom of marble block, the second stone of Predator and Prey, finish work on the American Lion and Nature photos

After splitting off a section of stone from the bottom of this piece, I cut the bottom flat with an angle grinder.  I use a hammer to tap off sections as I go.

Almost there, just a little bit at the corner.

The other stone for the Predator and Prey sculpture is moved in.  There will be a young deer leaping away, I'm working on the model for it. Nothing to see yet.

I use a diamond burr on the die grinder to cut in the small lower teeth of the American Lion.  The burr flares out at the end which is better for cutting in between teeth.  I can't get to close to the lips - it will cut a "v" into the lip.  I will use a diamond point where the teeth and lips meet.

The burr I used for the teeth I also use around the eye.

I need to soften the lips - lots of edges there that don't belong on a lion - also need to refine and finish the nose.

The canine teeth are too wide and need to come to more of a point....

I am making a way for rainwater to drain from the top of the piece but not run around the side to the front leg of the Lion.

I have sloped the top toward the center of the block and toward the back so rainwater won't run over the carved area of the sculpture.

Here is tiny snapping turtle that was out in the road, so I crossed it.

Ants on a potato chip.

Evening sun on trees.

more evening sun...

Blue eyed Mary wildflowers blooming in Yellowbank WMA.  Here is a video of them -