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.
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.
Thanks so much to Katherine York for helping out with the process and documentation! Check out her beautiful photos linked above.
been a while since I posted anything. So here goes!
In addition to all the comedy I’ve been doing at night, I have have also been working on a commission for Barre Sculpture Studios back in Vermont. The project is a wild boar, to be carved in granite this winter. Here are some progress shots so you can see the evolution of the piece.
To get a better idea of hair direction, here is a drawing that was done over the photo for some final editing before the sculpture is cast.
The newest work to come out of Barre Sculpture Studios. That’s right, a granite rubber chicken. A gem that lasts a lifetime.
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.
So I’ve been back in Vermont for about 3 weeks now. Since I’ve been back I went down to East Hartford, Connecticut with Jerry for an installation of one of his most recently finished pieces. The eagle monument was a historical restoration job. The original was carved out of brownstone just after the civil war.
Job well done!
Here is a gravestone I’ve been doing. Here’s the model. Original artwork done by Jerry (I’m just the muscle).
First the a drawing on the stone to mark the outline of the relief.
Then holes are drilled around the drawing, and the stone surrounding the drawing is knocked back.
Cuts are made to remove the stone easier. Larger saws require water.
The right side is what it looks like after the cuts are knocked back. The left side is planed down with a diamond saw, now chiseling has to be done to push the stone back another 1/4 in. , removing pockmarks and creating a level surface.
This is how far I’ve gotten to date. It may not look like much, but to create a level surface without chipping the edges or going too deep is pretty hard. You can’t actually use an angle grinder until everything has been brought down with a couple different chisels.
This is also a good example of how apprentices start learning to carve. The area around the stone left for the carving is called a niche. A lot of niches are circular or oval. I would say those are a bit easier, but it is tricky to make a nice edge on those too. What’s nice is that once this is out of the way I can go back to carving sculpture. I definitely have a greater appreciation for clay now.
The crazy thing that I never really think about is… this is someones gravestone.
With one statue out the door, there is more space for new work. The second elephant is being set up while the first one is nearing completion, and there is a gravestone which I started on Monday (11/9/09).
Here is the elephant in its new position. I’ve been working on the legs and the leaf detail that surrounds them. First off, we laid the elephant on its side.
So, to best answer the question “what have you been working on?” I have a few photos. When I first got here I was working on the head of the elephant, and now I have been pushed back to ass detail. Hey, work is work. There is still a few things left, around the left foot and the wrinkles around that strange vagina-looking flap of skin (which does actually exist on real elephants). After 2 or so weeks I have nearly completed the hairs at the end of the tail, and the leaves going up behind the right leg.
There is always some finishing work to be done, and what is left to do you really can’t see well from the photos. One of the hardest parts about working with stone is figuring out, how the f*** are you going to get your hand in there, and what tool are you going to use to do it? There’s still a lot to do behind everything you see in the photo, but all in all I think I am getting the hang of things.
Here is a shot at the end of last week, and the next is from the end of this week.
Yeah, I probably should be working a bit faster than this, but there was a lot going on this past week. Not only did we have to move a bunch of stuff around, but we also had to put up the banker doors, and finish the eagle mold.
Here’s a photo of the new plaster cast. It came out really well.
Not only that, but we put the Soldier together for a dry-run installation.
It seems like in between everything else, I have been carving. Next week or the week after the soldier will have gone to his final resting place, and there will be more space to start the next elephant, and get the block cut for the eagle. Not to mention a memorial. The block for that should be in next week.
Jerry out front.
For the next 6 weeks I will be working at Barre Sculpture Studios, helping Jerry out in the shop. At the moment we have a couple projects going on. All together, it would seem that we are the elves of some kind of Republican public art workshop. Which is actually kinda cool. I posted the elephants already, which I am working on at the moment. The other major project is “G.I. Joe” who is triumphantly walking out of a scene of rubble. The figure is nearly complete. Only the portrait and the base is left.
This past week, the text dedicating the memorial was sandblasted into the side of the base.
A special tent was set up in the shop next door by Memorial Sandblast to accommodate the 6ft by 6ft Base.
Meanwhile in the next room Jerry is putting a white patina on the rifle that will be worn by the soldier.
and Gampo is working on the portrait.
For those of you out there who don’t know already, that link to your lower right that says “Barre Sculpture Studios” leads you to Jerry Williams’ website. Jerry is not only a friend, and colleague of mine, but he is also my teacher, and my Dad. From time to time I thought it would be nice to update everyone on what’s going on in Jerry’s world, or as my family and I humbly call it, “the shop”. The shop, as you may have already guessed, is located in a little town called Barre, Vermont. Once known as the granite capitol of the world, Barre is a nice working class town where you will find America’s best carvers still at work.
Jerry, however, is the best. If you don’t believe me, check out his website for yourself.
So lets drop in on the shop. Right now Jerry is working on the 1st of two elephants to be installed… in front of a building. Somewhere. More info on the installation site later.
Here are the pachyderms on parade. (one, really)
Once the first elephant is done, the dimensions will be used (inverted) to make the other one. Hats off to all the hard work that went into getting the first one this far.