The newest work to come out of Barre Sculpture Studios. That’s right, a granite rubber chicken. A gem that lasts a lifetime.
I completely forgot to do a post on this!
The two stone pieces that I did this past summer are up right now at SPA in Barre, Vermont.
Go see Barre’s finest while you still can. Exhibition comes down at the end of October.
After three months back home in Vermont, I am back in Berlin. I’ll be picking up where I left off, doing more with Johnen Gallerie and assisting artist Olaf Holzapfel.
Here are the final photos of my two stone sculptures I did while at home. Remember folks, this was just practice.
Also, I worked on the Julius Caesar profile portrait a little more. Here is the final photos of that piece. Thanks to my friends at the online Sculpture Community , I found out who sculpted the original. The cast was of a carving done in 15th century Florence, by Desiderio da Settignano. The depiction is of Julius Caesar, and was sculpted in 1460.
So! Those were my two first carvings that I did this past summer. More to come, in the coming years. For now, back to drawing and pastel.. Thanks so much to Jerry for taking the photos and editing them after I left home–again.
Once you’ve done all the roughing out with black granite, then you really start to appreciate the detail that you can get with this stone. The grain is really fine, and the dense stone is really strong, allowing you to use smaller and smaller chisels for fine detail. I have just started to punch in the eyes, and will be finishing those up, and trying to get the finer wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.
As you can see, I am working from photos at this point and trying to take my sculpture farther than the cast that I used to rough the face out. There are multiple versions of Voltaire done by Houdon, depicting him bald, and with a headband and wig. I am doing the version with the headband, but trying to go after the detail of the marble carving.
At this point, drawing on the stone is important, and more enjoyable than it is during the earlier phases. Through constant drawing and re-drawing, you eventually achieve the level of detail desired. I’ve added 4 new chisels to the mix, and may invent a few of my own as I progress.
In this post I will show you the phases of a pointed stone carving start to finish. Of course, I’m not showing all the tools I am using at each phase, but some things are just tricks of the trade and will remain a mystery… unless you want to come to Vermont and see for yourself!
The photo shows the initial cuts in the stone, and the first few points made from the original.
Here, I’ve cleared away a lot of the stone between points and started to go after some of the details.
At this point, I would say the piece is “roughed out”, and I am ready to start going after the details.
After roughing the piece out, I begin to become more systematic and go after sections of the face. I’ve started with the mouth, and I will move my way up the face, and then begin to push farther back to get some of the jaw line and the ears. For the finished piece, I would like to create an effect that the face has emerged out of a rough piece of stone, and leave marks from each phase.
After a few grueling weeks hunched over this granite block, I’ve come out with something that I would call finished. We’re still not sure who from history is depicted here, so if anything screams out at you let me know.
For my next sculpture, I will be doing a full size portrait of Voltaire. Through reliable sources I obtained a copy of the original sculpture done by Jean-Antoine Houdon, which sits in Montpellier, France.
This week thing got off to a rough start. Unlike Houdon, my sculpture will be carved out of South African black granite, which I like to call, Unabtainium (it was a toss up between Unabtainium and Kryptonite, you decide which is funnier). South African black has turned out to be not only extremely hard, requiring me to swing the hammer a little harder each time I need to break something off, but as sharp as broken glass when it splits. Oh, I’ve had my fair share of missed swings, but this week was brutal. This may not look like much, but bare in mind this is after 3 missed swings at full speed with a 8lb sledge.
It’s puffier than a muffin top.
5 minutes of grunting, stamping, and teeth grinding later, I found out just how sharp this stone is.
Being something of a fatalist, I decided that life was trying to tell me something. Just moments before this photo was taken there was literally blood pouring down my face. Kind of like that scene from The Fifth Element when Zorg is talking to the darkness… The piece of stone hit me directly in the middle of my forehead, right in my third eye. I immediately looked up what a bindi represents on wikipedia. Apparently, the bindi represents concealed wisdom, and strengthens concentration. The bindi is placed on the site of the sixth Chakra called, Ajna.
It was like an ironic epiphany to start bleeding out of my mind’s eye and I do feel a bit wiser and definitely more focused…
For my first piece this summer I will copy a roman relief carving of… a senator. If you can tell who it it from the picture please let me know. We have the plaster cast in the shop and I figured it would be good practice to get started. I’ve been doing all the with with a pointing machine and things are going pretty smoothly.