A couple months ago I submitted a proposal for the Stone Sculpture Legacy Program in Barre City, made possible by the Semprebon Fund and Studio Place Arts. My proposal was accepted based on concept, and the scale model shown here. The final piece will be carved in Barre grey granite, out of an 8 x 3 x 4ft block, and in more detail than the model. Below is the concept proposal, which asked for, “the creation of a granite sculpture that helps to tell the rich, multi-cultural story of the people who settled in Barre to work the quarries, to start small businesses, and to create their ideal new home”.
For the Stone Sculpture Legacy Program, I propose a sculpture titled “Culmination” which will consist of a cluster of geometric forms that will suggest the silhouette of a small city emerging from a mountainous base. Negative spaces around and below the cluster will refer to the “quarries” from which these forms were built. The sculpture will be slightly larger than average human height and there will be “windows” in the forms around eye-level.
The concept for “Culmination” is an abstract representation of a small developing city. The buildings will all have different shapes that recall different architectural styles from around the world to allude to the cultural diversity of Barre. The way in which those forms emerge from the boulder but remain connected to it will evoke the idea of a town which consists of many different parts but remains unified. In this way, “Culmination” will reflect the spirit of the quote by Aristotle that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” “Culmination” will be both an abstract sculpture with rough natural forms and refined geometric shapes as well as an architectural model that combines highly detailed sections which depict the facades of buildings and draw the viewer in.
For the better part of 2014, I was working on a larger than life sized grizzly bear head, mounted on an architectural keystone. The keystone had scroll elements, known as a corbell, and acanthus leaves on the sides and under the bear’s jaw. Above the bear head is a rosette, with some basic wreath work that blends into the hair, and ogee moulding overhanging the front of the face and going back into the wall. I’ve included some progress photos showing the carving in its unfinished form, and the preliminary model in clay. Done for Barre Sculpture Studios as one of three keystones. The measurements are approximately 4 x 4 x 3ft.
On Valentine’s Day the blustering cold wind screeched outside, but inside the Morse Block Deli the air and lighting were warm. The deli was transformed into an intimate dining experience for the first ever ‘pop up dinner’, in what will be a continuing series of dinners to explore more of what Barre is growing. With meat from Graze and Gaze farm, vegetables from Bear Roots Farm, and delicious Bonne Bouche goat cheese from Vermont Creamery, the five course meal was planned out for 2 months ahead of time, making it truly a labor of love.
Course 1: Bulls Blood Micro Greens Salad served over Confi Chicken with Roasted Cabbage and a Blood Orange Caesar Dressing
Course 2: Smoked Bacon enfolded Beef Sausage. House Pickled Red Onion and Carrot with Mustard
Course 3: Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chioggia Beet Chips and herbed Oil.
Course 4: Heirloom Potato wrapped Beef Tenderloin with broiled Root Vegetables and Demi Glace.
Course 5: Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche, Goat Cheese Ice Cream, Goat Cheese Tart, Blood Orange Sorbet with Pomegranate
Invites are mainly word of mouth, so people will have to be in the know to catch the next one. As summer approaches owner and head chef Dustin Smith anticipates a new season to develop his menu around. In true farm-to-table fashion, Smith will be utilizing local ingredients and showcasing their potential by creating dishes unique to Barre. Ever had goat cheese ice cream? It’s delicious, and the cheese is world class.
Over the last 4 months, I have been used the boar head model I sculpted in Berlin to carve the final version in stone. Here are the pictures from that process. Since the early stages aren’t really that interesting to look at, I will start with what the carving looked like about 6 weeks into the carving. Bear in mind I started from a solid block.
The last photos are after around 3 months of work. We are still waiting on a final template for the background and in the end the background will be pitched stone and in some kind of an oval shape.